Middle East peace process: US Secretary of State John Kerry faces 'anti-Semitic' claims for blaming failing of talks on Israel

 

Jerusalem

Stung by comments from US Secretary of State John Kerry that placed most of the blame for the deterioration in the Middle East peace process on Israel, Israeli leaders dismissed them as biased at best, and anti-Semitic at worst.

Insisting that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was the one responsible for the current impasse, deputy foreign minister Zeev Elkin told state-run Israel Radio: "Whoever thought there was a connection between reality and the claims of the international community can be disappointed".

"We have experience that this connection doesn't always exist and that political correctness causes the blame to be apportioned equally or worse."

In the view of Mr Elkin, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, those who have "eyes to see and know the details" understand that Mr Abbas is to blame and was looking for a way to "escape" negotiations that he never wanted.

David Rotem, another Israeli politician, told The Independent that being blamed by Mr Kerry was to be expected. "The Jews are always found guilty of all the problems in the world," he said. "Israel is not guilty of anything."

Mr Rotem added that he was concerned that Mr Kerry's remarks would foreshadow American pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians to overcome the impasse.

Last week the peace process suddenly disintegrated with Mr Abbas's application to join 15 UN treaties and conventions as a state party - a step viewed by Israel as incompatible with the talks.

Senior Palestinians said the move was taken in response to Israel's failure to release a final batch of Palestinian prisoners as part of releases it committed to before negotiations resumed in July.

Mr Kerry, making an appearance before senators on Tuesday, traced the crisis to Israel's failure to release the prisoners.

"The prisoners were not released by Israel on the day they were supposed to be released and then another day passed and another day and then 700 [settlement] units were approved in Jerusalem and then poof - that was sort of the moment," he said.

He also termed Mr Abbas's subsequent decision to apply to join international organisations "unhelpful".

The State Department later tried to soften the impression that Mr Kerry was blaming Israel mostly, with spokeswoman Jen Psaki stressing that both sides had taken unhelpful steps.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones