Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has criticized Israeli leaders for being uninterested in peace while praising Palestinians for their commitment to "nonviolence."
The recordings of Kerry were released by Israeli TV station Channel 10, according to Newsweek. The recordings reportedly come from a conference held last year in Dubai, which was attended by top regional policymakers.
"The Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to nonviolence," Kerry can be heard saying. "When the intifada took place [in 2015] they delivered non-violence in the West Bank."
Continuing, Kerry points out his belief that the general Israeli public is unaware of the Palestinian commitment to nonviolence.
"Why?" the former secretary asks. "Because the majority of the cabinet currently in the Israeli government has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state," he answers.
Kerry also argued that Israeli leaders should take note of Palestinian demands and protests, especially if they want to avoid violence in the future.
"If you see 40,000 kids marching up to the wall every day with signs saying ‘give us our rights,’ I mean I don’t think Palestine is going to be immune forever to the civil rights movements that have swept other nations in the world and somehow Israel is ignoring this," he says.
"That’s not leadership."
He goes on to say that if Israeli leaders don't take peace seriously or something in the equation doesn't change, he believes young Palestinians will eventually give up on nonviolence.
"I’ll be amazed if within the next 10 years if we don’t see some young [Palestinian] leader come along who says we have tried non-violence for the last 30 years and look, it hasn’t gotten us anything," Kerry says.
“You gotta have a willingness to make peace," he adds.
John Kerry served as Secretary of State under former President Barack Obama. While Obama's administration approved billions in military aid to Israel, it was seen as more critical of the Israeli government than previous administrations.