Florida Political Leaders On Both Sides Of The Aisle Slam John Kerry’s Speech On Israel
By Kevin Derby, Sunshine State News // December 29, 2016
'shameful episode in American foreign policy'
(SUNSHINE STATE NEWS) – Members of the Florida congressional delegation with foreign policy portfolios weighed in after U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry offered a major address on the Middle East on Wednesday.
In his speech, Kerry took aim at Israeli settlements in territory disputed by the Palestinians. Last week, the U.S. refused to veto a UN resolution insisting the settlements were “illegal.” The Obama administration abstained on the vote.
“The status quo is leading toward one state and perpetual occupation,” Kerry insisted on Wednesday.
From his perch on the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., fired back at Kerry.
“Secretary Kerry once again decided to cater to the demands of freedom’s enemies and devote an entire speech to disparaging a country that is one of our closest allies,” Rubio said.
“This administration’s shameful undermining of our moral standing in the world should be a warning to administrations for decades to come about the consequences of America abandoning our values. When we fail to take a stand against those that seek to deny Israel’s right to exist or try to question the Jewish history of Jerusalem, we hurt not just Israel but our own credibility.
“The greatest immediate threat to the future of Israel is not a stalled peace process, or settlements, but the abandonment of the Jewish state by the current U.S. administration at a time when it needs America’s support more than ever,” Rubio added before noting that President-elect Donald Trump would be far more friendly to Israel. Trump has taken to Twitter in recent days, criticizing the UN vote and Kerry’s speech.
“I look forward to working with President-elect Trump and his incoming team to restore our relationship with Israel to its proper place,” Rubio said.
“I intend to continue to work with my colleagues to fight alarming efforts by those in the United States and internationally to promote modern day anti-Semitism through the boycott and divestment movement. I will also work to ensure that if the United Nations wants to continue to promote anti-Semitism and anti-Israel views, it will do so without U.S. taxpayer funding.
“This shameful episode in American foreign policy cannot end soon enough,” Rubio concluded.
— Carlos Lopez-Cantera (@LopezCantera) December 23, 2016
On other side of the aisle, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the top Democrat on the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, also continued to oppose the UN resolution.
“Secretary Kerry spoke with specificity during a small part of his speech today about the impediments to peace caused by Palestinian incitement, the glorification of murder on Fatah websites, the naming of streets and squares after terrorists, and Palestinian efforts to delegitimize Israel,” Deutch said.
“Unfortunately, the ‘all sides must fight terrorism’ language in the one-sided UNSC Resolution he defended did no such thing, which is why the United States should have vetoed it. Peace and the hope for a two state solution will only come with both parties at the negotiating table. That was true Friday at the Security Council, and it is still true today.”