Kerry Assails Israeli Settlements, Denies US Involvement in Last Week’s Security Council Resolution in Landmark Speech
Ongoing Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank “risks making peace impossible” and is leading towards a one-state reality, outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry asserted in a major policy address on Wednesday, less than a month before President-elect Donald Trump will take office.
Without a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, Kerry stated, “Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace.”
“Settlement expansion,” Kerry went on to claim, “has nothing to do with Israel’s security.”
Referring to the anti-settlement UN Security Council resolution that was passed last week due to America’s abstention from the vote, Kerry said, “If we had vetoed this resolution…the United States would have been giving license to further unfettered settlement construction that we fundamentally oppose.”
Furthermore, Kerry emphasized, “We strongly reject that notion that we were somehow…the driving force behind this resolution. The Egyptians and Palestinians had long made clear to all of us, all of the international community, their intention to bring a resolution to a vote before the end of the year. And we communicated that to the Israelis…The United States did not draft or originate this resolution, nor did we put it forward.
“We did not agree with every word in this resolution,” Kerry continued. “But we could not in good conscience veto a resolution that condemns violence and incitement and reiterates what has been for a long time the overwhelming consensus and international view on settlements.”
Hours before Kerry’s speech, as reported by The Algemeiner, Trump tweeted, “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!”
In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel!”