Housing minister: ‘Let’s talk over humous’

Uri Ariel invites John Kerry to talk, even though the secretary of state’s warnings “look and sound like a threat.”

‘I’d like to have some humous with [US Secretary of State]John Kerry and tell him how I see things,” Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel said in his office Thursday.

The invitation came after weeks of outspoken criticism of Kerry by politicians in both Ariel’s Bayit Yehudi party and theLikud, leading the US State Department to request apologies.

But the minister clearly tried to choose his words more carefully in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, pausing to think after questions.

“One time, I said America knew about construction in [east Jerusalem] – I didn’t say they authorized it – and the American Embassy put out a message that Kerry didn’t speak to me. I never said he did!” Ariel recounted. “I don’t know why [the Americans] are suddenly so sensitive. I guess Kerry doesn’t like criticism. No one does. I don’t.”

“I’m not Kerry’s interpreter,” he shrugged, sitting under a photo of Jerusalem focused on the Temple Mount, which he has visited several times as minister. Another photo of his grandchildren perched on his desk, not far from large platters of cut fruit and vegetables on which he would sporadically snack. Continue reading

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