Though the Obama administration has just one week left in office, Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to a Paris peace conference this weekend in a last-ditch effort to advocate for the two-state solution he strongly endorsed last month.
In an unusually blunt December 28 address, Kerry said that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank are obstacles to the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. “No one thinking seriously about peace can ignore the reality of what the settlements pose to that peace,” he said, calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to end the settlements and allow for Palestinian development.
Israeli officials and defenders of the Jewish state are concerned by Kerry’s remarks, as well as the recent unanimous passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which declared the settlements illegal. The United States historically abstained from the vote, allowing the resolution to pass.
Kerry will attend the January 15 event in Paris alongside representatives from 70 nations.
Donald Trump and his ambassador to Israel nominee, David Friedman, support the settlements. Trump criticized the UN Security Council resolution, tweeting last month, “We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” and “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!”
More than half of white evangelicals say that the United States isn’t supportive enough of Israel, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey. As CT reported last year, Pew found that Israel’s Christian minority tends to believe the opposite: 86 percent say the United States is too supportive.
Two US Christians with expertise in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict offered CT their take on the Paris talks, and the prospects for the two-state solution as a new administration transitions into the White House.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Gerald McDermott and Todd Deatherage