U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that Israel’s insistence on demanding the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is “a mistake”, Haaretz reported Friday.
Kerry’s statements were uttered before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He said, “”I think it’s a mistake for some people to be, you know, raising it again and again as the critical decider of their attitude towards the possibility of a state and peace.”
Kerry added that the issue was resolved in 1947, referring to UN Resolution 181 that divided Palestine into two states, one for Jews and one for Arabs.
According to Haaretz, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said last week that the U.S. considers Israel as a Jewish state, but doesn’t require the Palestinians to do so.
American officials believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “exaggerated” in demanding a public declaration of Israel’s Jewish character and in making it a condition for a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
An American source close to the White House said on Thursday, that “If Netanyahu continued to put that the recognition of a Jewish state as a central issue, it will make it hard on Abbas to accept this demand.”