Former Secretary of State John Kerry is the subject of a recently released audio clip to Channel 10 news in Israel on which he is heard saying that Israel doesn't want peace.
When the original conference was taped and reported on in December 2016, the comments from each leader didn't come with the conversation Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kerry engaged in behind closed doors. According to The Times of Israel, Kerry warns the PM of protests and mocks peaceful resolutions with Palestine.
“If you don’t have leaders who don’t want to make peace, if the equation doesn’t change, I’ll be amazed if within the next 10 years if we don’t see some young [Palestinian] leader come along who says we have tried non-violence for the last 30 years and look, it hasn’t gotten us anything,” Kerry says.
Reuters reported that Kerry stressed the deterioration of the two-state solution at the conference where the private conversation took place.
“Despite our best efforts over the years, the two-state solution is now in serious jeopardy,” Kerry said at the State Department, reports Reuters. “We cannot, in good conscience, do nothing, and say nothing, when we see the hope of peace slipping away."
The Times of Israel reports that in the audio clip, Kerry details the steps taken to preserve the safety of Israel as Palestine developed as a separate state -- including an agreement with King Abdullah of Jordan to have a "pre-deployment" of weapons to the West Bank.
“If you see 40,000 kids marching up to the wall everyday with signs saying, ‘Give us our rights,’ I mean, I don’t think Palestine is going to be immune forever to the civil rights movements that have swept other nations in the world,” Kerry says in the audio.
Following Kerry's speech at the Secretary Department -- in which Kerry says, "Friends need to tell each other the hard truths, and friendships require mutual respect" -- the PMO responded with his own speech. He called Kerry's speech "a great disappointment," and warned that Kerry's vision could cause "big, big damage" to his country, reports NPR.
Kerry suggests not only in the audio, but also in the public speech made at the time of the recording, that by Netanyahu not supporting his exact approach to peace that Israel, in turn, does not want peace. According to The Times of Israel, Kerry lists in the audio the Israeli leaders whom Netanyahu should look to for an example on negotiations.
“You gotta have a willingness to make peace. If there is a willingness to make peace -- [Ehud] Olmert, [Ehud] Barak, [Yitzhak] Rabin, [Shimon] Peres -- people indicated how you do it,” Kerry says.
According to The Times of Israel, Kerry blames the right wing government of Israel for their reluctance to compromise with Palestine.
“This is overlooked by the general [Israeli] population because it is not a topic of discussion. Why? Because the majority of the cabinet currently in the current Israeli government has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state,” he said.
Then-President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his response to Kerry's speech in December 2016.
"We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but......." he tweeted reports NPR. "Not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!"
U.S. ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman has called the two-state solution an "illusion," reports NPR, and said that negotiations have yet to be picked up again by the Trump Administration.