President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday expressed his support for Israel, urging it to “stay strong” until his inauguration in tweets charging that President Barack Obama’s administration has failed Israel as an ally.
“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” Trump wrote. “They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but 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!”
Trump ramped up his criticism of Obama’s policies on Israel after the United States declined to stop passage of a United Nations resolution against Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.
While Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday delivered a speech supporting a two-state solution and rejecting the notion that the U.S. had abandoned Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Kerry’s comments “almost as unbalanced as” the U.N. vote.
Others weighed in around the world.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a former presidential candidate, said history will remember Obama and Kerry as “relentless enemies of Israel.”
Another former presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), said Kerry had decided to “cater to the demands of freedom’s enemies.”
The pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee said in a statement: “Secretary Kerry placed overwhelming, disproportionate blame for the failure to advance peace on our ally, Israel, while neglecting numerous Israeli peace offers and Palestinian refusal to resume direct talks.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was ready to resume peace talks with Israel “the minute the Israeli government agrees to cease all settlement activities, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem.” He also listed other conditions.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak supported Kerrys sentiments, including the notion that Netanyahu was pushing Israel away from democracy.
“Powerful, lucid speech. World & majority in Israel think the same,” Barak tweeted.
Referring to Netanyahu’s nickname, Barack continued,“Bibi, on verge of messianic abyss, determined to go forward.”
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Kerry’s speech was “clear, courageous and committed,” and tweeted that France also envisions Israel and a new state of Palestine “living side by side in peace and security.”