With the Obama administration coming to an end, John Kerry, the outgoing Secretary of State, sternly rebuked Tel Aviv over its settlements. He also warned that such actions will risk the two state solutions to Israel’s long running conflict with Palestinians.
Principles to administer by
The Secretary of State asked both Palestinians and Israelis to take steps which show their commitment to two-state solution, like compliance with Oslo Accords. He laid out six principles which he believed will guide a number of future negotiations. The principles cover secure borders for both Palestine and Israel, a doable solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees and also the establishment of Jerusalem as the international capital of both Israel and Palestine.
Kerry acknowledged that the coming Trump administration may adopt a different approach than what is being done by the Obama government. President Barack Obama has studiously avoided efforts to lay out peace terms at the United Nations Security Council. It also made clear that the United States will not provide recognition to a Palestinian state sans any negotiated agreement.
Trump indicated, in breach of protocol, that change was imminent. He tweeted that Israel should not be treated with such disrespect and disdain. He said that the country was once an excellent friend of the United States, but not anymore. The President-Elect added that the US deal with Iran was the start of the end and the UN vote further disrupted US-Israeli relations. He ended with the words that Israel should stay strong until January 20. Incidentally, Trump ascends the Presidency on that date.
Kerry defended the decision taken by the United States to abstain from voting- not veto- a particular United Nations resolution. This specific resolution condemns Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and West Bank. It aims to preserve “two-state solution”. The Secretary of State termed this action as the sole solution to achieve lasting and just peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, fired back. He mocked Kerry’s speech in his statement. He said that the Secretary of State and through him the Obama administration was “skewed against Israel”. He said that the Secretary of State talked obsessively about settlements and hardly touched the origin of conflict- the opposition of Palestine to Jewish state irrespective of any boundaries. The Israeli premier was clear in his support for the coming Donald J. Trump administration.