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Kerry speech isn't going to bring Mideast peace

Kerry speech isn't going to bring Mideast peaceā€

The Senate is fast-tracking a resolution to criticize the United Nations for its vote against Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank, with both Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) supporting an implicit rebuke to President Obama.

"I hope that the U.S. administration does not veto the resolution, which is not against Israel, but rather against the annexation and settlement policy of the Israeli government", she wrote on Twitter. In the days following, the two countries traded criticisms, culminating a week later with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saying that settlements pose a "threat" to peace and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issuing a critical response. Preserving the two-state solution for a fourth effort might mean, for now, more modest goals, such as a U.S.

Those words proved prophetic last week when the US abstained from voting on a resolution condemning Israel for its settlement activity while giving only lip service to condemnation of terrorist activity against Israel and its citizens.

Their disapproval marks a notable rebuke of the Obama administration by fellow Democrats just weeks before the 44th president is scheduled to leave office. He explained that the U.S.

Abbott continued: "Of course, there should be a permanent settlement for a Palestinian state where Jews have the same rights as Palestinians have in Israel". This idea is nearly universally accepted as the only possible formula for genuine peace in the region.

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Only the self-deluded think the establishment of a separate Palestinian state will result in peace.

Why worry about this now, Kerry's critics ask, especially when Syria is burning and there are so many other problems in the world? But what Kerry grasped is this: Once the possibility of two states living peacefully side by side is ruled out forever - even in theory - the consequences become risky for Israel.

The delegation met with Israeli and Palestinian officials prior to Christmas. In fact, the very existence of settlements may have been the incentive for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to sign the Oslo Accords in the first place. Kerry's speech was a reminder of the consequences of the settlement policy and the choice it would force on Israel. But the open endorsement of annexation by the settler movement has soured even Israel's allies against the Netanyahu government.

The very notion that Palestinians have a right to land over which they have never in history exerted control seems a stretch, but it's one that much of the world, including the USA under both Democratic and Republican presidents, has accepted at face value.

President Obama's parting shot at the Jewish state a fortnight ago at the U.N. Security Council confirms our worst suspicions about his administration's intentions regarding Israel.

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Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu was furious with the United Nations resolution result. He also alleges that the USA was actually behind the resolution, an assertion that administration officials deny.

"Friends need to tell each other the hard truths and friendships require mutual respect", Kerry said. "We'll share that information with the incoming administration". The idea would be that those settlement blocs would one day be a part of any land swap in a future Middle East peace agreement. Let us hope it does not set it back too far.

That is no doubt true.

The governance of Jerusalem is at the core of the decades-long global dispute centred around competing land claims made by Israel and Palestine.

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