Israeli Widow Blasts 'Insensitive' Kerry Claim

Kerry claim that no Israelis killed by terror shocks widow

Experts say the Obama administration is losing leverage in its talks with Iran
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry / AP
February 5, 2014

Israeli victims of terrorism lashed out at Secretary of State John Kerry for his "insensitivity" after he inaccurately claimed "not one Israeli was killed by a Palestinian from the West Bank" in a recent speech.

During a controversial speech over the weekend in Germany, Kerry threatened Israel with economic boycotts and claimed that the Jewish state is enjoying a respite from Palestinian terrorism.

"There’s a momentary prosperity, there’s a momentary peace," Kerry said. "Last year, not one Israeli was killed by a Palestinian from the West Bank."

However, this is untrue. At least five Israelis were murdered by West Bank Palestinians in 2013.

Evyatar Borovsky is one of those victims. He was stabbed to death 10 months ago while hitchhiking in the West Bank. He left behind his wife, Tsofia, and five children.

"It’s a feeling of carelessness and neglecting actual Israeli needs," Tsofia Borovsky told the Free Beacon on Tuesday when asked about Kerry’s remarks.

Borovsky said that Kerry’s comments reveal an inherent insensitivity and apathy to Israel’s security needs, particularly since the murders of Evyatar and others were so greatly publicized.

"I don’t even believe that [President] Obama even knows there was a murder or anything," she said through a translator. "If Kerry can say such careless things, [I’m] not sure they actually know, that the American government knows what’s happening in Israel, that people are being murdered."

Kerry went on in his speech to warn Israel that violence against Israelis will increase unless the government makes tough concessions to reach peace with the Palestinians.

"This year, unfortunately, there’s been an uptick in some violence," he conceded. "But the fact is the status quo will change if there is failure."

Kerry additionally came under fire from Israeli leaders for warning that Israeli will be subject to international boycotts and isolation if it fails to reach peace.

Borovsky said that Kerry and the Obama administration are not living up to their promises to be Israel’s closest ally.

"The American are supposed to be our best friends, but are actually working and doing everything that’s actually against us and pressing Israel with our backs to the wall," said Borovsky, who noted that "not even a year has passed" since her husband’s murder. "Everyone here … is feeling it because terrorism is actually rising and nobody’s actually paying attention to it."

Kerry is "living on a planet of his own," she said.

In addition to Borovsky, West Bank Palestinians murdered four other Israelis in 2013

They included Eiden Atias, an 19-year-old soldier who, in November, was stabbed in the neck while riding a bus; Seraya Ofer, who was bludgeoned to death outside of his home; Tomer Hazan, who was lured into a field and murdered; and Gabriel Kobi, who was shot in Hebron.

"The secretary was talking about 2012, not 2013. Given we were only a month into the new year, it was a honest slip," said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf wrote via email when asked to clarify Kerry's remark.

Other Israeli victims of terrorism also lashed out at Kerry following his remarks.

"It’s an important statement that sums up the scale of human loss in numeric form and baldly asserts it didn't occur," wrote Arnold Roth, whose 15-year-old daughter Malki was killed when a Palestinian terrorist bombed a Jerusalem pizza shop.

"He may not realize even now he did that, and he surely won't lose sleep over it," Roth stated on his blog, This Ongoing War. "But it's distressing that a Secretary of State, with the resources that come with the job, doesn't check. What does that tell us about the humanity that he invests in such matters?"

Borovsky said that Israelis living in the West Bank just "want to live peacefully with whoever wants to accept us. We hope for good and better days."