Secretary of State John Kerry will respond in his speech on Wednesday to Israel’s claims that the U.S. was behind last week’s anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council, a senior State Department official told reporters on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
The speech will focus on Kerry’s vision for solving the Israeli-Palestinian Authority (PA) conflict, but the official also said that it would address what he said are "misleading" accusations by Israeli officials that the Obama administration drafted and forced the resolution to a vote.
"We believe that with the two-state solution in peril, it is important to share the deeper understanding we have developed of both sides' bottom lines during intensive consultations in recent years," the official added.
The speech is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. EST (6:00 p.m. Israel time) on Wednesday.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner announced the speech earlier on Tuesday, saying that in it Kerry will offer a “comprehensive vision” of how he believes the Israel-PA process should be revived.
The Secretary of State believes "it is his duty in his remaining weeks and days as Secretary of State to lay out what he believes is a way towards a two-state solution," Toner told reporters.
The speech on the peace process comes less than a week after the UN Security Council passed an anti-Israel resolution condemning Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria. The resolution passed when the U.S. broke its longstanding protocol and abstained in the vote, allowing it to go through.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer told CNN on Monday that Israel has proof that the Obama administration was behind the resolution.
"We will present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels. If they want to share it with the American people they are welcome to do it," said Dermer.
According to Dermer, not only did the U.S. not stand by Israel's side during the vote, it "was behind this ganging up on Israel at the UN."
Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, later fired back and told Israel’s Channel 2 News that “Israeli intransigence” led to the vote in the Security Council.
Toner on Tuesday also rejected claims that the Obama administration orchestrated the Security Council move.
"There was nothing pre-cooked, this was not some move orchestrated by the United States," Toner stressed, according to Reuters.
He defended the administration's decision to abstain during the vote, saying the United States wanted to "send a clear message about our concerns about settlement activity."