UK, Australia rebuke Kerry: Quit blaming lack of progress entirely on settlements
While Britain voted for the UN resolution that so angered Netanyahu and says that settlements in the occupied territories are illegal, a spokesman for May said that it was clear that the settlements were far from the only problem in the conflict.
In an unusually sharp public rebuke of Obama’s top diplomat, May’s spokesman said that Israel had coped for too long with the threat of terrorism and that focusing only on the settlements was not the best way to achieve peace between Jew and Arab.
London also took particular issue with Kerry’s description of Netanyahu’s coalition as “the most right-wing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by its most extreme elements.”
“We do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally,” May’s spokesman said when asked about Kerry 70-minute speech in the State Department’s auditorium.
The UK cast a vote in support of UN Security Council resolution 2334 which declared Israeli settlements illegal, an effort coached by the US.
A spokesman for Theresa May explained that the UK’s position has been consistent on the point of settlements, but that Kerry’s speech was unbalanced and unrealistic: A spokesman for the 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.” …
“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. 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.”
The State Department responded by calling itself “surprised” over May’s remarks.GO READ THE WHOLE THING.
AND THEN THERE'S THIS: