Kerry defends two-state solution, Trump consults Kissinger on Russia

US Secretary of State John Kerry

Just a few weeks before he goes out of office, US Secretary of State John Kerry has launched a forceful defence of the Obama administration’s approach to Israel, warning that a two-state solution is “in jeopardy.”

In his latest speech, Mr Kerry continues to hold out hopes for a peace settlement after his considerable personal efforts in 2013 and 2014 failed.

His remarks come amid heightened tensions between the US and Israel after the US abstained in a UN Security Council resolution calling for Israel to give up its settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In a separate development, Jerusalem’s Municipal Planning and Construction Committee postponed a vote to authorise construction of nearly 500 new homes in East Jerusalem.

This followed an instruction by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an apparent attempt to soothe relations with the US.

Mr. Kerry says the US decision to abstain from the Security Council vote rather than use its veto – the first time it has done so for an anti-Israeli resolution – was “in accordance with our values.”

Conditions on the ground such as “violence, terrorism, incitement, settlement expansion and the seemingly endless occupation…are combining to destroy hopes for peace on both sides and increasingly cementing an irreversible one-state reality that most people do not actually want.”

Meanwhile, Mr  Netanyahu has a strong ally in President-elect Donald Trump, who has harshly criticised the decision to abstain and urges Israel to “stay strong” until January 2, when he takes office.

“They [Israel] used to have a great friend in the US but not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal and now this!” Mr Trump tweeted.

Kissinger tipped for Trump
On another foreign policy front, Mr Trump is poised to reverse US relations with Russia.

The Times has reported he has consulted former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, 93, who proposes a plan to end sanctions on Moscow that would “recognise Russia’s dominance” in the former Soviet states of Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

Russia would withdraw from the east of Ukraine in exchange for the West being “no longer bothered about the Crimea issue.”

Mr Kissinger, who was national security adviser under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, first encountered Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 1990s and has visited him several times, including as recently as February.

Such a diplomatic outreach would counteract another Obama administration initiative to punish Russia for meddling in the presidential election through the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the release of emails that compromised candidate Hillary Clinton.

The Washington Post reports that US is planning more sanctions against Mr Putin and the Russian government for their cyber attacks, which have been confirmed by both the CIA and the FBI.


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16 Comments & Questions

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Trump would reward Putin by easing up on him

He has to as he only got into power by corrupt means - with Putin's help

But Obama will get the last laugh as his punitive measures he introduces against Russia before he leaves office can't be reversed as soon as Trump gets into office - the American political system won't allow it.

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Your claim about Trump and Putin is ridiculous. Trump won fair and square, even if the Democrats and the mainly left wing press can't believe Clinton lost. Putin did nothing to help Trump win and the FBI and CIA claims will in time prove to be groundless.

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You post,"FBI and CIA claims ........... groundless"

Do not bet on it, if anybody knows about interfering in other Nations elections it is the CIA & FBI that should know, they themselves have had a lot of experience in this area. Cheers

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Doesn't the USA give Israel about 12billion every year in aid?
I don't think that they will bite the hand that feeds them,but then again if you who really knows.They come across as toys out of the cot type of people.

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"They come across as toys out of the cot type of people": I have lived in NZ all my life and feel lucky to have done so. I can't imagine what it must be like to have been attacked by countries and ongoing terrorism as regularly as Israel has been. I cannot imagine for myself and I can't believe most people in NZ or anywhere for that matter have a clue what it is like to be in their shoes. And that is exactly why it was for me self interested grandstanding of the worst sort that our Government took the lead in this.

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What about the poor Palestinians
Which Synagogue do you attend

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Hi Scribe. My comment was in reply to someone else's comment that presumed to opine on the character of the Israeli people. But I see you saw it as an invitation for an unreasoned attack that sounds awfully close to outright anti-Semitism - as do other comments you have made on this site about John Key. I hope NBR do not ban you because it is good for people to see how those of your ilk think. And, for the record, I also feel for the plight of innocent Palestinians and for the same reasons feel that NZ has no place puffing its chest out in this matter.
It looks awfully suspicious given the current efforts by our Government to forge a deeper relationship with Iran.

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I hope they do ban him as I for one am feed up with reading his endless bile.

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The feeling is mutual Steve

Unless people agree with your right wing view you throw a tantrum.
NBR might be The Authority but you are not
Like me you are just one of 4M kiwis. You are no more important and have no more value than me.
I feel sorry for you that you cannot accept others viewpoints and think only your view has any credibility. How sad.

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You post wisdom Ms Joy. Sadly, the opinion and aspirations of ordinary people, like you, me, the Palestinian or the Israelite in the street, just don't matter. And never have.
Be it in a democracy or whatever, the perception that we matter is nothing but an illusion. An illusion to keep us supporting power hungry despots calling themselves, "politicians caring for the people"

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I take it that you are not John Morrison the despot Wellington local body politician then?

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Why is it that if anyone criticizes the Israeli's it's always considered anti semitism ? Or Maori's it's racist or the Chinese it's xenophobic - quite pathetic defense really!!

There are two parties involved in this conflict and as always with any conflict in life, there is always two sides to the story.

It seems that people, like Steve Smith have a view that it's their way or the highway - no one can have a different view to him - it is also interesting from my point of view what people like Steve think on contentious matters as you likewise assess mine. I thought we lived in a democracy - but I suppose that's only valid if one thinks the same way as Steve Smith and you.

For the record John Key is of Jewish origin - fact. I don't believe that I said anything derogatory in that regard apart from it was timely that he resigned before his Government sponsored the UN resolution.

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Actually Scribe you tried to discredit my comment by saying "Which Synagogue do you attend". Now you are trying to climb out of the hole you put yourself in with your gratuitous remarks about John Keys religious roots. I think it is quite obvious to all exactly what you are.

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Anything that begins with "Trump consults Kissinger ..." could only end badly.

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"Trump consults Kissinger on Russia"

Hope, Trump spoke loudly and very slowly. And was very, very patient in waiting for the response.

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Hillary Clinton lost because Wikileaks showed that she leads a totally corrupt organisation called the Clinton Foundation and Wikileaks did us a great favour by telling us about it.
The real issue is that with Trump in control it is going to wreck havoc with all the secret wars and agendas that the CIA is involved in and so they are complaining very loudly.

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