Secretary of State John Kerry’s Speech on Mideast Provokes Israeli and Palestinians Reactions

Time: 10:15 p.m. CEST

Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned several steps or principles for the foundation of a future peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians during the farewell speech at the State Department on December 28.

The essence of Kerry’s speech on Middle East was the relations between Israel and Palestine through the “two-state solution,” which includes “secure and recognized border,” between Israel and the new nation of Palestine.

Kerry, who will depart State Department next month, after the end of the Barack Obama’s presidency said Jerusalem should be one city and as a capital for both states. In the outline Kerry mentioned at the State Department, secretary of state, said the agreement must help refugees and should response to Israel’s security needs.

Kerry refuted the criticism that the recent abstain vote on the resolution in the United States Security Council on Israel settlements, means that the U.S. abandons Israel. Secretary of State said, the United States “did not draft, or originate” the United Nations’ resolution condemning the settlements.

Kerry said the resolution was drafted and introduced by Egypt. “It was possible that if the resolution was balanced, or includes references to incitement and to terrorism that it was be possible to the United States then to not blocked it,” Kerry said. But, as Kerry explained, “we also made crystal clear that the President of the United States would not make final decision about our position, until we saw final text. “

According to Kerry, expansion of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem could lead to “irreversible one-state reality.”

In the farewell speech, Secretary of State Kerry said, “President Obama and I know that the incoming administration said they might take different path and even suggested breaking from longstanding policies on settlements, Jerusalem, and a possibility of a two-state solution. That is for them to decide.”

But, as Kerry stated, “we cannot in good conscience do nothing and say nothing when we see hope of peace sleeping away. “

Kerry’s speech provoked reactions both in Israel and Palestine, with Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuting Kerry’s remarks saying Israel looks forward working with new administration and Congress.


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