Top Democratic Lawmakers Mock Kerry’s ‘Settlements’ Speech

Charles Schumer

Even Democrats disagree with the Obama administration’s policies on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, enraged by the betrayal of Israel. 

Democratic lawmakers criticized Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech Wednesday deploring Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria and defending the US abstention from last week’s anti-Israel UN resolution.

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) said his former Senate colleague “seems to have forgotten the history of settlements in Gaza,” referring to Israel’s withdrawal from the area in 2005 and evacuation of close to 9,000 Jewish residents of thriving agricultural communities. The result was a Hamas takeover of the Strip, continuous rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and two full-scale wars.

“This is something that people of all political stripes in Israel vividly remember,” Schumer stated.

He also warned that Kerry’s speech may have “emboldened extremists on both sides.”

After the Obama administration abstained at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) vote, Schumer tweeted that it was “extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the Administration has failed to veto the UN resolution.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) said Kerry reaffirmed America’s commitment to Israel, but she opposed the Obama administration’s decision to abstain at the resolution, thus enabling the UNSC to condemn Israel.

‘Israel’s Enemies Were Strengthened’

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D – MD) criticized Kerry’s address and said the UNSC resolution “will not bring peace closer.”

“I urged the Administration to veto the recently passed UN Security Council resolution regarding Israel and settlements. Unfortunately, they failed to do so, and Israel’s enemies were strengthened,” he stated.

Kerry’s outlining of the parameters of an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority “flies in the face of the United States’ longstanding position that such a formulation should be reached only through negotiations by the parties and not by the United States, the United Nations, or any other third party,” Hoyer continued.

Kerry’s speech “inevitably disadvantaged Israel in any negotiation. The United States must now take steps to signal unequivocally to the entire world that we will continue to stand by our ally Israel as it seeks to build a future of peace and safety as a Jewish state and an equal member of the family of nations,” he said.

President Barack Obama’s move against Israel ran in the face of the vast majority of US senators who signed a letter addressed to him in September, demanding that he continue to ensure the automatic American veto against any unilateral, anti-Israel actions by the UNSC. This has been US policy for years, the bipartisan group of senators – 88 out of 100 – said, adding that such initiatives at the UN may appear to be helpful in the beginning, but they eventually become an obstacle to true peace.

The only way to achieve a just and lasting peace is through “direct negotiations that lead to a sustainable two-state solution,” they wrote.

By: United with Israel Staff and AP

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Source: United with Israel