Kerry: Obama 'Wrong' on Israel

Senator John Kerry says US President Obama has wasted the first half of his administration focused on an "unachievable" Israeli building freeze

Gabe Kahn. , | updated: 20:12

Senator John Kerry
Senator John Kerry
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Senator John Kerry (D) slammed President Barack Obama on Wednesday for his focus on forcing Israel into a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, Reuters reports.

Kerry, the Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told attendees at a Brookings' Saban Center for Middle East Policy conference Obama had "wasted" more that half of his presidential term by publicly demanding that Israel suspend all settlement expansion.

Kerry, who made a presidential bid in 2004, served as a special envoy for the Obama Administration to Syria and Afghanistan. Kerry described Obama's desire for a freeze of Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria as "doomed to fail," and "unachievable."

He also said Obama's mantra was essentially "putting the cart before the horses." Instead, Kerry proposed, the key to  resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict was reaching an agreement that clearly addresses security issues and borders. Kerry qualified his position saying he did not believe a final status agreement could be achieved at this point in time.

Kerry added, however, he was confident that Washington would try to jump-start stalled Israeli-PA negotiations in the near future.

The Palestinian Authority intends to bring before the Assembly in September a proposal calling for UN recognition of a Palestinian state delineated by the 1948 Armistice lines.

Kerry said the PA bid to unilaterally force the issue was "a mistake." He further warned PA President Mahmoud Abbas such a move would be perilous.

The US, he concluded, will make a true effort to stop things from spinning out of control.