Reactions to Kerry’s Israel/Palestine Speech
by Stephen Lendman
It was too little, too late after eight years of one-sided Obama support for Israel. Kerry offered dishonest lip service alone for long-suffering Palestinians, achieving nothing toward resolving decades of conflict.
Coming in the waning days of Obama’s tenure, his address was meaningless. America’s policy toward Israel remains unchanged, likely hardening under Trump, Palestinian rights ignored entirely.
Netanyahu reacted as expected, calling Kerry “biased,” his speech a “great disappointment.” His office issued a statement, saying “(j)ust like the resolution that John Kerry advanced at the United Nations, the speech he delivered was biased against Israel.”
“For more than an hour Kerry dealt obsessively with the settlements and almost did not touch on the source of the conflict – Palestinian opposition to the existence of a Jewish state with any borders.”
Fact: Israel consistently blames others for its own wrongdoing, its high crimes threatening regional and world peace.
On national television, Netanyahu ranted, saying “(t)his is what the secretary of state has to focus on in one of his final speeches, for an entire hour.”
“The entire Middle East is in flames. Entire countries are collapsing. Terrorism is rampant, and for an entire hour the secretary of state attacks the only democracy in the Middle East maintaining stability, not only for our Jewish and Arab citizens but also contributes to stability in our region.”
“Maybe Kerry hasn’t noticed that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christmas can be celebrated safely and peacefully. This unfortunately doesn’t interest the US Secretary of State.”
What utter rubbish, truth turned on its head, Netanyahu’s arrogance and duplicity clear to see – a thuggish rogue state head, an embarrassment to legitimate governance.
Extremist education minister Naftali Bennett shamelessly said “we will not establish another terrorist state in the heart of (Israel).”
According to Joint (Arab) List MK Ahmad Tibi, Kerry’s speech “will not leave (its) mark in history if the administration does not (officially) recognize” Palestinian statehood before Obama leaves office.
Trump absurdly claimed Israel is treated “very, very unfairly,” adding he’s “very, very strong on Israel,” stopping short of stating a position on continued Israeli settlement expansions.
Separately, he tweeted “(w)e cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the US…”
AIPAC blasted Kerry’s speech, calling it “a failed attempt to defend the indefensible,” adding:
He “placed overwhelming, disproportionate blame for the failure to advance peace on our ally, Israel, while neglecting numerous Israeli peace offers and Palestinian refusal to resume direct talks.”
Fact: Israel rejects peaceful conflict resolution, Palestinian statehood and affording Arabs the same rights as Jews.
Fact: Its longstanding slow-motion genocide policy calls for maximum land with minimum Arabs – furthered by state-sponsored terror.
Reactions from Congress were mixed. Republicans reacted harshly. House Speaker Paul Ryan said after allowing Res. 2334 to pass, affirming the illegality of Israeli settlements, “Kerry has no credibility on Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
Other Republicans accused him of “abandon(ing) Israel,” delivering a “pointless tirade,” a “delusional” effort, a “path to pain,” not peace, a “charade,” a “disastrous (exercise showing) willful ignorance,” embarrassing Israel while looking forward to change once Trump assumes power.
Democrats were largely disappointed, tempering their criticism of Kerry while affirming their support for Israel – ignoring its apartheid ruthlessness.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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