Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t the only Israeli leader who was deeply offended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on Wednesday, scolding Israel for nearly an hour over its settlement policies.
Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett had harsh words in response to Mr. Kerry’s speech, saying Israel should not support the establishment of what he called “another terror state” in the heart of the country. The minister said that if it were up to him, he “wouldn’t allow it to happen.”
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud party) likewise hit back at the American diplomat, saying Mr. Kerry “lacked the proper understanding of the conflict” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Levin added that Mr. Kerry “is trying to force on us, in his last days on the job, a world view that constitutes a prize for Palestinian terror and that completely ignores our rights to the country.”
He added that a “true friend of Israel” should have shown support for the elected government.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, joined in the censure, writing in a tweet Wednesday night that the Obama Administration acted against Israel at the UN, and that “any claim to the contrary is a distortion of reality.”
The lone Israeli politician who spoke out in support of the speech was Opposition leader Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union (Labor party). He called Mr. Kerry a “great friend,” adding in a tweet that the Secretary’s speech expressed “true concern” about the well-being and future of Israel.