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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Sunday, April 15, 2018

    Kerry Reveals Netanyahu Told Him That All Mideast States 'Lie All the Time'

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    According to the former US secretary of state’s memoirs, the Israeli prime minister expressed his willingness for significant compromise in talks with the Palestinian Authority - but that didn't stop him from rejecting a US-proposed security deal on the West Bank.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Middle East states are constant liars in talks with then Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013, the former US top diplomat has revealed in his memoirs, entitled "Every Day Is Extra." Kerry noted that the Israeli prime minister had shown "willingness to make tough compromises," but added that Netanyahu had recognized that even this might not have been enough for Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas.

    "I met with Bibi at the King David Hotel. He looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘John, I'm willing to give this effort a try, but there are two things you should know: first, everyone in this region lies all the time and you Americans have a hard time understanding that; second, the most I can do may be less than the least Abbas could ever accept,'" Kerry recalled.

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    At the same time, the former secretary of state said that it was Netanyahu who had at the last minute turned down the deal on withdrawing the IDF from the West Bank and replacing them with US troops. Kerry wrote that it showed him that the Israeli prime minister was not interested in the deal.

    "It was now clear to all of us that Bibi was not interested in actually addressing the security questions in a way that could allow for the eventual withdrawal of the IDF. I concluded that this wasn't about security," the former top diplomat wrote.

    In 2016, the UN Security Council stated in a proposed resolution that Israel's construction of settlements in the West Bank was illegal, a move that the US then decided not to veto. Both Palestinians and the UN consider the West Bank to be an occupied territory.

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    Tags:
    memoirs, John Kerry, Benjamin Netanyahu, Middle East, United States, Israel
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