Hoekstra: Kerry's Remarks Damaging to Israel Relationship

Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 10:08 AM

By Joe Battaglia

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The words and actions of Secretary of State John Kerry are "creating a difficult situation for the president and for this administration and for America," says former Rep. Pete Hoekstra.

Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican and former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV that Kerry's remarks about Israel and his undermining of U.S. intelligence efforts in the Ukrainian conflict with Russia should make the world "nervous about this administration and its policies in totality."

"Secretary of State Kerry could keep the president really, really busy with all the statements that he's making," Hoekstra said Tuesday. "It was a few months ago that he basically said something along the lines of, 'You know, if Israel doesn't move forward in the peace process, they're going to become isolated, and the rest of the world is just going to impose economic sanctions,' almost inviting the rest of the world to impose economic sanctions and implying that America would stand on the sidelines.

"Now he's done the same type of thing by using the word 'apartheid.' The president's got other things to do. He can't keep apologizing for Secretary of State Kerry, if you can get my sarcasm," Hoekstra said.

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Kerry's latest remarks, according to Hoekstra, could prove to be the most damaging to the relationship the United States shares with Israel.

"Remember, Israel's our best ally in the Middle East," Hoekstra said. "They are our friend. They have been ever since their existence. The policies of this administration [are] what you have to look at in a larger context.

"The situation for Israel has become much more tenuous in the last five years than what it's been in a long time. Israel is wondering whether the U.S. has its back, and then you put together these kinds of statements from Secretary of State Kerry and ... a lot of people in the Middle East other than Israel are wondering whether the United States has Israel's back, and that just makes it very, very uncomfortable for Israel right now. It jeopardizes their national security, and that's why they're so nervous about this secretary of state."

Equally unforgivable in the mind of Hoekstra is another secret recording in which Kerry told the Trilateral Commission in Washington that the United States has "taped conversations" that prove the Russian government in Moscow is giving orders to a network of spies and operatives in Ukraine.

"When Russia started to move into Crimea, the word on the street was the U.S. had no indication that Russia was considering being that aggressive," Hoekstra explained. "What the Russians heard when they saw those kinds of press reports was, 'Wow, the United States doesn't have the intelligence. They don't have the tools to penetrate our electronic communications. We have secure networks for communicating between each other about what we're doing, and so we can just keep using those systems because we are secure.'

"What Secretary Kerry has now told them is that your communications, they are not secure, the Americans were able to penetrate them, we have the recordings. Guess what? They will find alternative ways of communicating, and if they really thought four months ago that they were dark and they were now told that the U.S. has penetrated their system, that is a major breach of the intelligence world and it is a wonderful gift to the Russians.

"I hope that's not the case, but the real question is, why is Secretary Kerry talking about that to the Trilateral Commission? That is the granularity, that is a detail that those folks don't need to know."

Hoekstra added that these closed-door sound bites are jeopardizing our tarnished international position.

"We shouldn't be finding out what America's real foreign policy is by getting tape recordings of what the secretary of state says behind closed doors," he said. "Our foreign policy ought to be right out there, and it ought to be clear to the American people, it ought to be clear to our allies, and it ought to be clear to those who are in disagreement with the United States."

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