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Kerry hasn’t cleared his throat, and Trump and Hoyer are jumping down it

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The live-stream for Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech at 11 AM this morning on Middle East peace is here.

Donald Trump is already trolling the Obama administration on the speech:

It was appreciated:

How’s this for loyalty to the team? House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer is joining with Trump to urge Kerry to tone it down, and do nothing to “disadvantage Israel” but signal unequivocally, we stand by the Jewish state!

“I urged the Administration to veto the recently passed U.N. Security Council resolution regarding Israel and settlements. Unfortunately, they failed to do so, and Israel’s enemies were strengthened…

“Now, it is my understanding that Secretary Kerry, in the last few days of this Administration, intends to outline the parameters of an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This flies in the face of the United States’s longstanding position that such a formulation should be reached only through negotiations by the parties and not by the United States, the United Nations, or any other third party.

“I urge Secretary Kerry and the Administration not to set forth a formula, which will inevitably disadvantage Israel in any negotiation. The United States must now take steps to signal unequivocally to the entire world that we will continue to stand by our ally Israel as it seeks to build a future of peace and safety as a Jewish state and an equal member of the family of nations.”

Josh Kraushaar explains Hoyer’s problem at National Journal:

Obama’s po­s­i­tion­ing on Is­rael threatens to un­der­mine his party’s fun­drais­ing cap­ab­il­it­ies.”

Another big Dem expresses displeasure with Kerry. Howard Wolfson of NY: “If only we were this tough on Putin: ‘Kerry will use a speech to confront Netanyahu after UN resolution.'”

Last night on MSNBC Steve Kornacki and Sam Stein said that the Obama abstention on the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 reverses longtime US policy. This is not the case. The only thing unprecedented about the Obama abstention is that he waited seven years to let a UN SC resolution go through.

Friedman has compiled the data on Presidential actions vis-a-vis UN resolutions here; and shown that the US opposed Israeli settlements going back to the 70s, and that all that is exceptional about Obama is his passivity.

This argument has come up repeatedly during President Obama’s tenure in office. It has invariably been used in making the tendentious case that President Obama – if he were to support or permit passage of a UN Security Council resolution either critical of Israeli actions or policies or a resolution regarding Israeli-Palestinian peace opposed by Israel – he would be guilty of an unprecedented betrayal of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Whether this assertion is accurate or inaccurate is not a matter of opinion. There is a clear historical record available for verifying the facts…. [A]n exhaustive review of that historical record — a review which found that every president since 1967 – except one – permitted passage of and/or supported numerous UN Security Council resolutions opposed by Israel. That one exception is President Obama, who as of this writing remains the only U.S. president who during his time in office has not allowed the UN Security Council to pass a single resolution opposed by Israel.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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10 Responses

  1. zaid on December 28, 2016, 12:31 pm

    As a Palestinian i reject the parameters of John Kerry.Period.

  2. Kathleen on December 28, 2016, 3:11 pm

    Great speech. Going to watch and listen again. Although he did try to draw a false equivalency between the violence Israel inflicts upon Palestinians and the Palestinians trying to fight for their lives and land. Ok there are horrific crimes committed by both sides but far far more by Israel. Far more.

    First time I have ever seen so many accurate maps on the msm of the occupied territories. First time. And they were actually explaining the facts on the ground on MSNBC etc.

    A last ditch effort by Kerry to save Israel from going down apartheid road full throttle.

  3. Kathleen on December 28, 2016, 3:23 pm

    Phil MSNBC Hallie Jackson went a few round with Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon after speech. Asking him if Kerry had lied about not being involved with the creation of the UN resolution. He stammered and backed down from the inflammatory things he had been saying about Kerry before the speech. Although Jackson did not pull out of her hat exact words used by Danon used after vote about Kerry

  4. Keith on December 28, 2016, 3:24 pm

    Something which hasn’t been discussed but which seems important to me is the extent to which Trump has used the social media to get his message covered in an overtly hostile main stream media. His tweets become news. Is this a departure from past practices? What are the full implications of communicating policy through Twitter?

    As an aside, a book I found interesting is “Revolution in the Age of Social Media” by Linda Herrera. Professor Herrera is a social anthropologist at the University of Illinois specializing in the Middle East and North Africa. She traveled to Egypt during the Arab Spring to provide first hand knowledge of the use of social media to instigate the uprising. The “We Are All Khaled Said” Facebook page that issued the call for revolution was administered by Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing executive.

  5. Maghlawatan on December 28, 2016, 3:58 pm

    It’s a nightmare for AIPAC. Dems vs GOP with Israel as the football.
    Israel is supposed to be a non partisan issue. The rabid groups like ZOA will always go GOP but AIPAC worked so hard to get both parties on board and now it is blowing up.

    • Citizen on December 28, 2016, 9:28 pm

      It seems the cable tv news/infotainment shows are only trotting out Israeli officials and John Bolton, Bolton, Bolton–ugh! They all defer to Bolton. Even Kennedy on Fox & the ladies of Outnumbered. They seem to have no mind of their own on this settlements matter.

      • Atlantaiconoclast on December 29, 2016, 1:02 am

        It is rather disgusting eh? I can remember a time when, even when suicide bombers were blowing up Israelis, even Fox would often have a Palestinian perspective on. No more. Our media is controlled to the max by Zionists or those who fear them.

      • Mooser on December 29, 2016, 3:45 pm

        “I can remember a time when, even when suicide bombers were blowing up Israelis, even Fox would often have a Palestinian perspective on.”

        Gosh, I’d love to see some of those broadcasts. What year “when suicide bombers were blowing up Israelis” should I search to find them? The broadcasts that “would often have a Palestinian perspective on”, on Fox.

  6. John O on December 29, 2016, 5:05 am

    Why does Netanyahu copy Ivanka in on his reply to Trump?

  7. Elizabeth Block on December 29, 2016, 10:14 am

    John Kerry: too little, too late (obviously). Obama: you criticize Israel but keep writing the checks. Why should anyone pay attention to the criticism?
    And is anyone commenting on the sheer chutzpah of Israel’s indignation? They assume that since they’ve been breaking international law for decades, they have every right to do it.

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