In his final public remarks as secretary of state, John Kerry called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a friend. But he had a message for the Israeli leader that he explained he has repeatedly offered in private.
“You’re affecting the ability to make peace,” he said. “You’re changing the peace map, and you’re doing it unilaterally. And if you continue to do that, you’re going to have trouble also with us, because our credibility is on the line – we can’t say we’re against settlements and then turn around and turn away from an effort to try to do something about it.”
Kerry defends Obama’s Israel legacy, claims ‘best friend’ status
The outgoing statesman spoke with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who, in their short time on stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, focused his questions heavily on the issues of climate change and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kerry’s responses were familiar: His only major foreign policy address since the November presidential election has been on this topic, and he is repeatedly pressed on Israel policy, including by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour this week.
“Let me say to my friends in Israel that you cannot be a unity state and be democratic and Jewish at the same time. You can’t do it,” he told Friedman, who noted that Kerry has received grief from Israel and the American Jewish community over his address on the topic last month.
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