A former Israeli ambassador to the United States says Secretary of State John Kerry showed “no leadership” in his speech on Israel-Palestine relations on Wednesday, while a Republican member of Congress called it “disastrous.”

Danny Ayalon, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2002 to 2005, said Kerry’s speech, while extensive, provided no new solutions and no real path forward for peace in the region.

“No leadership, trying more of the same, which has been a failure for the last 23 years,” Ayalon said on CNN Wednesday.

Kerry’s 70-minute address from Foggy Bottom on the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations was an often angry message from the administration to the Israeli government that settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must stop. He said those settlements are making a two-state solution in the region untenable and peace is becoming less likely.

The United States did not veto a United Nations Security Council vote last week declaring the settlements illegal, which has caused an uproar among Israel supporters.

Ayalon said Kerry’s speech was spent outlining the crisis and past arguments for the two-state solution but “a peace will not come from outlining these points.”

He added that the speech never mentioned the nuclear deal with Iran, the source of so much strain between the United States and Israel in recent years.

“It was detached from the geopolitical environment of the region,” he said. “Something has happened in the region in the last six years. There was no mention of the deal with Iran, which jeopardizes the security of Israel.”

Republican lawmakers immediately called the speech a failure, with one congressman labeling it a disaster.

Kerry: Russian cyberattacks had 'profound impact' on election

Also from the Washington Examiner

Kerry declined to address President-elect Trump’s criticism of the administration’s stance on Israel.

12/28/16 1:20 PM

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said Kerry showed “willful ignorance” that will be damaging to American security.

“Secretary John Kerry’s disastrous speech today at the State Department reveals willful ignorance putting Israeli and American families at risk of more terrorist attacks,” Wilson said. “If President Obama and Secretary Kerry wanted to promote peace they should have vetoed the UN Security Council Resolution. Their betrayal of our ally, Israel, undermines the peace process.”

He cited President-elect Trump’s signaling toward Israel in recent days, promising more support from the United States, as a beacon of change coming soon.

“Fortunately, positive change will come January 20th with President-elect Donald Trump,” Wilson said. “His selection of Gov. Nikki Haley as UN ambassador is more important than ever to stand strong with Israel for peace and democracy.”

A top Senate Republican slammed Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on Israeli-Palestinian relations as a “pie in sky” proposal by an administration whose work in the Middle East is discredited.

Take a break from politics: Part 2

Also from the Washington Examiner

If you voted for President-elect Trump, a Huffington Post editor wrote, “we can’t be friends any longer.”

12/28/16 1:15 PM

“Kerry believes third parties can compel Middle East fix those most directly effected (sic) don’t agree to,” said Texas Sen. John Cornyn said. “More pie-in-sky by Obama administration.”

Another Republican senator, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said Kerry’s speech was a recipe for more pain, not peace.

“The ‘path to peace’ laid out today by Secretary Kerry would actually bring the exact opposite – it is a path to pain,” Scott said. “This whole charade is putting Israel at a huge disadvantage in peace negotiations, and needlessly tests our nation’s relationship with a critical ally in a volatile part of the world. With three weeks left in this administration, it is absolutely ridiculous that they would choose to continue antagonizing Israel.”

He added, “I strongly believe that next month we will make it clear to the world that the United States stands with Israel, and that our decades-long friendship is solid.”

Other Republican leaders also slammed Kerry’s speech, with Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, saying he was playing the Jewish community for fools.

Brooks said the decision to abstain from the Security Council vote was one last shot at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the Obama administration on its way out the door.

“Their recent actions at the United Nations did nothing more than allow President Obama to take a parting shot at Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu, while at the same time creating new roadblocks to peace,” he said in a statement. “True peace in the region cannot be achieved by isolating Israel in the international community, but rather can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

John Kerry rips Israel in speech advocating two-state solution

Top Story

‘We cannot defend and protect Israel if we allow a viable two-state solution to be destroyed’

12/28/16 11:55 AM

Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply