Responding to Kerry article, Netanyahu blames Palestinians for lack of peace progress

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the Palestinians for the lack of progress toward peace in an apparent response to statements by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

“The time has come for the international community to understand that the reason there is no negotiation and no progress toward peace is not Israel’s fault but that of the Palestinian side,” Netanyahu said Tuesday during a tour of the Israel Defense Forces Southern Command headquarters, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement released to the Israeli media.

Netanyahu cited a poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research released Monday regarding Palestinian attitudes toward the two-state solution and stabbing attacks on Israelis, which said that 45 percent of Palestinians still support a two-state solution and 67 percent support stabbing attacks on Israelis. The statement inflated the percentages, however, saying that “some 75 percent of the Palestinians reject the two-state solution and about 80 percent support continuing stabbing attacks.”

“That’s not surprising because Abu Mazen is continuing constantly to stir things up with false propaganda about Al-Aqsa, false propaganda about executions and by rejecting any genuine attempt at coming to negotiations,” Netanyahu also said, referring to the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas.

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A New Yorker profile of Kerry published Monday tracing his work with Iran, Syria, Israel and the Palestinians quoted the secretary of state as criticizing Israel for not knowing whether it wants a two-state solution or to become a binational state, and whether it wants to be a democratic state or a Jewish state. Kerry also criticized Israel for continued settlement building and demolishing the homes of Palestinian terrorists.

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