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John Kerry Defends U.S. Approach to Israeli Settlements and More You Missed in Politics Today

by Countable | 12.28.16

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. "Kerry Defends U.S. Approach to Israel After U.N. Vote on Settlements"

"Secretary of State John Kerry launched a forceful defense of the Obama administration’s approach to Israel, warning that a two-state solution was in jeopardy in a speech outlining the administration’s vision for finding Middle East peace. Kerry said the U.S. decision to abstain from the vote was “in accordance with our values."”

"The address unfolded against a backdrop of an unusual back-and-forth between President-elect Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as both criticized the Obama administration, which still has three weeks left in office."

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

2. "US senators call for sanctions on Russia"

"Three prominent US senators have warned that Russia and its president may face sanctions over the country's alleged interference in last month's presidential election. Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and Democrat Amy Klobuchar, said the move had cross-party support. But it is not yet clear what the sanctions might involve. President-elect Donald Trump has rejected claims of Russian interference."

"Outgoing President Barack Obama is expected to announce a set of retaliatory measures including sanctions and diplomatic changes as early as Thursday. Russia foreign minister Maria Zakharova responded in a statement: "If Washington really does take new hostile steps, they will be answered. “Any action against Russian diplomatic missions in the US will immediately bounce back on US diplomats in Russia."”

Read more at the BBC.

3. "Trump accuses Obama of putting up roadblocks to a smooth transition"

"After having repeatedly praised President Obama’s efforts to ensure a smooth transition, President-elect Donald Trump reversed course on Wednesday, accusing the current occupant of the Oval Office of putting “roadblocks" in his way. Trump took to Twitter shortly after 9 a.m., saying he was “doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. “Thought it was going to be a smooth transition — NOT!” the Republican president-elect wrote.”

"Trump’s assessment comes amid days of verbal sparring between the outgoing and incoming president. During a ceremony Tuesday marking the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, Obama cautioned against “the urge to turn inward" and stressed a need to “resist the urge to demonize those who are different” — remarks some thought were aimed partly at Trump..”

Read more at the Washington Post.

4. "Sanders, Dem leaders urge day of rallies to ‘save health care’"

"Democratic leaders are calling for rallies across the country to fight Republican efforts to overhaul Medicare and repeal ObamaCare. The Democratic leaders, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), wrote a letter to colleagues Wednesday calling for a “day of action" on Jan. 15. The leaders dubbed the effort, “Our First Stand: Save Health Care.””

"The Democrats are warning against Republican plans to repeal ObamaCare, pointing to a study from the Urban Institute that found about 30 million people would lose health insurance once repeal goes into effect."

Read more at The Hill.

5. "Turkey and Russia agree on draft Syria ceasefire"

"Turkey and Russia have reportedly agreed on a draft nationwide ceasefire in Syria, the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu said Wednesday. The report cited an unnamed* *source saying that Ankara and Moscow would try to bring a ceasefire into effect at midnight."

"The Anadolu report said that unspecified "terrorist organizations" would be excluded from the deal. In past agreements, "terrorist organizations" have included ISIS and the Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra."

Read more at CNN.

— Erin Wright

(Photo by Center for American Progress / Flickr)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(19)
  • Keoni
    12/29/2016
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    The two state solution is the only choice. Israel has their land. They need to stop expanding and settling in further disputed areas until a full resolution occurs.

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  • Laura
    12/29/2016
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    I agree with Sec Kerry and the Obama administration's stance on the UN condemnation of settlements. The Israeli government must be prevented from illegally occupying more Palestinian land, and should restore the pre-1967 boundaries. We need a two-state solution, and further aggression from the Israeli government will prevent peace. The settlements and Apartheid treatment of the Palestinian people must end.

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  • Gil
    12/29/2016
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    Good job John Kerry I agree totally with what you are saying I know it doesn't mean much from me but you have my support in these matters

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  • Steph
    12/29/2016
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    Condemning actions which will impede a future two state solution ought to continue to be a fixture of the US's stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The settlements not only further entrench the conflict, but have led to further violence between Palestinians and Israelis. The settlements clearly violate previous negotiations and with Israel's current government supporting their establishment, the US needs to speak up against them.

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  • Mitch
    12/29/2016
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    Kerry is a coward and a disgrace to our country.

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  • Wes
    12/29/2016
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    It must be noted that this ill advised position on Israel is the position of the Obama Administration and DOES NOT reflect the rest of the US.

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  • Wes
    12/29/2016
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    It needs to be noted, this I'll advised policy IS NOT the United States' approach to Palestinian settlements. This is the position of the Obama Administration and DOES NOT reflect the thoughts and feelings on Israel of the rest of this Nation.

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  • Jeannette
    12/29/2016
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    Kerry had 5 lies in his speech. Lie1 Israel is a burden to the US. Israel is a sovereign nation that upholds democracy in a hostile region. Lie 2 no administration has done more for Israel than the Obama administration. Seriously what planet are you on? Lie 3 that the settlements are illegal well 94 yrs ago the mandate says otherwise it's illegal for the UN to suggest otherwise. Lie 4 that Israel government is extremist Palestinians isn't. Hamas charter article 13 "Their is no solution for the Palestinians except through jihad proposals and international conferences are a waste of time." In other words the terrorists Hamas Islam want every Christian and Jew dead. Lie 5 Israel has a choice to be Jewish or democratic can't be both. Do ppl even realize that Palestine ppl never ever had its own country why not change the borders of Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Jordan? Hamas are terrorists the obama administration is on the side of the terrorist. We make pilgrimages to the holy land it's where our Savior legacy is and Lucifer and his minions want it destroyed and us dead. Israel is armed to the teeth the nukes could start eliminating us off the face of the earth. I hope I'd live long enough to hear of the Satanic cult Islam Mecca being destroyed. Wake up, my God is life and abundance. Islam is destruction and death. Siding against Israel is siding against America. A jihad in Israel is a jihad in America. Every president that has turned its back on Israel God has punished, with natural disasters. This time I hope God punishes the one responsible not us citizens.

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  • Zachary
    12/30/2016
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    It was the wrong position to take. Israel has been attacked long before they ever started their offense, and if they just lay down arms, they will be slaughtered and their land will be taken. The Palestinians and other Arab countries hate the Jews with a passion that is as old as time. We must defend Israel and her people. Their occupation was 100% legal however President Obama and the UN changed laws so that it is now illegal and they can add more sanctions to the country.

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  • Ken
    12/29/2016
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    John Kerry and Barack Hussein Obama are both Scumbags and they have committed Treason and both have lied and did this terrible thing against Israel and the people of this country doing things we did not want them to do. This is Obamas scheming to hurt Israel and uplift terrorist nations and in particular Hamas ( the Palestinian nation) that has helped this Muslim nation for our Muslim president Obama. Making the speech of John Kerry one that stops Israel from building on their own land and their stopping Israel from taking their own country back. This is Gods country and land and woe unto those that try to take it away. These Scumbags Obama and Kerry I hope God makes them die a long terrifying daily pain filled life long and suffering for what they have done to and continue doing to Israel. I hope the first thing President Trump does is fire Kerry immediately upon his taking the job.

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  • Shirley
    12/29/2016
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    It's important to think further into the future than the current governments of the Israelis and Palestinians seem capable of doing. The only hope for peace is a two-state solution. More settlements, stone throwing, assassinations, etc., all contribute to an endless war rather than to a homeland for both peoples.

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  • Gary
    12/29/2016
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    Kerry is a dunce

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  • Steve
    12/31/2016
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    There is NO defense for this idiot move by this administration. You are a case study as to why Donal Trump won this election.

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  • Pam
    12/30/2016
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    Secretary Kerry is correct. Israel has continued to occupy Palestinian lans illegally and must be stopped.

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  • Tina
    12/30/2016
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    I agree with Kerry and the Obama administration!!

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  • Patrick mike
    01/01/2017
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    Despicable actions by a despicable man. This is how Democrats behave when they are losing grip on power. At least Clintons only stole the W keys and the furniture. This administration seems intent on destabilizing every important international relationship! Shame!

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  • Todd
    12/31/2016
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    You don't get to annex land just because you are Jewish and there were atrocities committed against your ethnic group a long time ago. If that's the case then the Blacks the American Indian, The Irish, The Myan, The list goes on. I'm glad that a President finally had the balls to say enough is enough.

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  • Nkosis06
    12/29/2016
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    Kerry is absolutely correct. The real question is what will Israeli-Palestinian policy become under Trump and his right wing ideologues.

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  • Brian
    12/29/2016
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    Can you elaborate Gary? You and Mitch seem to have similar opinions that are not well thought out. If you are going to contribute at least make it worth reading for the rest of us.

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