It’s a testament to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s grit, determination and self-assurance that he refuses to give up in his quest to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. But I wish that he would, during the long slog toward renewed talks, ask himself one question: Why didn’t his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, apply herself to the problem in the same manner?
Certainly, Clinton possesses the same qualities of fortitude and indefatigability. No one is more tenacious than Clinton when she identifies a goal worth pursuing. So why did she resolutely avoid this issue? The answer is simple: She saw no reasonable chance for success, even success modestly defined.
The goal Kerry has in mind — getting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas together for direct talks about the most divisive issues — won’t be achieved. Both the Palestinians and Israelis know that Kerry’s proposed negotiations won’t work, but neither party wants to upset Kerry by saying so, and neither wants to be perceived as uninterested in compromise. So they may meet, and then maybe they will meet again and maybe they will even meet after that. But peace, and a Palestinian state that would be the byproduct of peace, won’t happen, not now and not in the foreseeable future…
Bloomberg columnist, Jeffrey Goldberg, then lists some of Kerry’s delusions. RTFA if you need reminding.
He then proposes a couple of modest ideas.
If Israel were to make a limited gesture on settlements to the Palestinians, and if the Palestinian Authority would make a sincere effort to return to technocracy, then it might be worth trying to bring Netanyahu and Abbas together.
Right now, though, there’s no point. One day soon, Kerry will understand why.
One pleasant aspect of perusing any of the Bloomberg websites is that you might run into an educated comment. Rather than work out my gut reaction to the questions inherent in the opinion piece above, I think I’ll just quote a comment from the website:
…Of course it IS blindingly obvious that in the present circumstances there isn’t the slightest chance of “progress”…But for some strange reason you can’t quite muster up the honesty to state the reasons why. Even though you clearly know why.
A. The Israeli regime has no intention of ever giving the Palestinians anything, not even a set of Bantustans. See the Likud charter. Read any Israeli newspaper.
“Israel’s ruling party and the governing coalition are staunchly opposed to a two-state solution and would block the creation of a Palestinian state if such a proposal ever came to a vote, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said, contradicting statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior cabinet members who say Jerusalem is committed to the principle of two states for two peoples…”
For goodness sake this was less than a month ago! Wait, do you think Danon is lying or exaggerating? Please.
B. The US regime has no intention of ever applying the kind of pressure on Israel such as would be necessary to induce it to change its ways and abide by international law and UN resolutions. The Israel lobby in conjunction with the corrupt US Congress makes sure of that…