The Zionist Organization of America has accused U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry of inciting the Arab world to anti-Jewish and anti-Israel violence by warning against the possible ramifications of moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, as President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to do.
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ZOA President Morton Klein said in a statement: "Kerry again vented his hatred towards Israel, and incited and legitimized anti-Jewish, anti-Israel violence throughout the Arab world."
"Kerry’s statement was a clear signal to Arab terrorists," the statement said, accusing the outgoing secretary of state of providing "yet another pretext to continue murdering Jews." The ZOA linked the comments to the recent terror attacking in Jerusalem, saying it was "not surprisingly, [that] two days after Kerry’s incitement, a Palestinian-Arab terrorist plowed his truck into a group of young Israeli Jewish cadets," said Klein, who also blasted the effect "Obama administration’s disastrous eight years" had on the region.
Kerry, who will leave office in 10 days, warned last Friday of "an absolute explosion" in the Middle East should President-elect Donald Trump decide to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
Such a move could lead to violence flaring up in Israel, the West Bank and across the Middle East, and have a negative impact on relations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan, Kerry said in an interview with CBS.
"It is also particularly despicable that Kerry is demanding that the Trump administration should follow a 'terrorism pays' policy. No self-respecting democracy can allow its actions to be governed by terrorist threats. If we allowed our lives to be ruled by threats of terror, or by what might “inflame” a terrorist, we’d never travel through an airport or go to a mall. And it is outrageous that such a threat is coming from a U.S. official," added Klein.
"The U.S. embassy is located in the capital of every nation other than Israel ... it’s time for that sort of discrimination to end," said Klein. "Kerry again tried to portray himself as a great friend of Israel while he was stabbing Israel in the back."
President-elect Trump has promised on numerous occasions, including to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally in a meeting in late September, to quickly move the embassy to Jerusalem once he takes office. Trump told Netanyahu that if elected, "a Trump administration would finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel."
Trump's appointment of David Friedman as his new ambassador to Israel widely taken as a sign he means to make good on his promise. Friedman has already made it clear he will live and work in Jerusalem, even though the State Department said recently it knows of no plans to move the embassy.
Wasting no time last week, immediately after the new U.S. Congress was sworn in on Tuesday, three Republican senators introduced a bill to force the State Department to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Senators Ted Cruz, Texas, Mario Rubio, Florida and Dean Heller, Nevada, submitted the "Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act" to fulfill the promises to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel's capital. The bill would withhold certain funds from the State Department until the move is completed.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also sent a letter to Trump warning the incoming American leader of the negative implications of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
According to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, Abbas called on Trump to reconsider his support for such a move. "Abbas told Trump that such [a] move will likely have [a] disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region, since Israel’s decision to annex East Jerusalem contradicts with international law," the statement said.