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January 11, 2017 6:30 pm

Trump Secretary of State Pick Tillerson Slams Anti-Israel Security Council Resolution, Vows to Make Fight Against BDS a Priority

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's secretary of state nominee. Photo: Screenshot.

Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee. Photo: Screenshot.

The anti-settlement resolution approved by the UN Security Council last month was “not helpful” and “undermines” the chances of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks being renewed, Rex Tillerson — President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee — said at a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

“Israel is, has always been and remains our most important ally in the region,” the former Exxon Mobil CEO said.

Tillerson took aim at outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry, calling his recent speech in which he assailed Israeli settlement construction “quite troubling.”

The 64-year-old Texan also vowed to make fighting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement a State Department priority.

“Those countries [that support BDS] need to understand that it does shape our view of them,” Tillerson said.

Regarding a potential two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Tillerson said that was “the dream that everyone is in pursuit of.”

“Whether it could ever be a reality remains to be seen,” he went on to say. “I don’t think anyone would take a position that they don’t hope for peace in that area.”

Furthermore, he noted, “Sometimes it takes another generation that’s not carrying all that baggage of the past. The Palestinian people have suffered a lot, under their own leadership in many cases.”

The Palestinian Authority, Tillerson said, has failed to take “serious actions” to thwart violence against Israel.

Palestinian leaders must, do “something to at least interrupt it or prevent” terrorism, Tillerson said, adding that this needs to happen before there can be “any productive discussion around settlements.”

Under his leadership, Tillerson said, the State Department would “try to create an environment that brings parties together.”

“This issue has to be settled between the Israelis and the Palestinians and they can no longer be coerced into coming to the negotiating table,” he stated. “That will not lead to a solution.”

In a reference to the growing behind-the-scenes ties between Israel and the Sunni Arab axis in the region, Tillerson said, “Today, because of Iran and the threat Iran poses, we now find that Israel, the US and the Arab neighbors all share the same enemy. And this gives us an opportunity to discuss things that previously I think would not have been discussed.”

When it comes to the nuclear agreement reached by Iran and six world powers in July 2015, Tillerson said he would recommend a “full review” of the deal — “as well as any side agreements that I understand are a part of that agreement.”

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  • John

    God bless Tillerson and Trump!!!

  • shloime

    making bds a priority for the government of the us is a mistake, because it lends more importance to it than it deserves.

    a better choice of target would be the continual hate-mongering and incitement of the palestinian authority. clearly, a constant diet of virulent anti-israel propaganda is not the way to prepare their people for peace. and since american aid funds that propaganda, as well as most of the pa itself, this could have been shut down long ago.

    like maybe when president obama accepted his nobel peace prize…

    • awillikers

      good point, but bds is higher profile and policy can be specifically targeted at it. It can be joined to a more general policy that requires pa to produce measurable results in line with what you are saying..


    This is one intelligent man, a success and a supporter of Israel.

  • Peter

    Trump once again picked a winner!!!

  • TerrorIsEvil

    “Palestinians” do not dream of a state where their children can prosper – if that were the case, then they would all be living in Jordan (the real “Palestinian State”) or they would have been accepted into one of the many Muslim Arab states where many of their ancestors came from. What the “Palestinians’ dream of is to bomb, kill, maim, run over, and destroy Israel and Israelis and all Jews. Obama wants them to achieve that goal.

    Israelis dream of other things as proven by the great success of that state in a nightmarish sea of despair and hate and Islamists who want to drive them out to satisfy a religious conquest. he more Israel is a success the more the Muslim Arab neighbors descend into a perverse jealousy and heightened religious jihad.

    They need to be put in their place so they cannot do damage and inflict more bloodshed on israel.

  • gzaetz

    Will Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, also criticize the Security Council Resolution during his own confirmation hearing? And even if he does, how can we be sure that it’s not simply self-serving, in view of Mattis’s previous anti-Israel remarks?

  • robert Davis

    The 2 Palestine States already exists they are Israel and Jordan. A third one would destabilize the area it’s not a realistic nor peaceful solution because it would only weaken Israel, give unhealthy hopes to arabs.

  • Peter Joffe

    One thing I can say to the benefit of Tillerson is that he is a true diplomat. Instead of saying that the actions of Obaba are those of a traitor, he simply says that he finds them ‘troubling’? Good for him but stronger language may be necessary and the total shut down of the UN as the next step. We cannot be part of a world body that continually attacks us and our friends. It is always interesting to see the attendance at the UN when Israel speaks or when America speaks about Israel. The Arabs and as now been shown, most of the world do not want to hear.

  • Defeating the BDS movement is a noble priority, if Mr. Tillerson becomes the next U.S. Secretary of State.

  • Carol Bailenson

    Accurate commentary by Tillerson

  • Keith James

    Rex just made the Lobby proud; expect different reality…..

  • Lin Olson

    Good read.