Former Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer has criticized the Israeli leadership for its response to the U.N. vote and the Obama administration’s role in it.
Kurtzer termed the harsh comments coming from Yerushalayim as “unprecedented” and “unacceptable” in an interview with Army Radio on Monday.
Kurtzer, who served from 2001 to 2005 as ambassador to Israel, and from 1997 to 2001 as ambassador to Egypt, said that it should be “no surprise to people that the international community, including the United States, has strong opposition to what Israel is doing in the West Bank.”
While conceding that the language of the resolution was “faulty” and that there were “elements beyond settlements which makes it a problematic resolution,” he nevertheless considers the tone of the response, especially regarding President Obama, as inexcusable.
“The language used against the president of the United States is itself unprecedented, and it really should not be a language an ally uses with an ally, however angry someone is. It’s just not proper and unacceptable,” he said.
“I think we have to find a way to really get beyond this and try to deal with some of these differences of view more privately,” he added.
Kurtzer has not been shy in his criticism of Israel in the past, which garnered an ethnic insult from a former Knesset member back in 2002.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refused to soften his reaction, telling the local media on Monday that “Israel is a country with national pride and we do not turn the other cheek. This is a rational, aggressive and responsible response, the natural reaction of a healthy nation that is making clear to the nations of the world that what was done in the U.N. is unacceptable to it.”
Netanyahu dismissed as absurd a headline Monday morning on the front page of Maariv accusing him of starting a “world war.”