AIPAC Statement on Secretary Kerry's Speech

press@aipac.org
(202) 697-5200
December 28, 2016
AIPAC Statement on 
Secretary Kerry's Speech

Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech today was a failed attempt to defend the indefensible.  

Contrary to Secretary of State Kerry's address today, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution that the administration unconscionably failed to block was unfair, unbalanced and represented a profound departure from the policies of previous Democratic and Republican administrations for nearly the past forty years. Secretary Kerry placed overwhelming, disproportionate blame for the failure to advance peace on our ally, Israel, while neglecting numerous Israeli peace offers and Palestinian refusal to resume direct talks. 

Any potential, positive contribution from this speech was foreclosed by the Obama Administration's shameful refusal to veto the destructive, anti-Israel UNSC resolution. By abstaining, and thereby allowing the resolution to pass, the outgoing administration not only betrayed a democratic ally and abandoned a forty-year understanding, but it also made the goal of peace more elusive by undermining direct talks, reinterpreting UN Security Council Resolution 242, and providing the recalcitrant Palestinian leadership with further incentive not to compromise or negotiate.

Over the past eight years, Israel has repeatedly tried to advance the negotiations process, including the imposition of a settlement freeze and the release of convicted Palestinian terrorists-- a step that was deeply difficult for the Israeli people.  In response, the Palestinians made no significant gesture to advance the cause of peace.  Yet, the intransigence of the Palestinian leadership is now being rewarded by the administration and others through destructive resolutions and counterproductive attempts to internationalize the conflict.

Instead of allowing outside parties to irresponsibly set out their own terms, conditions or parameters for an agreement, the United States should pressure the Palestinian leadership to return to the negotiating table with the Israelis-- the appropriate venue to forge a lasting resolution of the conflict and achieve the objective of a two-state solution. As even Secretary Kerry made clear in his speech, it would be wrong to seek to impose conditions or to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.  This is also the approach that has the support from the overwhelming majority of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

AIPAC calls upon the bipartisan congressional majority and the incoming Trump Administration to renounce the recent action taken by this administration and to begin the work of repairing the damage done to the cause of peace and the U.S-Israel relationship. 

 

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