Yesterday Secretary of State John Kerry defended the U.S. decision to abstain from a recent U.N. resolution vote condemning Israel and designating the Western Wall in Jerusalem as non-Jewish, occupied territory. During a speech at the State Department, Kerry spent the majority of his time berating Israel for so-called settlements in the West Bank while advocating for a two-state solution. He acknowledged that in order for a two-state solution to become reality, the Palestinian government would have to recognize the basic fact that Israel, a Jewish state, has the right to exist.
Responding to Kerry's remarks, top Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) member Mustafa Barghouti again reaffirmed Palestinians will never issue this recognition. From the Jerusalem Post:
PLO Executive Committee member Mustafa Barghouti welcomed the overall message of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on Wednesday, but he said the Palestinian leadership cannot accept the top US diplomat’s suggested parameters.
"Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would deny the right of the Palestinian people who are citizens of Israel and that is totally unacceptable. Israel cannot be a Jewish and a democratic state at the same time,” Barghouti continued.
In short, the issue isn't settlements as the U.N. and the Obama administration have claimed. The anti-semitic issue Palestinians have lies with the existence of the Jewish people. Israel and the Jewish people have a right to exist. Until this is recognized by the Palestinians, there cannot be peace.