Netanyahu lambasts Kerry for ‘biased speech against Israel’

Outgoing US secretary of state John Kerry had warned that Israel's government is driven by an extreme agenda and that its future as a Jewish and democratic state is in jeopardy 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lambasted the US secretary of state for a 'biased' speech against Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lambasted the US secretary of state for a 'biased' speech against Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced a speech by outgoing US secretary of state John Kerry as “biased” against his country.

“Like the Security Council resolution that Secretary Kerry advanced in the UN, his speech tonight was skewed against Israel,” he said in a statement.

He said that Kerry “obsessively dealt” with Israel’s construction of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories, while barely touching upon “the root of the conflict”, which he called: “Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any boundaries”.

“[Kerry] has paid lip service to the unremitting Palestinian campaigns of terrorism against Israel,” Netanyahu said.

On Friday, the US chose not to veto a UN Security Council resolution that called for an end to the construction of Israeli settlements in Palestinian land. The issue of Jewish settlements is one of the most contentious between Israel and the Palestinians, who view them as an obstacle to peace and the future creation of a Palestinian state. Over 500,000 Jews live in around 150 settlements that were built since Israel’s 1987 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, but Israel contests this.

In his speech on Wednesday, Kerry insisted that UN condemnation of illegal Jewish settlements was in line with American values, despite Israel’s claims to the contrary.

“The two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state. That future is now in jeopardy,” he said.

“The Israeli prime minister publicly supports a two-state solution, but his current coalition is the most right-wing in Israeli history with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements.

“The result is that policies of this government, which the prime minister himself just described as more committed to settlements than any in Israel’s history, are leading in the opposite direction. They are leading towards one state.”

US-President elect Donald Trump earlier tweeted his support for Israel, saying he would not allow the country to be treated with “disdain and disrespect” and urging it to “stay strong” until he assumed office next month.

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