December 28, 2016
Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Wednesday that the United States had at least indirect input into the United Nations resolution condemning Jewish settlements, pushing for it to be crafted in a way that would not cause the United States to reject it.
“We made clear to others, including those on the Security Council, that it was possible that if the resolution were to be balanced and it were to include references to incitement and to terrorism, that it was possible that the U.S. would then not block it,” Kerry said during an appearance at the State Department.
Israeli officials have accused the Obama administration of playing a role in the resolution. Following passage of the resolution last week, David Keyes, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed officials had “ironclad information from sources in both the Arab world and internationally that [the resolution] was a deliberate push by the United States” and that U.S. officials “helped create the resolution in the first place.”
But Kerry claimed the resolution was not America’s.
“The U.S. did not draft or originate this resolution, nor did we put it forward,” Kerry told reporters during remarks at the State Department. “It was drafted by Egypt, which is one of Israel’s closest friends in the region and during the time of the process.”
Kerry added, “Those attacks alongside claims of a U.S.-led conspiracy distract from the substance of what this is all about,” Kerry said Wednesday.
“We reject the criticism that this vote abandons Israel,” he added. “It is not this resolution that is isolating Israel, it is the permanent pursuit of settlement construction that risks making peace impossible.”
Kerry claimed the United States’ ultimate decision not to veto the resolution was “standard practice” and served to “preserve the two-state solution” between Israel and Palestine that is vital to ensuring a peaceful and democratic Jewish state.