Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired back at U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday after Kerry said a two-state solution to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians “is now in serious jeopardy.”
Netanyahu’s remarks come at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and its ally Israel following the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which demands that Israel cease construction of settlements in land claimed by the Palestinians.
In a televised address, Netanyahu expressed “deep disappointment” with Kerry’s speech, which he said spent a great deal of time “blaming Israel for the lack of peace.”
“Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders,” he said, noting that the U.N. resolution that Kerry defended reflects a “radical shift” in American foreign policy.
Netanyahu praised decades of American support for Israel and the “sense of shared destiny” between the two nations, whose partnership has endured “differences of opinions.”
He said he looks forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump and members of Congress in both parties to “mitigate the damage” caused by the resolution and added that the outgoing Obama administration will not cause further harm to Israel “in its waning days.”
Netanyahu said that he has “incontestable evidence” that the Obama administration was behind the resolution, which he will share with the Trump administration.
The prime minister also said that he seeks “security and peace and prosperity” for the only Jewish state and that the Jewish people have “sought our place under the sun for 3,000 years” and will not be dissuaded from that goal.
TheBlaze previously reported that Kerry denied in a speech Wednesday morning that the Obama administration was behind the resolution. Israel accused the Obama administration of orchestrating the resolution after the United States declined to use its veto power to block the vote.
“Some seem to believe that the U.S. friendship means the U.S. must accept any policy, regardless of our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles — even after urging again and again that the policy must change,” Kerry said. “Friends need to tell each other the hard truths.”
Kerry also said that if Israel chooses to pursue a one-state solution rather than a two-state solution, it will have to choose between its Jewish identity and its democracy.
“If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic,” he said. “It cannot be both.”
President-elect Donald Trump has indicated that his administration will take a different approach to US-Israeli relations.
Netanyahu thanked Trump on Twitter for his “clear-cut support for Israel.”