Kerry: I won't be intimidated by Israeli attacks against me
In interview to CNN, U.S. secretary of state comes out against Israeli critics, but reiterates his support of Israel.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry responded decisively on Wednesday to dismissive comments made by top Israeli officials regarding his attempts to push forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
"I'm not going to be intimidated and back down," Kerry said in an interview to CNN. "I’ve been attacked before by people using real bullets, not words... No one should distort what we are saying because they are opposed to the peace process."
Kerry was responding to a barrage of attacks issued by top Israeli officials - among them Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who have in recent days painted his Mideast mission as messianic and obsessive.
"Unfortunately, there are some people in Israel and in Palestine […] who don’t support the peace process. There are specifically some people that don’t support two states. There are some people who don’t want any restraint on settlements whatsoever. What is important is to look at the positive side of this which is that the majority of people in Israel and Palestine believe in peace."
Kerry reiterated his support of Israel, saying Israelis should know that the U.S. "will always stand by Israel's security needs."