Top-level GOP lawmakers are responding to Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech today addressing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Most avoid the specifics of Kerry’s speech, instead attacking it as impractical or else lashing out at Kerry regarding the US abstention from Friday’s United Nations vote.
Arizona Sen. John McCain:
“Secretary Kerry’s speech today was at best a pointless tirade in the waning days of an outgoing administration. At worst, it was another dangerous outburst that will further Israel’s diplomatic isolation and embolden its enemies.
“Peace between Israelis and Palestinians is not up to Secretary Kerry or President Obama. It is not up to the United States or the United Nations. It is up to Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate that peace. Public lectures against Israel and UN resolutions attacking Israel do not aid the cause of peace. They only provide those seeking Israel’s destruction a convenient excuse to blame Israel for their own intransigence.
“I support a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians – one that ensures the Jewish state will be secure within its borders, and its right to remain so is recognized and respected by Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors. But this solution is simply not possible at this time because Israel has no viable partner for peace. Not when Israel’s right to exist is denied and threatened. Not when Hamas and Hezbollah continue deadly rocket attacks. Not when Palestinian leaders tolerate or even glorify terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli civilians by Palestinians armed with knives, meat cleavers, guns, and cars.
“No American interest in the Middle East is more important than the integrity and future of our friendship with Israel. That is why our priority must be to make it crystal clear to the entire world, both in word and deed, that the United States will stand by our ally Israel now and always.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham:
“While I appreciate Secretary Kerry’s enthusiasm, I am getting weary of plans and proposals that are at best fanciful and worse delusional. Given the current state of discord and dysfunction among the Palestinians, a two-state solution is impossible until fundamental change occurs in Palestine.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan:
“After allowing this anti-Israel resolution to pass the UN, Secretary Kerry has no credibility to speak on Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio:
“Secretary Kerry today once against 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. The administration’s shameful undermining of our moral standing in the world should be a warning to administrations fro 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.
“I look forward to working with President-elect Trump and his incoming team to restore our relationship with Israel to its proper place. 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 was also work to ensure that if the United States 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.”