Kerry’s Speech Today Draws Criticism from Trump, Israel

Secretary of State John Kerry said in a speech today that the Middle East Two State Solution is in "serious jeopardy."

Secretary of State John Kerry said in a speech today that the Middle East Two State Solution is in “serious jeopardy.”

In an hour-long speech held at the State Department, John Kerry defended the decision made last week by the Obama administration to abstain from the U.N. resolution condemning the Israeli settlements.

Warning that the “two-state solution” was in “serious jeopardy,” Kerry stated that the decision to abstain The vote at the U.N. “was about preserving the two-state solution.”  “That’s what we were standing up for — Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state,” he went on to say.

The “two-state solution” is the proposed settlement currently under discussion which calls for “two states for two groups of people.” Each state would be side-by-side along lines laid out by the U.N.’s 1967 Resolution 242. The continuous settlement on disputed territory is one roadblock to that solution.

Many U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have came out against the move to abstain from last week’s vote, and accuse the administration of failing to stand by their ally. But, Kerry rejected that notion, saying that the U.S. will remain a close ally to Israel. He further defended the decision, saying, “Friends need to tell each other hard truths, and friendships require mutual respect.”


Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded, saying that Kerry’s speech was “obsessively focused” on the disputed settlements, with little condemnation of Palestinian acts of terror. “Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders,” Netanyahu said. 

Prior to Kerry’s speech, President-Elect Donald Trump fired off a triple-tweet saying:

 

“President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel!,” Netanyahu tweeted in response to Trump’s tweets.

Netanyahu has accused the U.S. of  “orchestrating” the U.N. vote. The administration vehemently denies the accusations.