05:44 GMT25 February 2021
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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted US President Barack Obama over his administration's Middle East policies after Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a major speech on a two-state solution.

    "Terror is everywhere" and "for an entire hour" the US Secretary of State didn't see that "Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christians can celebrate Christmas," without worrying that they might be attacked, Netanyahu said. 

    "Like the Security Council resolution that Secretary Kerry advanced in the U.N., his speech tonight was skewed against Israel," Netanyahu claimed in a statement following Kerry's speech Wednesday, noting that Kerry "obsessively dealt with settlements" during the speech.

    Netanyahu further reiterated that Israel has evidence the US orchestrated the UN resolution. "It's all true" he said, though not all media would get access since it contains sensitive material. While Netanyahu offered his enthusiasm about working with Trump he expressed sincere disapproval with the US moving to further work against Israeli interests in the UN until Trump takes office. 

    "The persistent refusal of the presence of a Jewish state is at the core of the issue," Netanyahu said, adding that he regrets Kerry does not see this "simple truth." Kerry delivered perhaps the most scathing speech in US history against Israel on Wednesday in which he condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

    Netanyahu began his speech in Hebrew before switching to English in order to directly address the US public. Last week's UN resolution encourages sanctions against Israel, "that's effectively what it does," Netanyahu added. 

    "Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump" to "mitigate" the damage done by the UN resolution, he said. "War and terror are horrible," he noted, adding that Palestinian children are not currently taught peace, "but Palestinian authorities teach children to reject the presence of a Jewish state."

    ​​"By passionately condemning a policy to allow Jews live in their historic homeland," Kerry gave an "unbalanced" speech. "Nobody wants peace more than Israel," but it must be via direct negotiations, as Israel has done with previous agreements among regional partners, including Egypt and Jordan. 

    Earlier on Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that a two-state agreement is the only way to ensure safety for all parties in the region. Settlement expansion in the West Bank and ongoing terror threats reinforce the polarized status quo, he said.


    “Israel’s economy could enjoy unprecedented growth” and take advantage of trade opportunities with Arab partners by opting for peace. “We cannot in good conscience do nothing” when peace is possible, Kerry said, even though the incoming Trump administration may split with the current administration’s stance on the settlements.  

    On Wednesday morning, Trump vowed to improve relations with Israel upon assuming office. 

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