I saw the following article posted on the Jerusalem Post website, and felt compelled to respond to it. My remarks follow the link to the article.
I think that Kerry has a few misconceptions and has made some bad assumptions.
1. His definitions of “engaged” and “committed” are a bit different than mine. While he is spending a huge amount of time and effort on the Israel-Palestinian “peace” process, Syria is going down in flames with hundreds of thousands dead, tortured, etc. In what way is Kerry “engaged” there, or “committed” in any meaningful way to ending the violence? It’s nice that he says that Assad is finished, done, kaput, but in real terms, what does that even mean?
2. He says that at the end of the day, it is up to the Israelis and the Palestinians to reach an agreement on how to end conflict. Yet, his actions say otherwise. His attempts to force a very poor settlement (no pun intended) on Israel is dangerous to Israel’s security and puts Israel in an impossible negotiating position. Considering that, supposedly, he and his boss are “friends” of Israel, with friends like that, who needs enemies? Israel already has the EU to fill the role of meddlesome, irritating, has-been, pumped up egotists.
3. He said in his speech that “if the peace talks fail, the Palestinians risk losing their last chance for an independent state. He said for Israel failure would mean that demographics would not not allow Israel to remain a democratic and Jewish states.”
There are a couple of issues with this statement.
A) Who says it’s their last chance for an independent state? That train keeps circling back to the station. As long as much of the world continues to keep their heads firmly planted up the asses of the PA, to appease their quickly growing Muslim populations, that “last chance” will continue to show up on the radar.
B) His comment about “demographics not allowing Israel to remain democratic and Jewish assumes that Israel annexes or otherwise makes all of the West Bank (and Gaza?) part of Israel. That is a very bad assumption. Israel has other options, as unpalatable and unfeasible as they might be in today’s political climate.
Israel could simply annex all major Jewish settlement blocks in the West Bank, since the assumption of most of the world is that they will remain part of Israel anyway. They could tell the PA “We are cutting off all ties, aid, financial cooperation, trade, etc. until such time as we have a peace agreement. Until then, we will treat you as hostile neighbors (which they most certainly are).” They could, conceivably, adopt Lieberman’s plan to give up highly populated Arab areas in Israel and tell the PA that those areas are now part of whatever Palestinian state the PA wants to have.
I am not saying that these are good, optimal, or even workable solutions, but they ARE other options that I have no doubt have been discussed in great detail by the Israeli powers that be. They are valid contingencies to the failure of talks that almost no one believes will succeed.
My personal opinion is that Kerry is a dangerous ass, with little understanding of the Middle East or the players there. He is trying to superimpose his very Western values on people who don’t play by the same rules, or even own the same rulebook. Not very smart….
Sometimes, I think he got elected to office because of his wife’s money, his war record, and his great hair. It can’t be because of his intellect….