John Kerry’s Final, Harmful Insult to Israel

kerryIn the Obama administration’s waning days, global challenges to American interests abound. In Syria, which will be a bloody stain on the reputations of Barack Obama and John Kerry, the killing continues. The effort to free Mosul from ISIS is slowing. The rise of Iranian influence in the Gulf and the Levant, of China in Asia and the western Pacific, and of Putin’s Russia in both Europe and the Middle East, all continue. One might have thought any of these could be the subject of a final address by the president or the secretary of state.

But one would have been wrong. John Kerry delivered what is probably the last major speech of the Obama administration Wednesday, and its subject was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and especially the growth of Israeli settlements. So the Obama administration ends where it began: obsessed with Israelis and Palestinians as if their struggle were the key to peace in the entire region, and with construction of homes in settlements and in Jerusalem as if it were the major roadblock to a peace agreement.

In a speech that was remarkable for its length, its defensive and even whiny tone, its attack on the government of Israel, a
nd for its lack of new ideas, Kerry tried to explain both last week’s failure to veto a UN Security Council resolution and eight years of failed Obama policy. His central argument was that the two-state solution is essential, is possible, and is being destroyed by Israeli settlements. The administration did not veto the resolution, he said, because it was balanced: It rebuked Israel for settlement expansion but also rebuked the Palestinians for incitement.

Read More at: Weekly Standard

Top Senate Democrat mocks Kerry after keynote Israel speech

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NEW YORK — Chuck Schumer, the senior US senator from New York likely to become the next Senate Minority Leader, issued a scathing statement on Wednesday night rebuking US Secretary of State John Kerry over his closing remarks on Middle East peace.

Kerry delivered a speech earlier in the day that lasted over an hour, in which he warned that a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians was in grave jeopardy. Much of his speech focused on Israel’s settlement activity in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem, which he characterized as creating an “irreversible one-state reality.”

“While Secretary Kerry mentioned Gaza in his speech, he seems to have forgotten the history of the settlements in Gaza, where the Israeli government forced settlers to withdraw from all settlements and the Palestinians responded by sending rockets from Gaza into Israel,” Schumer said, seemingly mocking the outgoing secretary of state. “This is something that people of all political stripes in Israel vividly remember.”

“While he may not have intended it, I fear Secretary Kerry, in his speech and action at the UN, has emboldened extremists on both sides,” Schumer added.

Schumer last week was harshly critical of the Obama administration for choosing to abstain from a vote on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s settlement enterprise, allowing it to pass.

He has butted heads with the administration on Israel-related matters in the past, specifically when he came out against the president’s signature foreign policy item: A nuclear deal reached between Iran and international powers.

Read more at: Jerusalem Post

‘A pointless tirade’: GOP lawmakers dismissive of Kerry’s Israel address

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Republican members of Congress ganged up on the Obama administration’s attitude toward Israel following Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on the Jewish state’s relationship with Palestinians Wednesday.

The negative reaction to the speech was unanimous among Republican lawmakers, with some calling it “disastrous.” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said it could generously be described as “a pointless tirade.”

“Secretary Kerry’s speech today was at best a pointless tirade in the waning days of an outgoing administration. At worst, it was another dangerous outburst that will further Israel’s diplomatic isolation and embolden its enemies,” McCain said.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said he favors a two-state solution, much like Kerry, but doesn’t believe the American government has the right to dictate that solution to the Israelis.

Instead, the fixes to the problems in the Middle East must come from the ground up, he said.

“Public lectures against Israel and UN resolutions attacking Israel do not aid the cause of peace,” McCain said. “They only provide those seeking Israel’s destruction a convenient excuse to blame Israel for their own intransigence.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said “like bitter clingers, President Obama and Secretary Kerry are spending every last minute of this administration wreaking havoc domestically and abroad.”

“These acts are shameful,” Cruz said. “They are designed to secure a legacy, and indeed they have: history will record and the world will fully understand Obama and Kerry as relentless enemies of Israel. Their actions were designed to weaken and marginalize Israel, and to embolden its enemies.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called Kerry’s proposals for peace in the Middle East “fanciful,” if not “delusional.”

Read more at: Washington Examiner

CUFI Action Alert Drives Thousands of Emails Calling on President to Veto Anti-Israel UNSC Resolution

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Members, leaders of nation’s largest pro-Israel group speak with one voice in support of Israel

SAN ANTONIO – On Thursday evening, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization, launched an action alert urging President Obama to veto an impending anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution. The alert has already generated nearly 13,000 emails.

In part, the emails to the White House state, “Peace cannot be imposed by the UN. And peace will not come from biased resolutions that single out only one side to the conflict. Peace can come only from direct negotiations.”

Leaders of CUFI and the CUFI Action Fund issued statements on the subject as well.

“By an overwhelming margin the American people want their President to stand with Israel at the UN.  If he does not do that today, he betrays his own past statements, the will of the Congress and the very people he purports to represent,” said CUFI founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee.

“Pres. Obama must veto this one-sided resolution.  If the Palestinians believe that they can get what they want from the UN without having to make any concessions to Israel, they will never return to the negotiating table that they’ve already abandoned.  Whatever Pres. Obama’s intentions, a failure to veto this resolution will signify the end of the peace process,” noted David Brog, a member of the CUFI Board of Directors.

“It would be sad and shameful if Pres. Obama and Sec. Kerry chose in the closing days of their Administration to undermine Israel and encourage its enemies – enemies who still refuse to recognize the Jewish state’s right to exist,” added Gary Bauer, Washington Director of the CUFI Action Fund.

With more than 3.2 million members, Christians United for Israel is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world. CUFI spans all fifty states and reaches millions with its message. Each year CUFI holds hundreds of pro-Israel events in cities around the country. And each July, thousands of pro-Israel Christians gather in Washington, D.C. to participate in the CUFI Washington Summit and make their voices heard in support of Israel and the Jewish people.