Secretary of State John Kerry took to the podium Wednesday and unloaded on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the State of Israel, claiming they were impeding the Middle East peace process. Later on that evening, NBC Nightly News went to bat for Kerry running two reports backing up his assertions. “Kerry painting a dire picture when it comes to reaching a peace deal in the Middle East,” announced fill-in anchor Tamron Hall.
“Getting personal, a fiery war of words between Secretary of State John Kerry and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” the hyper partisan Andrea Mitchell reported, “With President-elect Trump all in with Israel's leader.”
Mitchell didn’t seem like she could help herself as she fawned over Kerry’s roughly 70 minute long diatribe, “In an impassioned hour long exit speech, Kerry warning Netanyahu Jewish settlements in the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem will place the Palestinian state and peace in serious jeopardy.”
That was followed up with a clip of Kerry smearing the Israeli government as radically right wing. She also re-aired excerpts of her interview with the secretary were she slow pitched questions, such a, “But you did not orchestrate [the United Nations Security Council vote]? You did not sponsor it? You did not push it?” MItchell whined to the secretary about President-elect Donald Trump getting involved, asking, “Is it confusing allies and adversaries?”
Wrapping up her report, Mitchell parroted the Obama administration’s dubious claim that no one has done more for Israel than him. She also tried to twist the Palestinian Authority as a force for peace claiming, “Tonight the Palestinians said they are ready to resume peace talks if Israel freezes settlements…” “But Israel approved another housing unit even as Kerry was speaking,” she said disappointedly.
But NBC didn’t stop there, they took it a step farther and sent a corresponded to a Jewish settlement in the West Bank to expose the “flashpoint.” “This is the settlement of Maale Adumim not just a neighborhood, a small city,” exclaimed NBC’s Kelly Cobiella, “More than 40,000 residents, 2,500 businesses, 200 parks. And they're expanding!”
“More homes for Israeli Jews in the West Bank. On the very territory Palestinians hope will be site of their future homeland,” she continued. She seemed to be put off by the fact that the settlement she was visiting had tight security, but failed to mention the constant threat of terrorist attacks.
Both Mitchell and Cobiella had failed to mention that the current Palestinian government was ran by a known terrorist organization, Hamas. They also didn’t recall any of times Hamas had broken peace agreements with Israel, or their rocket attacks on civilians, or the organization’s anti-Semitic propaganda which includes forwarding a one-state solution.
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NBC Nightly News
December 28, 2016
7:01:34 PM Eastern
TAMRON HALL: We begin with scathing words from Secretary of State John Kerry directly aimed at Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kerry painting a dire picture when it comes to reaching a peace deal in the Middle East. And now Israel is questioning if the Obama administration has abandoned its important ally. NBC's Andrea Mitchell sat down for an exclusive interview with Secretary Kerry following a tense day of heated rhetoric.
[Cuts to video]
ANDREA MITCHELL: Getting personal, a fiery war of words between Secretary of State John Kerry and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. With President-elect Trump all in with Israel's leader.
JOHN KERRY: Friends need to tell each other the hard truths. And friendships require mutual respect.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders.
MITCHELL: In an impassioned hour long exit speech, Kerry warning Netanyahu Jewish settlements in the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem will place the Palestinian state and peace in serious jeopardy.
KERRY: His current coalition is the most right-wing in Israeli history with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements.
MITCHELL: And in an exclusive interview with NBC News, Kerry denying Netanyahu's charge that the U.S. orchestrated Friday's U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
But you did not orchestrate it? You did not sponsor it? You did not push it?
KERRY: We recruited nobody as an alternative. Those four countries that ultimately brought it to the floor did so absolutely on their own.
MITCHELL: Barely two hours later, Netanyahu saying that wasn't true.
NETANYAHU: We have it on absolutely incontestable evidence that the United States organized, advanced and brought this resolution to the United Nations Security Council. We'll share that information with the incoming administration.
MITCHELL: Donald Trump tweeting today, “We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. Stay strong, Israel, January 20th is fast approaching.” In close coordination, last week, the Israeli leader enlisted Trump to try to stop the U.N. vote. NBC News has learned infuriating the White House. Is it confusing allies and adversaries?
KERRY: I think it's having some impact. Obviously on allies who are questioning what's going on. But they have their own policies. You know, they're not going to be swayed and intimidated by a tweet.
[Cuts back to live]
MITCHELL: Kerry also said no president has done more for Israel's security than Barack Obama. Including a new $38 billion military deal. Tonight the Palestinians said they are ready to resume peace talks if Israel freezes settlements, but Israel approved another housing unit even as Kerry was speaking. Tamron.
HALL: Well Israel settlements in the West Bank have been a source of friction between the U.S. and Israel for years. Tonight NBC's Kelly Cobiella takes us inside one at the center of the firestorm.
[Cuts back to video]
KELLY COBIELLA: This is the settlement of Maale Adumim not just a neighborhood, a small city. More than 40,000 residents, 2,500 businesses, 200 parks. And they're expanding! More homes for Israeli Jews in the West Bank. On the very territory Palestinians hope will be site of their future homeland. Creating a flashpoint for both sides.
There are only two roads into this settlement and this is one of them. Both of them are guarded with guard shacks, cameras, fences. The Israelis live here. The Palestinians live on that hillside.
It's just one of the settlements now at issue. In Palestinian areas taken by Israel after their victory in the 1967 war. Jewish settlements have been growing there rapidly. In just the last eight years, more than 12,000 homes under construction. More than 100,000 settlors moving in. Now, over 500,000 settlers currently living there.
[Cuts back to live]
Israel says settlements like this are necessary for its security. Palestinians call them a land grab. We spoke to both sides here tonight. And one thing we found in common -- no one we spoke to is optimistic about peace right now. Tamron?
HALL: Kelly Cobiella, thank you.