Sunday, November 10, 2013

John Kerry finally speaks honestly

A friend of mine on FB gave notice of a story in the Israel Times about the remarks of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Israeli PM Netanyahu that floored me. What he said, in an interview on an Israeli TV station, is so candid and truthful, in such contrast to the continual empty statements about the "peace process" that it gives me hope exasperation in Washington is finally reaching the breaking point.

Interestingly, I saw nothing from the US media about this.

The headline: "FRUSTRATED KERRY'S PEACE CRITIQUE A HEAVY SLAP IN NETANYAHU'S FACE - A patently bitter secretary of state asks why Israel keeps taking Palestinian land and why the Israeli public doesn't seem to care about it."

Of course any American who follows events in Israel knows quite well the answer to Kerry's lament - it is because the United States continues to support Netanyahu and his policies with lots of money, weapons and never-ending supportive resolutions in Congress driven by the Israel lobby with its tremendously wealthy supporters who make lavish campaign donations.

An excerpt (boldface mine):

"In an extremely unusual joint interview with Israel’s Channel 2 and the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, a very frustrated Kerry basically blamed the Israeli government for stealing the Palestinians’ land and the Israeli public for living in bubble that prevents them from caring much about it. If that wasn’t enough, he railed against the untenability of the Israel Defense Forces staying “perpetually” in the West Bank. In warning that a violent Palestinian leadership might supplant Mahmoud Abbas if there was not sufficient progress at the peace table, he appeared to come perilously close to empathizing with potential Palestinian aggression against Israel.
“If we do not resolve the issues between Palestinians and Israelis,” Kerry warned early in the interview, “if we do not find a way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel [and an] increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel.
“If we do not resolve the question of settlements,” he continued more dramatically, “and the question of who lives where and how and what rights they have; if we don’t end the presence of Israeli soldiers perpetually within the West Bank, then there will be an increasing feeling that if we cannot get peace with a leadership that is committed to non-violence, you may wind up with leadership that is committed to violence.”
He later elaborated, expressing apparently growing dismay over continued Israeli settlement expansion: “How, if you say you’re working for peace and you want peace, and a Palestine that is a whole Palestine that belongs to the people who live there, how can you say we’re planning to build in a place that will eventually be Palestine? So it sends a message that perhaps you’re not really serious.” That was a critique that will have resonated widely among those many Israelis, and critics from outside, who have long argued that Israel should limit any settlement building to areas it envisages seeking to retain in a permanent accord."