While the U.S. refrained from voting on the UN Resolution to stop the Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on December 23, outgoing U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, in a speech at the State Department on December 28, condemned the Israeli settlement saying that “the two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
U.S. friendship with Israel did not mean that the United States was liable to accept any Israeli policy irrespective of its own interests, positions, and principles, he said.
“Even after urging again and again that the [Israeli] policy must change. Friends need to tell each other the hard truths. And friendships require mutual respect.” He added.
If Israel continued its unlawful policy of annexing Palestinian territory and building settlements in pursuance of its one-state policy it could either be a Jewish State or a Democracy but not both, is what he implied in his more than seventy-minute speech.
“With all the external threat Israel faces today … does it really want an intensifying conflict in the West Bank?” he said. “If Israel goes down the one-state path, it will never have true peace with the Arab world,” Kerry said.
President-elect Donald Trump, on the other hand, who had urged the U.S. to veto the U.N. Resolution against the one-state Israeli policy, told the press reporters that Israel was being given a “very, very unfairly” treatment emphasising that countries that are “horrible places” never get the just admonishment at the Security Council.
The U.S. – Israeli ties reached its nadir after Kerry’s seventy-minute speech, which was basically nothing but a condemnation of Israeli settlement and expansion in Palestinian territories and its one-state policy attracted harsh statements against Kerry and President Obama.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response was: “Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders.”
Kerry in an exclusive interview with NBC News denied Prime Minister Netanyahu’s accusation that the United States orchestrated the UN Resolution condemning Israeli settlements which Netanyahu claimed was not true.
“We have absolute incontestable evidence that the United States organized, advanced, and blocked this resolution to the United Nations Security Council. We’ll share that information with the incoming administration.”
Donald Trump tweeted, “We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but not anymore. The beginning was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!”
Geoffrey Aronson, a specialist in Middle East affairs writes in Aljazeera.com:
“The Obama administration has recorded a singular failure. It is the only US administration since the June 1967 war that has left barren the diplomatic effort to negotiate an end to the occupation.
During eight years of energetic effort, it failed to move Israel to negotiate directly with the PLO, let alone to withdraw from territories occupied almost half a century ago.”