Remarks on the Middle East Peace Process Talks
John Kerry, Secretary of State, July 30, 2013
‘We all appreciate – believe me – we appreciate the challenges ahead. But even as we look down the difficult road that is before us and consider the complicated choices that we face, we cannot lose sight of something that is often forgotten in the Middle East, and that is what awaits everybody with success. We need to actually change the way we think about compromise in order to get to success. Compromise doesn’t only mean giving up something or giving something away; reasonable principled compromise in the name of peace means that everybody stands to gain. Each side has a stake in the other’s success, and everyone can benefit from the dividends of peace.’
‘We can envision a day when Palestinians can finally realize their aspirations for a flourishing state of their own, and the groundbreaking economic initiative that we’ve been working on the with the Quartet and with Tony Blair and others, with the help of the private sector, can help transform the Palestinian economy and build up unprecedented markets and unblocked waves of foreign investment. And we shouldn’t forget that the new jobs, the new homes, the new industries that can grow in a new Palestinian state will also benefit Israelis next door, where a vibrant economy will find new partners.’
‘The Israeli Government has recognized this, which is why it will be taking in the next days and weeks a number of steps in order to improve conditions in the West Bank and in Gaza.’
‘The parties have agreed here today that all of the final status issues, all of the core issues, and all other issues are all on the table for negotiation. And they are on the table with one simple goal: a view to ending the conflict, ending the claims. Our objective will be to achieve a final status agreement over the course of the next nine months. The parties also agreed that the two sides will keep the content of the negotiations confidential. The only announcement you will hear about meetings is the one that I just made. And I will be the only one, by agreement, authorized to comment publicly on the talks, in consultation, obviously, with the parties. That means that no one should consider any reports, articles, or other – or even rumors – reliable, unless they come directly from me, and I guarantee you they won’t.’
‘The United States will work continuously with both parties as a facilitator every step of the way. We all understand the goal that we’re working towards: two states living side by side in peace and security. Two states because two proud peoples each deserve a country to call their own. Two states because the children of both peoples deserve the opportunity to realize their legitimate aspirations in security and in freedom. And two states because the time has come for a lasting peace.’
‘The Israeli and Palestinian people understand their common interests, and that’s why they continue to take positive steps on the ground to improve relations between themselves. I also want to point out that the Arab League understands this too, which is why it has reaffirmed the Arab Peace Initiative and provided vital statements of support for this process.’
‘So many things are already happening. When somebody tells you that Israelis and Palestinians cannot find common ground or address the issues that divide them, don’t believe them. Just look at the things they are doing together and trying to do together. There are many reasons why we need to solve this conflict, but none more important than the security and dignity of the next generations of Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and the generations who will follow them and benefit from these negotiations hopefully.’
April 14, 2004 – ‘Arafat Warns U.S. Could Kill Middle East Peace’
November 15, 2010: U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.
February 2011: More than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.
February 19, 2011: Israel said it was deeply grateful to the United States after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.
October 27, 2011: Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip.
November 2011 – ‘Israel’s Bunker Mentality -How the Occupation Is Destroying the Nation’
July 29, 2013 – ‘ISRAELI AND PALESTINIANS TALKS TO RESUME IN WASHINGTON’
July 30, 2013 – ‘ISRAEL AND PALESTINIANS RESUME DIRECT FINAL STATUS NEGOCIATIONS’
November 10, 2013 – ‘US could kill Middle East Peace’
November 12, 2013 – Israel plans ‘unprecedented’ settlement expansion, 20,000 new units in the West Bank: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/unprecedented-settlement-expansion.html
November 13, 2013: Abbas: ‘Cancel Building or Peace Talks Over’
November 13, 2013 – Middle East peace process nears collapse