Economy Minister and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday, after the top American diplomat warned against increasing boycotts on Israel if the peace process failed.
"Friends, let us be clear to all of the advice givers: Never has a nation abandoned their land because of economic threats. We are no different," Bennett said in a statement. "Only security will bring economic stability, not a terrorist state next to Ben-Gurion Airport." He added: "We expect our friends around the world to stand beside us, against anti-Semitic boycott efforts targeting Israel, and not for them to be their amplifier. We have always known how to stay strong and today we will know how to remain strong."
Earlier on Saturday, at the Munich security conference, Kerry cautioned against allowing the peace talks to fail. "For Israel, the stakes are also enormously high," he said. "Do they want a failure that then begs whatever may come in the form of a response from disappointed Palestinians and the Arab community? What happens to the Arab peace initiative if this fails? Does it disappear? What happens for Israel's capacity to be the Israel it is today, a democratic state with the particular special Jewish character that is a central part of the narrative and of the future? What happens to that, when you have a bi-national structure and people demanding rights on different terms?"
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"I am hopeful and we will keep working on [an agreement,]" Kerry said. "I believe in the possibility or I wouldn't pursue this, I don't think we're being quixotic ... We're working hard because the consequences of failure are unacceptable."