Secretary of State John Kerry will skip Israel during his Middle East trip, instead visiting Iran and other regional countries to talk about the nuclear agreement conclusions. President Obama has been extremely enthusiastic about securing the Iran deal, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has voiced strong opposition, charging Iran will be even more dangerous as a result.
Iranian government-run Press TV reported Kerry's decision to skip Israel during the visit means the Obama administration apparently is “not seeking to pacify” Israel. Kerry will visit Egypt Sunday and then go to Qatar, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said though Israel is not a part of Kerry’s visit, the secretary of state has been in touch with Netanyahu several times in the past few weeks.
“There’s an awful lot to cover in eight days, as you can see. It’s literally -- it’s an around-the-world trip,” Kirby said. However, the U.S. news weekly the Jewish Press reported it was obvious Kerry would not visit Israel. “The reason or skipping over Israel is obvious: The Obama administration’s single-minded objective right now is to make sure Congress does not reject [the] 'ObamaDeal' with a veto-proof majority,” it reported.
The Jewish Press also reported Netanyahu and Kerry had nothing much to talk about. “They can argue until they are blue in the face, but it is not going to get anyone anywhere, even though it would be a boon for the media,” the report said.