Secretary Kerry Remarks on the Middle East and Arab-Israeli Negotiations

In the aftermath of UNSC Resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlement construction, Secretary Kerry publically blames Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank for being the major barrier to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Otherwise, optimistic about policies, Kerry strikes a particularly blustery and pessimistic tone. “No one,” he says, “thinking seriously about peace can ignore the reality of what the settlements pose to that peace.” Israeli PM Netanyahu categorizes the speech as a “big disappointment,” arguing that Kerry fails to note, the “Palestinian failure to recognize [Israel as] a Jewish state.” He adds, “The entire Middle East is going up in flames, entire countries are toppling, terrorism is raging and for an entire hour the secretary of state attacks the only democracy in the Middle East [Israel]…” In its last official month, the Obama-Netanyahu relationship is ending with passionately mutual exasperation. Source