“Settlement expansion has nothing to do with Israeli security,” Kerry stated, blaming the Netanyahu government for the lack of progress towards a two-state solution and defending the US abstention from a vote on an anti-Israel resolution at the UN, allowing it to pass.
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the US abstention on an anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution that was passed last Friday, saying the Obama administration did not betray Israel and in fact acted in accordance with American and Israeli democratic values by opposing “settler expansion.”
“We did not take this decision lightly,” he said in an address Wednesday at the State Department. “It’s important to note that every United States administration…. has opposed settlements,” and the action at the Security Council “is far from unprecedented.”
“Throughout his administration, President Obama has been deeply committed to Israel and its security. And that commitment has guided his pursuit of peace in the Middle East,” Kerry claimed.
The resolution, he continued, “was about preserving the two-state solution,” which, he insisted, “is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
“In literally hundreds of conversations,” Netanyahu was warned against the settlements, Kerry said. “Yet the settlement activity only increased,” he added, slamming Israel for continuing its “occupation of Palestinian lands.”
Kerry criticized the incitement to terror under the Palestinian Authority. “The murderers of innocents are still glorified on Fatah websites, including showing attackers next to Palestinian leaders after terrorist attacks,” he said.
He also rebuked Hamas for seeking the destruction of the Jewish states as well as using funds meant for civilians in Gaza for weapons to attack Israel.
Yet despite the PA’s glorification of terror and incitement coupled with Hamas attacks from Gaza, which he acknowledged, Kerry’s complaints about the lack of progress towards a just and lasting peace were mainly focused on Israel and the Jewish communities in “occupied” eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
Notwithstanding the profound security threats emanating from the PA-run territories and Gaza, Kerry insisted that “settlement expansion has nothing to do with Israeli security.”
“The settler agenda is defining the future of Israel,” he declared, adding criticism of the Regulation Bill, a proposed law now under consideration in the Knesset, which would legalize a number of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
Kerry headed a revival of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that began in July 2013 and collapsed in April 2014, when the PA formed a unity government with Hamas, which was short-lived.
By: Atara Beck, World Israel News