Oh my: British PM Theresa May in 'unprecedented' attack on US over Kerry speechblistering rebuke of US Secretary of State John Kerry's ranting attack on Israel on Wednesday.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said it was inappropriate of Mr Kerry, America's top diplomat, to attack the make-up of the democratically-elected Israeli government – a key ally of both the US and Britain.
Downing Street also rebuked Mr Kerry for focusing on the single issue of Israeli settlements and not the whole conflict.
Intervening in the increasingly hostile international dispute today, a spokesman for the British Prime Minister said: '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.
'And we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally.'
'The Government believes that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between the two parties, supported by the international community.'
It echoes Mr Netanyahu's riposte yesterday when he accused the US Secretary of State of being skewed against Israel' and talking 'obsessively' about settlements.Mind you, Britain was one of the 14 countries that voted in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 last Friday, so why are they now attacking Kerry?
Apparently because they think he went too far.
And Britain is not the only country who went after Kerry today. So did Australia's Julie Bishop.
In a statement released on Thursday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australia was not currently a member of the Security Council and was not eligible to vote on the resolution.
However, she said, "in voting at the UN, the Coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel".
She urged both sides to refrain from steps that damage the prospect for peace and to "resume direct negotiations for a two-state solution as soon as possible".Meanwhile, in the US, it's not just President Elect Donald Trump who has been tweeting up a storm in support of Israel. So have many Representatives and Senators from Kerry's own party (and of course from the Republican party).
“While he may not have intended it, I fear Secretary Kerry, in his speech and action at the U.N., has emboldened extremists on both sides,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the incoming Senate Democratic leader.
A bipartisan chorus of lawmakers, upset with President Obama’s decision last week to allow the passage of a United Nations resolution condemning Israel’s construction of settlements in disputed territory, made clear that they were looking past the departing administration.
Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said he shared Mr. Kerry’s concerns “with the lack of forward progress on a two-state solution.” But Mr. Cardin also said he was unhappy that Mr. Obama had not vetoed the United Nations resolution, instead abstaining from the vote. He pledged to “explore congressional action that can mitigate the negative implications” of it.
The most ardent supporters of Israel in Congress seemed just as liberated as Mr. Kerry was to let loose.
“Secretary Kerry’s speech today was at best a pointless tirade in the waning days of an outgoing administration,” said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. “At worst, it was another dangerous outburst that will further Israel’s diplomatic isolation and embolden its enemies.”
Representative Eliot L. Engel of New York, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called Mr. Kerry’s speech “gratuitous” and “wrong.” “There doesn’t seem any purpose to this other than to embarrass Israel,” Mr. Engel said. “It just pained me to watch it.”
Democratic members of Congress who are closer to Mr. Kerry, a former senator, and the Obama administration were more measured. Many had been angered by Mr. Netanyahu’s decision last year to accept an invitation from the Republican-led House to deliver a speech in the Capitol, where he confronted the president over the Iran nuclear accord.
Yet even these Democrats — eyeing the arrival of a Republican administration-in-waiting that has vowed strong support for Israel — left little doubt that they were parting ways with Mr. Obama on the substance of the United Nations resolution.
Hopefully the reactions in Congress will keep the Obama administration from saddling Israel with their 'peace plan.' Perhaps this picture says it best.Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, who is facing re-election in 2018, said he knew why Mr. Kerry was frustrated over the settlements, which he called an “impediment toward a negotiated two-state solution.” But he was quick to note that he was among the 88 senators who signed a letter months ago opposing the sort of United Nations resolution on Israel that the Security Council approved last week.