In the harshest scolding ever of Israel by a U.S. official since it became a nation in 1948, Secretary of State John Kerry took direct aim at Israel in a major speech today (December 28, 2016), criticizing its Jewish settlement expansion and demanding "mutual respect" from the key U.S. ally, according to the Washington Examiner website.
Kerry slammed the Israeli government for displacing Palestinian families and depriving them of "basic freedom and dignity," while expressing serious concern about current Israeli leaders' opposition to a two-state solution.
Responding to accusations that the U.S. snubbed Israel last week by allowing a UN Security Council resolution to pass that demanded Israel halt its settlement program, Kerry said the settlements were destroying the possibility of separate countries living side by side in peace.
He added, "If the choice is one state... Israel can either be Jewish or democratic. It cannot be both, and won't ever really be at peace."