The British government takes an unprecedented step of criticizing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech for its hyperbolic focus on Israeli settlements and being otherwise, ‘inappropriate.’
A spokesman for UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s government strongly criticized US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, for being overly critical of Israeli settlements during his remarks yesterday on the Middle East peace process.
“We do not believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue, in this case the construction of settlements, when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex,” said the spokesman.
“’And we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally.”
During his address, Kerry accused the current government in Israel for being “the most right-wing in Israeli history with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements” whose policies are responsible for threatening the viability of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
“The result is that policies of this government, which the prime minister himself just described as ‘more committed to settlements than any in Israel’s history,’ are leading in the opposite direction,” Kerry claimed. “They’re leading towards one state.”
The United Kingdom’s criticism of Kerry’s remarks are noteworthy in light of its decision to vote in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which passed unanimously last Friday. The resolution condemns the presence of all Israeli settlements in territories won by Israel from Jordan during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Referring to the UK’s vote last week in the UN Security Council, the spokesman reiterated the UK’s firm support and belief in a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
“We continue to believe that the construction of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is illegal, which is why we supported UN Security Council Resolution 2334 last week,” he said.
“But we are also clear that the settlements are far from the only problem in this conflict. In particular, the people of Israel deserve to live free from the threat of terrorism, with which they have had to cope for too long.”
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