Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the Democratic whip in the House of Representatives, second in ranking to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on Tuesday released a statement calling on Secretary of State John Kerry to cancel his Middle East peace speech scheduled for Wednesday, just days after the US had allowed an anti-Israel resolution to pass in the UN Security Council.
“I urged the Administration to veto the recently passed UN Security Council resolution regarding Israel and settlements,” Hoyer, an old friend of Israel since his election in 1981, wrote, in reaction to “reports that Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama Administration intend to lay out a formulation that would disadvantage Israel in any future negotiations on a final settlement with the Palestinian Authority.”
“Unfortunately, they failed to do so, and Israel’s enemies were strengthened,” Hoyer continued.
“As Ambassador Power pointed out in her statement on the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on the situation in the Middle East, ‘…as long as Israel has been a member of this institution, Israel has been treated differently from other nations at the United Nations.’ 2016 was no exception, and there were more resolutions regarding Israel than there were regarding Syria, North Korea, Iran, South Sudan, and Russia combined,” Hoyer wrote.
“”Now, it is my understanding that Secretary Kerry, in the last few days of this Administration, intends to outline the parameters of an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This flies in the face of the United States’ longstanding position that such a formulation should be reached only through negotiations by the parties and not by the United States, the United Nations, or any other third party.
“I urge Secretary Kerry and the Administration not to set forth a formula, which will inevitably disadvantage Israel in any negotiation. The United States must now take steps to signal unequivocally to the entire world that we will continue to stand by our ally Israel as it seeks to build a future of peace and safety as a Jewish state and an equal member of the family of nations.”
Rep. Hoyer represents Maryland’s 5th congressional district, which is 60.2% White, 30.3% Black, 3.7% Asian, and 3.5% Hispanic.