Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Wednesday’s speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, calling it biased against the Jewish state.
“Secretary Kerry paid lip service to the unremitting campaign of terrorism that has been waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish state for nearly a century,” Netanyahu said. “What he did was to spend 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.”
Netanyahu’s remarks followed Kerry’s attempt to justify the U.S.’s decision to allow passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel over settlements in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank.
Kerry accused the Netanyahu government of being “the most right-wing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements.” Pursuit of that agenda would, Kerry said, lead to the abandonment of a two-state solution.
“Despite our best efforts over the years, the two-state solution is now in serious jeopardy. The truth is, that trends on the ground, violence, terrorism, incitement, settlement expansion and the seemingly endless occupation, they are combining to destroy hopes for peace on both sides and increasingly cementing an irreversible one-state reality that most people do not actually want,” Kerry said.
Netanyahu pushed back, saying the international community is in no position to dictate terms to Israel.
“Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders. Israel’s hand has been extended in peace to its neighbors from day one, from its very first day. We’ve prayed for peace. We’ve worked for it every day since then,” he said.
The conflict between Palestinians and Israel “has always been about Israel’s right to exist,” Netanyahu said, noting that the core barrier to peace is the “persistent Palestinian rejection of Israel. How can you make peace with someone who rejects your very existence?” Continue Reading