U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was extraordinarily candid in remarks he made earlier this week following a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about the Obama administration’s goal in pushing “peace” talks:
Let me state unequivocally that President Abbas is 100 percent committed to these talks. He has committed that the Palestinians will not go to the United Nations during the period of time of these talks in exchange for the prisoners that are being released by Israel. That was the agreement.
That was the agreement. The Palestinians would not go to the U.N., such as to request that the General Assembly refer the matter of Israel’s illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or International Court of Justice (ICJ). This helps illustrate how the so-called “peace process” isn’t intended to produce a peace settlement, but only to maintain the existing status quo. That status quo, of course, includes Israel’s continued creation of facts on the ground that prejudice the outcome of the negotiations the U.S. has pressured the Palestinians to agree to with both sticks and carrots. As Kerry added:
Let me emphasize at this point the position of the United States of America on the settlements is that we consider now and have always considered the settlements to be illegitimate. And I want to make it extremely clear that at no time did the Palestinians in any way agree, as a matter of going back to the talks, that they somehow condone or accept the settlements. The Palestinians believe that the settlements are illegal. The United States has said that they believe the settlements are not helpful and are illegitimate. And there should be no connection. That is not to say that they weren’t aware or we weren’t aware that there would be construction. But that construction, importantly, in our judgment, would be much better off limited as much as possible in an effort to help create a climate for these talks to be able to proceed effectively.
This is an open endorsement of Israel’s illegal colonization of Palestinian soil. How so?
First, he refuses to state that the settlements are illegal. He characterizes this as merely the Palestinians’ view. In fact, there isn’t any question about the fact that Israel’s settlements are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. There isn’t a nation on the planet that rejects this international consensus, except Israel and, in practice, as seen here, the U.S. (the U.S. in the past has officially acknowledged their illegality).
Second, he says Israel’s illegal construction activities should be “limited”. Not stopped. This is an explicit green light to the Netanyahu government that it may continue, albeit on an undefined “limited” scale, to act in violation of international law with prejudice towards the rights of the Palestinians.