Kerry: Slams Palestinian Authority, but admits Israel Jeopardizes Peace

TeleSur | – –

John Kerry claimed the Palestinian leadership enables terrorism as he defended the U.S. decision to let the U.N. resolution on Israeli settlements pass.

After kicking off his speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Wednesday with a lengthy condemnation of what he called Palestinian terror and the Palestinian leadership’s alleged celebration of “terrorists,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry found a few minutes to defend his country’s abstention in the United Nations vote on a resolution against Israeli illegal settlements.

His 70-minute speech came just days after the United States abstained in the Dec. 23 United Nations vote in what many see as a parting shot by U.S. President Barack Obama, who had a tense relationship with Netanyahu.

Kerry defended Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security, mentioning how Washington has shielded Israel from being prosecuted at the International Criminal Court and the U.N., as well as other international platforms.

“No American administration has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama’s,” Kerry said. “The Israeli prime minister himself has noted our unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation.”

Earlier this year, Obama approved US$38 billion in military assistance for Israel over the next decade, the biggest such package in the country’s history.

Kerry then went on to slam “Palestinian terror” against Israel, referring to the recent surge in stabbing attacks against occupying forces in the West Bank and illegal settlers, further claiming that the Palestinian leadership and ruling party Fatah have been celebrating those attackers and naming streets and squares after them.

But the top U.S. diplomat found some room later on in his speech to criticize Israel for the occupation, settlements and the increasingly right-wing politics in the government.

Kerry said in his speech that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “current coalition is the most right-wing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements.”

“The truth is that trends on the ground — violence, terrorism, incitement, settlement expansion and the seemingly endless occupation — are destroying hopes for peace on both sides and increasingly cementing an irreversible one-state reality that most people do not actually want.”

Kerry vigorously defended the U.N. resolution and rejected criticism that the vote “abandons Israel,” adding that “It is not this resolution that is isolating Israel. It is the permanent policy of settlement construction that risks making peace impossible.”

He said that vetoing the resolution would have “been giving license to further, unfettered settlement construction that we fundamentally oppose.”

Responding to Kerry’s remarks, Netanyahu said the speech “was skewed against Israel” and that the secretary of state “obsessively dealt with settlements” and barely touched on “the root of the conflict — Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any boundaries.”

But Israelis are looking past Obama and expect they will receive more favorable treatment from Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20. The Republican used his Twitter account on Wednesday to denounce the Obama administration, including its U.N. vote, and the nuclear accord it reached with Iran last year.

“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but not anymore,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!”

Trump had openly lobbied against the U.N. resolution and would be expected to veto any further ones deemed anti-Israel.

He has vowed to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and has appointed as ambassador a lawyer who raised money for a major Jewish settlement, has cast doubt on the idea of a two-state solution and even advocated for Israel’s annexation of the West Bank, a notion even further to the right of Netanyahu’s own stance.

Via TeleSur

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

CNN: “Kerry: One-state path won’t give Israel peace”

9 Responses

  1. Dear Professor Cole

    Excellent satire

    BBC reports the exact opposite

    Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned as biased a speech by outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry on Israeli-Palestinian issues.
    Mr Kerry said the prospect of a peace deal based on a two-state solution was in grave jeopardy.
    Israeli settlement building on occupied land was a major problem, he said.
    Mr Netanyahu said he was disappointed with the speech, which he said was “unbalanced” and “obsessively focused” on settlements.
    Mr Kerry had “paid lip service to the unremitting Palestinian campaign of terrorism” against Israel, he said.

    link to bbc.co.uk

    The Bias in the BBC report becomes evident as it sets the views of the crooked scoundrel who is now under criminal investigation in Israel for corruption as the arbiter on the restatement of International Law by the US most senior diplomat link to theguardian.com

    • “Mr. Kerry said the prospect of a peace deal based on a two-state solution was in grave jeopardy.”

      There is no act that evinces the intent of PM Netanyahu’s intent to subvert the two-state solution than his most recent efforts in the last few years to develop the Maale Adumim settlement and its corridor leading to Jerusalem, which if implemented, would serve to bisect the West Bank and make an independently sovereign Palestinian state next to impossible.

      The development project was heavily supported by the late Jewish extremist Rabbi Moshe Levenger, whom Netanyau eulogized as “a great example”.

      link to jcpa.org

      link to jta.org

      link to cjnews.com

    • British media, parliament, and academia, like those in the US, have been corrupted, owned, and systemically attacked by Israeli agents and lobbies, although to a lesser degree. What Kerry said needed to be heard. Maybe it is too late for it to make an impact, but there was that message that will resound around the world – Israel is no victim, and has broken international laws, and must be held responsible for the blatant theft of lands. Of course the clueless new President will wipe away Obama’s suggestions and criticism, but the rest of the world should unite in standing against an occupier who has got away with every crime for decades.

    • Where does Palestine exist? Israel has already succeeded in fragmenting the West Bank so much that there is no desirable state that will form there. Declaring the fragmented “homelands” in the West Bank to be a state would be an empty victory, especially economically.
      Forget getting a piece of Jerusalem. That ship has sailed.
      Any possible two state solution now will be a terrible deal for Palestinians. Israel is going to hold on to the valuable pieces of the West Bank.

      The resolution of the Palestinian problem will have to look much like the ending of apartheid in South Africa. The two people will have to find accommodations in one country.

      • Richard: “Declaring the fragmented “homelands” in the West Bank to be a state would be an empty victory, especially economically.”

        The USA can hardly “declare” a Palestinian state, because:
        a) That’s the Palestinian’s job, not the USA’s
        b) The Palestinians already declared their state in 1988

        So I assume you mean “recognize”, not “declare”.

        But the USA’s position has always been that all those Israeli colonies have zero “legitimacy”, so *if* the USA were to offer that recognition they wouldn’t say “we recognize Palestine…. err… except for the Israeli settlements”.

        To put in that rider would instantly “legitimize” those Israeli colonies, which Obama would never do.

        All academic, of course, since Obama will not extend that recognition….

        ….but if he did then he would recognize the Palestinian’s own 1988 declaration of statehood, which means recognizing everything over the Green Line as Palestine, and everything within the Green Line as Israel, and if the Israelis were to scream about the settlements then Obama would reply “well, what about the settlements?”.

  2. The two state solution is dead, has been for about a decade. When will we just recognize reality? Maybe it will take a Trump-Netanyau partnership to end the hopeless distraction of the two-state fantasy.

    The path forward is a long slog towards achieving full citizenship for all people in Israel, which now effectively includes the West Bank. In order for Palestinian citizenship rights to become a broadly sympathetic cause, Palestinians will have to come to terms with being peaceful, patriotic citizens of Israel. I know this sounds crazy, but it is the only option left.

    I don’t know how this transformation can happen, but it has to evolve this way. Of course the Jewish half of Israel also has to reject the apartheid future they are now hurtling towards.

    If there is any other way, I’m all ears.

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