Bibi Dismisses Boycotts

Israeli PM implies Kerry comments on danger to Israel are irrelevant

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu obliquely criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday, dismissing the secretary's warning that Israel could face an international boycott if peace talks fail.

Netanyahu did not mention the secretary by name, but expressed open contempt for the idea that boycotts could seriously threaten Israel.

Even should widespread boycotts emerge, he said, "they will not achieve their purpose."

Firstly, they only serve to make the Palestinians become more entrenched in their stance of refusal. Secondly, no pressure will make me abandon the State of Israel's vital interests, of which security of the civilian population is foremost.

Kerry recently said that if Israel does not make concessions for peace, its security will be compromised as a result of international boycotts and diplomatic isolation.

The statement has been intensely attacked on the Israeli Right, with some charging that Kerry is biased toward the Palestinians and even antisemitic.

Netanyahu, however, is likely sending a message to Kerry that he will not be intimidated by such claims, and that scare tactics will not induce him to make what he considers unwarranted or dangerous concessions to the Palestinians.

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