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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
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Is the US Furious Over ‘Israeli’ Criticism of Kerry?

While the U.S. government was a-howling over Israel daring to criticize Kerry's performance, did they ever consider that Kerry's performance actually was that bad?
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, dining at the Prime Minister's residence, Jan. 4, 2014.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, dining at the Prime Minister's residence, Jan. 4, 2014.
Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90

The United States is circling the wagons around their secretary of state whose ego was apparently wounded by a torrent of Israeli criticism over the weekend regarding his proposed ceasefire draft plan.

John Kerry’s defenders are helping him look more pathetic by taking such umbrage to a unified Israeli cabinet’s rejection of his ceasefire proposal. And a virtually unified Israeli public, including the leftist and far left Israeli media, who are being accurately represented by the Israeli government’s less than flattering evaluations.

One of the biggest complaints about Israel’s criticism was ascribed to the State Department’s spokesperson Jen Psaki. She said, and was quoted in a myriad of media reports for saying, that Israel’s conduct in disseminating what she claims was false information about the proposed ceasefire draft: “it’s simply not the way partners and allies treat each other.”

There was a textbook example of a journalist baiting a government official to snipe at another government’s leadership despite her best efforts not to seem to be sniping.

At the State Department’s Daily Briefing on Monday, July 28, Matt Lee of the Associated Press was able to put words into Psaki’s mouth, and continue leading her into accepting certain phraseology to suggest — undoubtedly accurately, but surely going further than Psaki intended – that the U.S. administration was furious with Israel for disrespecting Kerry.

The questions asked by Lee included, “how angry are you? How unhelpful do you believe the Israelis, or at least some Israelis have been in this issue? And how angry are you at what you claim to be a serious misrepresentation of what the Secretary was trying to do?”

Lee then followed up with: “so you accuse – you’re accusing at least some in the Israeli Government of waging a misinformation campaign?”

When Psaki informs Lee, and the rest of the press corps, that she doesn’t have any information on the sources who were allegedly providing inaccurate information, the AP reporter followed up by incorporating one of the most quoted phrases of the day. The exchange follows:

QUESTION: When you say that this is not the way friends and allies should treat each other, you’re referring to Israeli treatment of Secretary Kerry and of his – of the Administration’s attempt to get a ceasefire together?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think there are obviously some anonymous sources that are out there that are speaking on behalf of the views of the Israeli Government. Whether or not that is an accurate depiction of their position is not for me to make a judgment of, but –

QUESTION: So how serious is this, in terms of jeopardizing the relationship?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t think – I think Israel remains an incredibly important partner.

But Lee was only succesful at goading Psaki into revealing what her employer and her department are apparently feeling. But was the anger directed at the appropriate party? And was the criticism, in any event, justified?

The claims that Israeli leadership was harsh in its criticism concerning Kerry’s proposals and his behavior overlook several important facts. To wit: that while anonymous sources were likely quoting at least some members of the Israeli government, the harshest public attacks on Kerry’s flat-footed diplomacy came not from government officials, but from center, left and even far left members of Israel’s famously leftist media. For example, Barak Ravid of Haaretz wrote that Kerry’s “conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events.”

The Times of Israel’s editor-in-chief, David Horovitz, lambasted the secretary of state’s plan as something that looked like it might have been drawn up by or for Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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52 Responses to “Is the US Furious Over ‘Israeli’ Criticism of Kerry?”

  1. Linda Gibbs says:

    I only read the news coming out of Israel, as the news here in the US is so bias, it is disgusting..

  2. Linda Gibbs says:

    I only read the news coming out of Israel, as the news here in the US is so bias, it is disgusting..

  3. Linda Gibbs says:

    I only read the news coming out of Israel, as the news here in the US is so bias, it is disgusting..

  4. Linda, you ONLY read the news coming out of Israel because the news from the US is BIASED? Hilarious!

  5. Linda, you ONLY read the news coming out of Israel because the news from the US is BIASED? Hilarious!

  6. Linda, you ONLY read the news coming out of Israel because the news from the US is BIASED? Hilarious!

  7. Joyce Myers says:

    I am ashamed on this matter is being handled..where was Obama and Kerry when the boys were first kidnapped..where are they now?? Sitting on this tuchas..

  8. Joyce Myers says:

    I am ashamed on this matter is being handled..where was Obama and Kerry when the boys were first kidnapped..where are they now?? Sitting on this tuchas..

  9. Joyce Myers says:

    I am ashamed on this matter is being handled..where was Obama and Kerry when the boys were first kidnapped..where are they now?? Sitting on this tuchas..

  10. Not too biased for someone like Sarah Hussein who has “Save Gaza” splashed with blood for her cover photo. Hypocrite!

  11. Not too biased for someone like Sarah Hussein who has “Save Gaza” splashed with blood for her cover photo. Hypocrite!

  12. Not too biased for someone like Sarah Hussein who has “Save Gaza” splashed with blood for her cover photo. Hypocrite!

  13. Vonnie Gross says:

    Kerry is a colossal jerk and everyone knows it.

  14. Lap sided Kerry! He only eat Heinz Ketchup.

  15. Lap sided Kerry! He only eat Heinz Ketchup.

  16. ridiculous, how many times has ohbummer, treated Netanyahu horribly..we have thin skinned people here

  17. ridiculous, how many times has ohbummer, treated Netanyahu horribly..we have thin skinned people here

  18. Folks..remember John Kerry LIED about his military service and medals???? A liar!

  19. Folks..remember John Kerry LIED about his military service and medals???? A liar!

  20. Sarah should change her first name (as it is Jewish) and cover her blonde hair because when Sharia Law is all around the world (G-d forbid) then there will be no freedom of speech and zilch for women!!

  21. Sarah should change her first name (as it is Jewish) and cover her blonde hair because when Sharia Law is all around the world (G-d forbid) then there will be no freedom of speech and zilch for women!!

  22. No just Kerry and Obama,

  23. No just Kerry and Obama,

  24. Why should I changed my name Beverly? I have no problem with the Jews. I have a problem with those that want Palestinians dead. I have a problem with those that occupy a country illegally.

    Explain how you get away with that exactly? How is Israel able to break international law with illegal settlements?

    How is Israel able to get away with collective punishment?

    How is Israel able to get away with an illegal blockage?

    How is Israel able to get away with killing more than 1,000 Palestinians?

    “Imagine a country claiming the lives of nearly three times as many as were lost in the MH17 plane tragedy in less than three weeks.

    A nation which blasted a hospital, shelled and killed children from a gunboat as they played football on the beach and was responsible for 1,000 deaths, at least 165 of them children, in just two weeks.

    Those who live in Gaza are kept like prisoners behind walls and fences, unable to escape the bombings, and an Israeli economic blockade has forced Palestinians into poverty.”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/john-prescott-israels-bombardment-gaza-3918413#.U9RmDuvmbZW.facebook

    Stop going off topic and bringing up my hair (oh my, it’s long AND showing, please tell me about how oppressed I am!) and tell me how is Israel gets away with such atrocities!

  25. Vickie Tabor says:

    I’m not. I stand with israel.

  26. Why no nations dare condemned those indiscriminate rockets flown to Israel with the intent of mass murders? When Israel exercised the right of defense against her enemy, they blamed Israel for those civilian casualties and disproportionate act. Gaza is a small city but too populated. I then see the intent of human shield among those terrorists and the war machines against Israel. The discovery and the destruction of those terror tunnels were just amazing, there could have been worst terror acts. Israel’s God protected His people from greater destruction. Extremism and radicalism of one’s faith not only poses danger to Israel, but to their own people making them as lamb sacrifice for their terror cause and declaring them enemies those who won’t succumb to their radical belief, the number one enemy of peace. Hopefully this will be suppressed in the near future that causes much suffering in the world. Ezek. 28:25,26.

  27. Lily Weiser says:

    WHO CARES, we should be more worried about his hate for us

  28. Scott Soffen says:

    Kerry is a moron. A lightweight ignorant rich kid. Go make ketchup, fool.

  29. Israel, better to trust God than man! Trust in The Lord God Almighty!

  30. Sue Johnson says:

    Israel needs to be critical of Kerry. He is dangerous, untruthful, misguided, stubborn, and wrong.

  31. No, most Americans do not support either Kerry or Obama. I am so sorry they are doing this to your country.

  32. Kerry is a liar and a joke. Belongs as a manager in a 7-11 store, not as Sec. Of State.

  33. Aya Khongsai says:

    Kerry he might as well go and wipe the arsehole of Ham ass his bosses.

  34. Please, spare me. Kerry is a great big 0.

  35. Kerry is a bloody ketchup fool.

  36. He deserves criticism, he sides with Hamas, a well known terrorist org.

  37. Karen Bryant says:

    I’m an American and I’m right there with Israel on the way my country has been handling this. The loud dissenting voices are really few; most thinking, God loving Americans respect and support Israel’s right to protect itself.

  38. Helen Ward says:

    Kerry is a liar and Obama is Muslim ,hates everybody.

  39. Mona Boaz says:

    Israel is the only democracy in the Mideast and the US has important shared interests. Just like the US criticized Israel, idrael can disagree with the US. Kerry doesn’t have to go whining to Obama when the big boys tease him (and the other players include Egypt, the Saudis and the PLO in addition to Israel). Like Yaalon said, just give the guy a flipping peace prize so he’ll get off everybody’s backs and stop making an amateurish mess of things.

  40. I would like answers to all these questions! The U S is a disgrace !

  41. Emil Pieski says:

    If it is than that’s just too bad…

  42. Ronnie Pleet says:

    Obama is seriously impaired. Should replace kerry

  43. am an ultra Orthodox Jew living in Israel. I am not Zionistic at all but I want to make a few points. First of all for any American that is pro Hamas right now, and if you are pro Gaza then you are pro Hamas, I can still remember the great celebrations by the innocent people of Gaza after the heard about the Twin Towers being destroyed. They heard the amount of American killed on 9/11 and handed out cookies and shot fireworks. So for any one in the “Western Society” they wish just as much harm against you as the do Israel.
    Second I am a firm believer that Israel, like EVERY other nation, is not perfect. But has anyone ever thought about WHY there are so many casualties in Gaza and so few in Israel. The rockets that are flying into Israel are not a new thing. They have been flying into the southern part of Israel for about nine years now, since Israel kicked its own citizens out of Gaza in order to help “liberate” the Palestinians. It took Israel nine years to finally retaliate and put its foot down. I don’t think that any other country would have waited that long to protect itself. Now the difference between Hamas and the evil Zionists is that Hamas wants a greater death toll in order to get more sympathy for other nations, which they have. There are more than enough tunnels under Gaza to have protected more of their civilians. When Israel warned that hey are going to retaliate Hamas told its people to go to the roof tops to die for their cause or to get the Israelis to stop. They have children, 13 year olds and younger firing guns at The IDF now. How do you fight a suicidal society that hates Israel more than they love their own children.
    I wish no ill to any other human. I pray this ends soon so no more children in Gaza must die because of the cause their selfish leaders deem more important than life. Hamas, not the innocent people in Gaza, is a terrorist organization that has been blowing up buses and throwing rockets into Israel for years. Israel is after Hamas, not the Palestinian people, and Hamas wants as many casualties on their side so they gain sympathy.

  44. Who cares… Kerry should stay home and package ketchup!!

  45. NO…..The US citizens have criticized in truth about Kerry way worse than Israel could ever imagine.

  46. We Americans are furious with Kerry’s treatment of Israel. Stay strong.

  47. No…US not furious……just convinced.

  48. CLARIFICATION: The US is not the people in this. The US is OBAMA and his minions. The citizens are glad Kerry is seen as what he really is, a puppet on obama’s strings. Nothing more!

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