Secretary of State John Kerry is under fire for his blunt speech, taking aim at the Israeli government-with criticism, not only congressional Republicans but also from members of his own party.
The skeptics Secretary of state used a speech Wednesday to defend the decision of the Obama administration for a waiver on a U. N. Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem a violation of international law. The abstention allowed the measure to pass on Friday angered the Israelis and drawing a strong rebuke from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
That abstention was, however, by a number of Democratic lawmakers, including incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY., as well as Sens. Ron Wyden, D-ore., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Chris Coons, D-Del., Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., Rep. and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.
In his speech, the abstaining, Kerry condemned what he hurt as a “settler agenda,” he claimed, defended the prospects for peace.
“Friends are the hard truths to tell each other, and friendship requires mutual respect,” Kerry said. He called the current government the “right wing” in the history of Israel and claims its agenda is ” driven by the extremes of the elements.”
Kerry’s speech was immediately met with a fresh wave of criticism from Republicans, with the President-elect, Donald Trump tweeted: “We can’t continue to run Israel is treated with such total disdain and disrespect.”
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., also a Problem with the output:
“Secretary Kerry’s speech today was at best a meaningless rant in the last days of the outgoing administration. In the worst case, it was another dangerous eruption, the further Israel’s diplomatic isolation, and encourage his enemies,” he said.
But Kerry’s words were also criticized by senior members of his own party, with Schumer extremism, accusing him of emboldening.
“While Secretary Kerry mentioned, in Gaza, in his speech, he seems to have forgotten, the history of the settlements in Gaza, where the Israeli government forced the settlers to withdraw from all the settlements, and the Palestinians responded by saying rockets into Israel, send it,” Schumer.
“Although he may have not wanted to do that, I’m afraid, Secretary Kerry, in his speech and action at the [United Nations], encouraged the extremists on both sides.”
Some high-profile Democrats like house Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., supports Kerry. Pelosi called Kerry’s speech “a reaffirmation of America’s commitment to a secure, Jewish and democratic Israel and a state for the Palestinians.”
But Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY., accused of beating Kerry, to Israel, while the dismissal of the Palestinians.
“The two-state solution is the only way to peace, but what Secretary Kerry did was just to beat up on Israel in a disproportionate manner [and] kind of gloss over the terrorism: the Palestinians in these years,” Engel, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Fox and friends Thursday.
Angel also said he would be willing to work with President-elect Trump on the strengthening of the U.S. relationship with Israel in the future.
“I think that the support for Israel in Congress, the non-partisan, and must remain, non-partisan, and when President trump is working with us to Israel, I am perfectly satisfied with the President of the United States,” he said.
Other Democrats made positive comments about the speech, while also considering the continuation of their opposition to the abstention. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., he said shared a number of Kerry’s concerns, and in particular the lack of progress in the case of a two-state solution, but said, “I am still disappointed by the Obama Administration’s decision not to veto the UN security Resolution 2334 last week.”
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also cautious support for Kerry ‘ s speech during the repetition of his opposition to the absention.
“The United States has a role to play to help both parties have the goal of lasting peace, even if it means that the highlighting of inconvenient facts on the ground, did as Secretary of state Kerry. Nevertheless, I continue to believe that the U. N. security Council is the wrong forum for criticizing the Israeli policy,” he said in a statement.