New Clash with Israel: Kerry Rips 'Settler Agenda' in Speech Defending UN Vote; Israeli PM Punches Back
A defiant Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday defended the U.S. decision allowing the United Nations to condemn Israeli settlements, while lashing out at the so-called “settler agenda” which he claimed is hurting prospects for peace – in a wide-ranging speech that inflamed tensions with Israel and drew a swift rebuke from the prime minister.
During a farewell speech at the State Department, Kerry explained the U.N. decision in his most extensive terms yet. He said it was about preserving the two-state solution, which he called the only way to a “just and lasting peace.”
“That future is now in jeopardy,” he warned.
A U.S. abstention on the U.N. Security Council resolution calling Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem a violation of international law allowed the measure to pass Friday – and sent the already-turbulent relationship between the Obama and Netanyahu governments into its rockiest stretch yet.