While extending the benefit of the doubt to Kerry’s intentions, famed attorney Alan Dershowitz was terse. “Secretary of State John Kerry is trying his hardest to bring the parties together, but I am sure he regrets having mentioned the third Intifada. The secretary of state should not be saying anything that could be misconstrued as a prediction or a legitimization of terrorist violence,” he said.
In an interview with Israeli radio, Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman described Kerry’s comments as “outrageous” and said that the Secretary of State’s “chutzpah” would unite the American Jewish community.
“It is chutzpah to lecture Israel about the risks of peace and war,” Foxman said.
Besides finding the comments offensive and possibly dangerous, the leaders agreed that they would most likely be counterproductive as well.
“The Secretary introduced views that can only complicate the process. It would be more productive to exhort the parties to work toward compromise, rather than speculating on worst-case scenarios,” said Daniel Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith International executive vice president.
Abraham Cooper, associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, asked: “Why would the Palestinians negotiate on anything when the secretary of state calls settlements ‘illegal’, when he says Israeli troops have to leave West Bank, when he increases aid to the PA when their corruption infuriates the Palestinian street, and seems to make no demands for Palestinians to once and for all stop the attacks on their neighbor’s legitimacy?”