By Alan Edelstein
The Secretary made no mention of the "right-wing" Netanyahu, at substantial political cost, halting "settlements" for nine months to no avail. No mention of Netanyahu, at substantial political cost, releasing murderers from prison in an effort to coax Abbas back to negotiations. (Ever wonder why someone who supposedly wants a state has to be bribed to come negotiate for it?)
No mention of the Prime Minister endorsing a two-state solution despite overwhelming opposition in his own party. No mention of the P.A.'s continued refusal to recognize the right of Jews to have a state in part of their historical homeland. No mention of Abbas' continued denial of any Jewish connection to Jerusalem.
No mention of Abbas' continued demand to not just have one new Palestinian state, but to also make Israel into a Palestinian Arab state via his insistence on a "right of return" for descendants of refugees.
No mention of the 1.7 million Palestinians governed by Hamas, which continues to declare its intention to destroy Israel and which would very likely take over an independent Palestinian state.
One could easily conclude that the Secretary of State is either a well-intentioned fool or an ill-intentioned political hack.
The Secretary has lately gotten into the fairly nasty habit of telling Israelis that we are blind to the situation of the Palestinians, that we are going about our lives ignoring their problems, and that we do not know the terrible catastrophe that awaits us if we do not accept his dictates.
Apparently, according to the Secretary, we've just got our heads buried in our cappuccinos.
Secretary Kerry does not seem to understand that lecturing Israelis that they do not recognize or do not care about the situation, i.e. that we are numb and dumb, is not the most compelling way to build trust and confidence.
In response to Prime Minister Netanyahu's setting off alarms about the possible deal with Iran, Secretary Kerry took very public umbrage at the mere hint that Israel might think for a minute that he and President Obama don't recognize what is good for Israel and the world, that they might cut a bad deal, or that they might get hoodwinked.
The Secretary seemed indignant that we might think he and President Obama could be sold a bill of goods or that they might fold too early.The Secretary's view of what is appropriate behavior in international relations apparently depends on whether he is the giver or receiver of warnings and words of caution.
If one did not know that Secretary of State Kerry is a sophisticated player on the world stage, one might conclude that he does not see the inconsistencies in his reaction to the concerns of others versus his expressions of criticism and concern. Or, if one assumes that he is sophisticated and recognizes the inconsistencies in his words and behavior, one might conclude that he is a hypocrite.
For those interested in a more sophisticated analysis of the situation than Secretary Kerry's if and immediate solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is not forthcoming, see Aaron David Miller's recent piece in Foreign Policy Magazine. Miller, a Middle East specialist in the Clinton Administration, offers a realistic prognosis, in contrast to Secretary Kerry's rather hysterical predictions that come close to justifying violence.
well said as some continue to grapple with their confusion on what it means to support Israel. The only clarity should be a clear, unequivocal and mutual expression that Israel shall forever be the Jewish nation. Until people come to this realiztion there will be this confusion, even in your old hometown.ReplyDelete
Great blog. I'm a big Obama supporter, but when you're right you're right.ReplyDelete
There are too many idiots out there spouting off crazy solutions.
Nicest thing anyone has said about our town, the City of Davis. With all our wackos, we seemed to have gotten this one right!ReplyDelete
Well said. I am embarrassed and frightened by Obama and Kerry everyday. Thank you for so clearly articulating the situation.ReplyDelete
In some places people are shouted down as heretics if they stray from AIPAC's party line. It isn't pretty when Jews can't be civil to one another. The Israel Civil Voice Alliance hopes to correct this, and their current effort appears to be aimed at expanding the "socially acceptable" range towards the left.ReplyDelete
With that in mind, demonizing J Street is decidedly unhelpful. J Street says "We are devoted and committed to Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic homeland" and proclaims that J Street can't be part of any group that advocates BDS.
I want the Jews who find AIPAC too far right for their tastes to stop at J Street and never fall in with Jewish Voice for Peace.
I agree with Alan Edelstein sentiments to some degree as what could be done, but his suggestion, that he finally gets to, is just a Band-Aid reaction. What I think is needed is a very strong reaction be sent to the Obama/Democratic regime that Israel will not appeased out of existence.ReplyDelete
I am outraged about this agreement that our Secretary of State, Kerry, and Obama have gone into with Iran behind Israel's back or input. Maybe when Israel is BOMBED out of existence Kerry will say, like Hilary said regarding the deaths in Bengazie, "What does it matter".
When are we going to learn from history. See what the following:
The Munich Agreement was a settlement permitting Nazi Germany's annexation of portions of Czechoslovakia along the country's borders mainly inhabited by German speakers, for which a new territorial designation "Sudetenland" was coined. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without the presence of Czechoslovakia. Today, it is widely regarded as a failed act of appeasement toward Germany.
Appeasement in a political context, is a diplomatic policy of making political or material concessions to a dictatorial power (or powers) in order to avoid a threatened conflict. Appeasement was used by European democracies in the 1930s who wished to avoid war with the dictatorships of Germany
Send this message, Israel will not be appeased out existence, to Jewish Organizations, Jerusalem Post, Congress men and women, Obama.
Very well written Alan!!ReplyDelete
Enjoyed your writing, directly to the point, especially re. Sacramento search for "new" ways to "support Israel." Since I was part of this Ticva group, I know first hand its true goals: to give legitimacy and spread the goals of groups who think Israeli are stupid and act against their best interest. Only these groups know what is right for a miniature country besieged by unstable Arabs on all sided eager to eliminate Israel, while they sit here in the vast US protected by the mighty US military. What audacity.ReplyDelete
Won't be attending the program at KOH. It is Hillel Damron who organized it. He is an Israeli with extremely left wing opinions.ReplyDelete
How ironic that this post showed up at the same time that the "How to Support Israel" announcement did. One email expressed the point of view from an informed individual, the other one advertised that there are idiots amongst us.ReplyDelete
Which is which?
Hint: I do not take the time to correspond with idiots.
You are so right. People spend too much time talking about what to do – rather than just doing something. It is easier to talk than work.ReplyDelete
You accurately described the programs at the two synagogues, except that readers outside our area need to realize that the weak-on-Israel group at Mosaic Law in Sacramento is small and that the synagogue leadership and most members are very strongly pro-Israel. The opposite is true in Davis. The Israel Matters Committee of Congr. Bet Haverim was founded as a reaction to the lack of strong pro-Israel leadership there. Also, I understand that many members of CBH belong to organizations such as Peace Now and JStreet. Several years ago CBH invited the regional head of CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood spinoff, to speak there in spite of protests from both within the congregation and other parts of the greater Sacramento Jewish community.ReplyDelete
Another gem. I think you meant the 1949 armistice line and not the 1947 though.ReplyDelete
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