WASHINGTON — A top official in Israel’s West Bank settler movement has dismissed John Kerry’s Mideast speech as a “eulogy to the two-state solution.”
Oded Revivi, the chief foreign envoy of the Yesha settlers’ council, says Kerry’s address had no new ideas and was a “self-serving legacy speech” that ignored Israeli security needs.
“There is no moral equivalence between Israeli building and Arab bombing,” said Revivi. “Israeli homes do not pose a threat to peace, Palestinian terror does.”
He says Israel cannot allow a “potential terror state” to be established on its front step.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office also denounced the Secretary of State’s policy speech, saying it was “skewed against Israel” and “obsessively” focuses on Israeli settlements.
Netanyahu’s office says the speech “barely touched upon the root of the conflict — Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any boundaries.”
In a policy speech on Wednesday at the State Department, Kerry warned that Israel’s continued construction of settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem are undermining hopes for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Yaakov Peri, a former chief of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency, on Wednesday praised what he called Kerry’s “balanced speech, based on reality and facts.”
Peri, a member of the centrist opposition Yesh Atid party, and whose words should carry significant weight given his experience battling Palestinian militants, says the secretary of state drew attention to the “harsh and dramatic consequences” of a single bi-national state.
Kerry outlined a series of principles he says could form the basis of a future peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians, with the likely participation of the United States. He says that there must be a two-state solution that includes a “secure and recognized border” between Israel and the new nation of Palestine. He also says an agreement must help Palestinian refugees, designate Jerusalem as a capital for both states and satisfy Israel’s security needs.
Kerry added that the United States “did not draft or originate” the UN resolution condemning the settlements, “nor did we put it forward” in the UN.
Kerry is leaving office next month along with President Barack Obama and made the proposals as part of a farewell speech at the State Department on Wednesday.
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