The United States and Israel have exchanged criticism over the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
On December 23, the Obama administration allowed the United Nations to pass a resolution that declared Israel's growing settlements in the occupied territories illegal. Until that vote, the Obama administration had blocked resolutions criticizing Israel by using its veto power in the UN Security Council.
Days later, on December 28, Obama's secretary of state, John Kerry, gave a speech in support of what is known as a two-state solution for the area.
Kerry started the speech by saying the U.S. remains committed to Israel's security. He criticized Palestinian leaders for not doing more to stop terrorist attacks on Israel.
But he said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had supported a policy on the settlements "driven by the most extreme elements in his country."
By settlements, Kerry meant Israeli efforts to build new housing in the West Bank. Israeli leaders say religious history and security concerns justify the housing.
Palestinian leaders and many world leaders consider Israel's West Bank developments as a barrier to a peace deal. Such a deal would give the Palestinians their own state in exchange for lasting peace with Israel.
In his speech, Kerry said, "Let's be clear: Settlement expansion has nothing to do with Israel's security. Many settlements actually increase the security burden on the Israeli Defense Forces."
He said the Israeli settler movement ignores the "legitimate" hopes of the Palestinian people for their own state.
Republican Donald Trump replaces Democrat Barack Obama as U.S. president on January 20. In a post on the social media site Twitter, he suggested the Obama administration's Israeli policy will not continue.
"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 not anymore." He added: "January 20th is fast approaching."
Trump recently named lawyer David Friedman as his U.S. ambassador to Israel. Friedman has been a strong supporter of Israel's settlement movement.
Obama and Netanyahu have not had a friendly relationship for much of Obama's eight-year presidency. Netanyahu took the unusual step of delivering a speech critical of the U.S. president to the U.S. Congress in 2015.
The speech criticized the nuclear deal the Obama administration and leaders of other nations were about to sign with Iran.
Netanyahu Delivers Speech Responding to Kerry
Netanyahu gave his own speech one day after Kerry's. He was critical of Kerry and the Obama administration.
"What he (Kerry) did was to spend most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace by passionately condemning a policy of enabling Jews to live in their historic homeland and in their eternal capital, Jerusalem," Netanyahu said.
He accused Kerry of not doing enough in his speech to discuss the "campaign of terrorism" by Palestinians against Israel over a long period of time.
Kerry, in his speech, said the Obama administration has been Israel's "greatest friend and supporter." He said he and the president have continually spoken out against terrorism against Israel.
But he said the U.S. had no choice but to criticize the growing Israeli settlements that, he said, threaten a two-state peace agreement. He said the number of Israeli settlers on the West Bank increased by 100,000 since Obama became president.
"Now, one thing we do know: if Israel goes down the one-state path, it will never have true peace with the rest of the Arab world, and I can say that with certainty," Kerry said.
In defending his criticism of a U.S. ally, Kerry said: "Friends need to tell each other the hard truths."
I'm Bruce Alpert.
I started to move around him, but he blocked my way.
No argument can justify a war.
Janet looked at him with disdain.
She said her husband ignored her.
1.Days later, on December 28, Obama's secretary of state, John Kerry, gave a speech in support of what is known as a two-state solution for the area.
in support of... 支持……
They decided to stay in support of the new leadership.
Thank you for coming together in support of these noble goals.
2.Such a deal would give the Palestinians their own state in exchange for lasting peace with Israel.
I gave him an apple in exchange for his pear.
In exchange for your effort, you are rewarded with composting service, provided by reliable workers (the worms!).
12月23日，奥巴马政府允许联合国通过一项宣布以色列占领巴勒斯坦领土并在其上增加定居点行为为违法的决议 。而美国投出此次赞成票之前，奥巴马政权在联合国安理会一向投反对票阻止指责以色列的决议 。
克里讲话的前部分说道，美国始终致力于保证以色列的安全 。克里批评了巴勒斯坦领导人在阻止恐怖主义对以色列的袭击方面所做工作不足 。
克里提到的定居点是指以色列试图在约旦河西岸建造的新定居点 。以色列领导人表示，宗教历史和安全缘故可以为他们建造定居点正名 。
巴勒斯坦领导人以及许多世界领导人认为，以色列在约旦河西岸的定居点建造会阻碍和平协议的达成 。这样的协议意味着巴勒斯坦为了要与以色列实现持久的和平就需要用自己的领土做交换 。
共和党总统当选人特朗普将于1月20日接任现任美国总统奥巴马 。特朗普在社交媒体推特上的一则发文中说，奥巴马对以色列的政策将不复存在 。
“我们不能继续让以色列被彻头彻尾的蔑视和无礼对待 。过去美国曾是以色列对立面的盟友，但以后不会再是了 。”特朗普还说，“1月20日眼看就快到了 。”
近日，特朗普任命律师大卫弗里德曼(David Friedman)出任美国驻以色列大使 。而弗里德曼向来强烈支持以色列的定居点行动 。
在奥巴马8年任期的绝大部分时间里，其与内塔尼亚胡的关系素来不佳 。2015年在向美国国会发表讲话时，内塔尼亚胡还另人震惊地批评了奥巴马 。
在克里发表讲话仅一天后，内塔尼亚胡予以了回击 。内塔尼亚胡（在讲话中）声讨了美国国务卿克里以及奥巴马政府 。
克里在讲话中说，奥巴马政府一直都是以方“最好的盟友和支持者 。”克里说自己和奥巴马总统一直以来都谴责针对以色列的恐怖主义行为 。
但克里说，在以色列扩张定居点的问题上，美国除了指责别无他途，因为以色列的行为会威胁到两国和平方案 。克里说，在奥巴马任期期间，约旦河西岸上的以色列定居者数量已经增长了10万名 。
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