Obama’s Anti-Israel Move Backfires Big Time As John Kerry Gets Caught In The Crosshairs
If you were a liberal and you wanted to pretend still that the Obama administration has Israel’s back — in spite of what happened at the United Nations Security Council last week — the events of this week have turned your argument to dust.
And if you’re a conservative and you want to point to an issue that provides a unifying cry for both Democrats and Republicans as the Trump administration takes shape, these same events have given you just that.
Barack Obama and John Kerry and their anti-Israel allies must be beside themselves.
In a widely-criticized speech, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States had abstained from the now-infamous Security Council vote to condemn Israeli settlements because the administration believed it was the only way to preserve the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. He also said that, at present, “Israel can either be Jewish or democratic,” but not both.
Now, Kerry faces a backlash from several of the more prominent lawmakers in Congress, including two Republicans whom President-elect Donald Trump will count on to move his agenda.
In his speech which ripped the “settler agenda” and largely blamed Israel for the continuing controversy involving the disputed territory, Kerry defended the U.N. resolution, which condemned the Jewish state for settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. While the U.N. vote doesn’t demand any immediate action, it could be detrimental to Israel in future negotiations, according to CNN.
Kerry’s speech sparked an immediate rebuke from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Like the Security Council resolution that Secretary John Kerry advanced in the UN, his speech tonight was skewed against Israel,” Netanyahu said in a written statement, according to Fox News. “For over an hour, Kerry obsessively dealt with settlements and barely touched upon the root of the conflict — Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any boundaries.”
While Kerry made the self-righteous claim that “no American administration has done more for Israeli security than Barack Obama’s,” he stayed relatively quiet on one of the most contentious issues: reports that the Obama administration worked with the Palestinian Authority to help shape and shepherd the resolution through the U.N. An Israeli TV show reported on a meeting between Secretary John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and two top Palestinian Authority officials.
Then, consider the condescending language John Kerry used about Israel’s Jewish heritage. Imagine if he had said this about an Islamic government? The outrage among the left would be palpable. But here… silence.
No silence, though, from two of the two most prominent Republicans on Capital Hill — Sen. Ted Cruz and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“America is an unshakable friend of (Israel), and we are horrified at what has transpired this week,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said in a Facebook statement after Kerry’s speech.
“I believe Obama’s and Kerry’s shameful conduct will backfire. That it will be short-lived, and will inspire a bipartisan repudiation of their radical anti-Israel agenda.
“All Americans who understand the value of the U.S.-Israel alliance must immediately and unequivocally reject their false and dangerous narrative, and reassert our fundamental commitment to Israel’s security,” he continued. “Thankfully, Congress and the incoming administration can and I hope will take decisive action to intercept the administration’s final and desperate Hail Mary, and that should begin with eliminating U.S. funding to the U.N., unless and until this disgraceful resolution is reversed.”
Cruz had previously called for defunding the United Nations in a statement issued after the Israel vote.
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, however, was far more succinct.
“After allowing this anti-Israel resolution to pass the U.N., Secretary Kerry has no credibility to speak on Israeli-Palestinian peace,” Ryan said in a tweet.
And it wasn’t just Republicans rebuking Kerry for his speech, either. Rep. Eliot L. Engel of New York is the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He had harsh words for Kerry as well, according to The New York Times.
“There doesn’t seem any purpose to this other than to embarrass Israel,” Rep. Engel said. “It just pained me to watch it.”
And now the calls to withhold U.S. funding from the United Nations are percolating on Capital Hill as well.
The reality is, in less than a month, lawmakers like Sen. Cruz and Rep. Ryan will have a far different kind of leader in the executive branch who, by all indications, agrees with them.
Until then, though, Israel is still at risk.
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