By MATTHEW LEE — July 29, 2014
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday widespread criticism of his efforts to win a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas don’t worry him and said he will continue to work toward that goal because Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked him to.
“I have taken hits before in politics, I am not worried about it,” he told reporters at the State Department. “This is not about me.”
Kerry said he is convinced that a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza followed by negotiations to resolve the underlying causes of the conflict is “more appropriate” than continuing to wage war.
“I am not going to worry about personal attacks,” he said, adding that he and President Barack Obama are convinced “it is more appropriate to try to resolve the underlying issues at a negotiating table than to continue a tit-for-tat of violence that will invite more violence and perhaps a greater downward spiral which would be much more difficult to recover from.”
Kerry has come under harsh criticism in Israel and among its supporters for pushing a cease-fire last week that critics believe will hurt the security of the Jewish state and give legitimacy to the militant Hamas movement that controls Gaza. On Monday, several senior Obama administration officials hit back at the criticism and defended Kerry’s efforts as those of a true friend to Israel.
Though he said he wasn’t “worried” by the criticism, Kerry showed flashes of pique in his comments, noting at one point that he had a 100-percent pro-Israel voting record in thortuae Senate and would not “take a second seat to anybody” in his devotion to Israel’s security.
Kerry also said he wouldn’t be pushing for a ceasefire if Netanyahu hadn’t asked him to.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu himself said to me, ‘Can you try to get a humanitarian cease-fire for this period of time?’ And if it weren’t for his commitment to it, obviously the president of the United States and I would not be trying to make this effort,” Kerry said.
“Now either I take his commitment at face value or someone is playing a different game here, and I hope that’s not the fact,” he said.
Copyright The Associated Press
He’s right on one thing, this is not about him. Kerry attempts to interpret it all as personal criticism. Sorry, Kerry, it really is about much more than you.
Buried within is the statement Netanyahu asked him to. Does that tell us something?(wonder what Hamas says?) One side is interested in the endgame. Unfortunately, the war is the means and endgame to Arabs. It is a p/r campaign and a fundraiser to Hamas. It just won them 47 million USD.(plus their other aid)
He goes on to say he has taken personal political hits before. Is that what this is to him, a personal hit? He was a presidential candidate remember, votes away from the oval office. How would he have handled that criticism?
On the other hand, he doles out enough criticism like calling Israel apartheid and his criticism about a “pinpoint operation” of Israel. When did Hamas pin-point their attacks or rockets? They started out by kidnapping and murdering 3 random students.
Thanks, Dr. Kerry, for your pinpoint criticism of Israel. But personal? Only if it is personal with you, which it could be as with other anti-Israel zealots. If he could only remember when he speaks as Sec. of State that he is speaking for the US, not himself. So we have plenty of right to be critical of his words.