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July 28th, 2014
05:51 PM ET

Israeli journalist: Kerry "recklessly managed" cease-fire talks

Blame John Kerry.

That's the message coming from prominent Israeli commentators Monday, including diplomatic correspondent for Ha'aretz Barak Ravid.

Ravid said on "The Lead with Jake Tapper" that negotiations to broker a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians have stalled because there is "no effective and reliable interlocutor," including the U.S. Secretary of State. Describing him as a "lone ranger," Ravid thrust much of the blame for the collapse of talks between the parties on Kerry's shoulders, saying his attempts at diplomacy have been "recklessly managed."

A leaked copy of Kerry's framework for a humanitarian truce has come under fire for making too many concessions to Palestinians and treating Hamas, who both the U.S. and Israel consider a terrorist organization, as equal negotiating partners.

The Israeli cabinet unanimously rejected the framework and one Israeli paper ripped the document as a "betrayal."

The proposal, reportedly presented to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, would have established a seven-day cease-fire before having the two sides meet in Cairo to resume working towards finding an "enduring solution."

Ravid said the document - whether intended as a draft or an offer - was untenable.

"You would go in a closed room with Bibi Netanyahu, and you would ask him, 'When would you want to stop this operation?' He would tell you two weeks ago," Ravid told CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper.

"He's not lying when he's saying he wants this over with," Ravid added. "But the problem is he doesn't have a path to end this operation and the other side doesn't really want to stop shooting."

As Netanyahu cautioned Israel's rocket-weary citizens that they must be ready for a "protracted" campaign in Gaza, Ravid hammered Kerry's attempts at diplomacy - picking apart his decision to undercut Egyptian emissaries by involving Qatari and Turkish representatives.

"John Kerry thinks, sometimes, that the only reason something hasn't happened until right now is because John Kerry hasn't dealt with it," Ravid said.

"His intentions were good but the road to hell is full of good intentions," he added.

The United States disputes how the framework has been characterized.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that the document was not ready for or asking for "anyone's sign-off." Addressing a forum of American Jewish leaders, National Security Adviser Susan Rice went even further, dismissing some reports on the framework as "misleading."

"The reality is that John Kerry, on behalf of the United States, has been working every step of the way with Israel," Rice said.

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