In the spirit of giving, the Obama administration on Wednesday offered a parting gift to its longest-standing ally in the Middle East.

Wrapped in a cloak of controversy following the administration’s abstension from a United Nations vote to end Jewish settlement building on occupied Palestinian territory, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a surprise lecture to Israeli leaders about the importance of peace and a two-state solution.

“If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace,” he said in a sharp 72-minute address from Foggy Bottom.

After a turbulent eight-year relationship between the Obama White House and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it seemed the administration had finally and unabashedly let its simmering anger boil into the public sphere.

“There’s obviously areas where the U.S. can disagree with Israel, and you can do that behind closed doors and work toward a solution. But what this did is embolden enemies of Israel,” Congressman Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., told the Washington Examiner.

Kinzinger and bipartisan critics of the current administration’s posture toward Israel described Kerry’s blunt speech as “dangerous” and “unneccessary.” Some characterized it as a deliberate attempt by the current administration to damage U.S.-Israel relations before President-elect Trump takes the reins.

“There doesn’t seem any purpose to this other than to embarrass Israel,” Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Comittee, said in an interview with the New York Times. “It just pained me to watch it.”

For Netanyahu, Kerry’s speech was a “big disappointment” — much like the U.N. Security Council resolution that preceded it. But even more so, it was taken as one last act of betrayal by a president who feigned friendship while negotiating a nuclear deal that Netanyahu had personally warned U.S. lawmakers against supporting, and who repeatedly waded into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among other grievances.

Even Democrats have recognized that Obama bears a certain degree of responsbility for souring a once-robust U.S. alliance with Israel. “The Obama White House-Bibi relationship is obviously deteriorating to the point of no return,” Stuart Eizenstat, a former Clinton administration official, wrote to Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy adviser in an email released by WikiLeaks this summer.

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“It is more poisonous than [any] U.S.-Israeli relationship in my lifetime,” he added.

Kinzinger said Obama took “a swipe of personal disagreements” at Netanyahu in the waning days of his presidency, while Netanyahu himself has been especially critical of the outgoing president’s last-minute actions.

Calling Kerry’s remarks “unbalanced,” Netanyahu said the top diplomat “paid lip service to the unremitting campaign of terrorism that has been waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish State for nearly a century” and spent “most [of] his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace by passionately condemning a policy of enabling Jews to live in their historic homeland and in their eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

The Israeli prime minister’s scathing rebuttal came just days after his administration claimed to have “rather hard” evidence that Obama orchestrated the security council resolution, an allegation Kerry dismissed as a “conspiracy” theory.

But Netanyahu has also made clear in anticipation of Obama’s exit that despite the now-strained ties between Israel and the U.S., his administration is eager to work with Trump and anticipates the bilateral relationship will grow stronger under the incoming Republican president’s leadership.

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“It appears to me that once Trump is sworn in, the two administrations will have as close a relationship as they ever have,” GOP campaign veteran Rick Tyler told the Examiner. “[Netanyahu] has stated unequivocally that he is looking forward to working with President Trump and he has essentially slammed the door shut on the Obama administration. It’s over.”

Kinzinger said the “late nature” of the White House’s recent actions toward Israel and the intense rift that has resulted may allow the incoming administration to swiftly repair relations between the U.S. and its top Mideast ally because what has transpired may not be as “deep-seated” as it would have been a year ago.

“The effect would be extremely damaging if the president had had the audacity to do this earlier, but I think the fact that he’s out in a month will limit the damage and make it less difficult for President Trump to restore relations,” he said.

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