In a Washington Post article, Kurtzer warns: "Washington will almost certainly come to regret bribing Israel; Israel may regret receiving such a bribe even more."
The harsh words are especially meaningful as they have been uttered by a veteran State Department diplomat with dozens of years of experience in the Middle East. Kurtzer also served as one of President Barack Obama's close Mideast aides during his election campaign.
In his article, Kurtzer writes that only a year and a half ago, the Obama Administration demanded an Israeli freeze of all settlement construction, including natural growth in existing settlements.
"But now, the administration says it is prepared to pay off Israel to freeze only some of its settlement activity, and only temporarily," he writes. "For the first time in memory, the United States is poised to reward Israel for its bad behavior."
The veteran diplomat adds that in the past, US objection to settlement construction prompted punishments rather than rewards.
"If it goes forward, it will be the first direct benefit that the United States has provided Israel for settlement activities that we have opposed for more than 40 years," he writes.
Kurtzer also wonders whether the US will also be compensating the Palestinians for their own bad behavior.
"Will Washington pay them to, say, halt the incitement against Israel and Jews in their public media and some educational materials - something that shouldn't have been going on in the first place?" he writes.
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