United States Secretary of State John Kerry was back in Israel on a dual tracked trip. One objective of Secretary Kerry’s visit was to further explain all of the wondrous items included in the Geneva agreement made with Iran to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and other top Israeli figures. This new information was expected to settle the concerns which have been emanating from numerous Israeli officials among others from the Middle East. Both Kerry and President Obama probably expected that such a briefing would settle everything and bring the Israelis in line and on board with the Obama Administration. There could never be any suspicions that these explanations were any less valid than the explanations delivered by Secretary Kerry before the first trip to reach an agreement with Iran; the trip where the United States said one thing to their presumed allies of Israel and Saudi Arabia only to have them subsequently revealed by the French and British who informed the two nations of the truths of what was being offered the Iranians by President Obama. That was the deal that the French vetoed making necessary another meeting to hammer through the weak deal which has been causing consternation in Israel and elsewhere.
The second, and presumably easier mission was to present a new American plan for the security arrangements which might lead to getting the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians back on track and moving forward. The contents of the deal have not been fully revealed but it is rumored to grant Israeli forces to control the Jordan River Valley as a security measure to intercept, detect and defend Israel from any attacks coming out of the east as well as allowing Israel to cut off supplies to the Palestinians should another Intifada or other threat make such desirable. The expectations was that by giving Israel what they felt was an absolute necessity that the rest of the deal would be easier for Israel to accept as it was presumably favorable to the territorial and autonomy demands stated in English by the Palestinians. The problem that Secretary Kerry likely never saw coming would be a quick surprise at his initial meeting to put forth the great new American plan. This first presentation was supposed to be to an easy sell with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as it contained numerous on the ground victories for the Palestinians over the Israeli positions. Much of the agreement was intended as setting up a security framework as part of an interim deal from which a final deal could be reached. Secretary Kerry met with brick wall by the name of Abbas who gave Kerry his first taste of total rejection for any deal, no matter the source, which does not result in the complete eradication of Israel as a Jewish State. Abbas rejected every single item in the deal leaving Secretary Kerry with a problem, how now does he present a deal to Israeli leaders after it has been rejected by the Palestinians who demanded far more than anybody could ever deliver.
The main lesson here for Secretary Kerry is that if you plan on being able to offer any deal to settle or mediate any part of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is what the reality of the Israel-Palestinians peace process represents, the very first step you take is to offer it to the Israelis always making sure that contained within the deal is a poison pill forcing the Israelis to make impossible concessions. Once the Israelis have balked and initially rejected the deal but left room open for further negotiations, then you visit Ramallah and present the deal to Abbas informing him that the Israelis are already uncomfortable with the deal and you ask Abbas if he is willing to accept the deal. When he too refuses, then you request he present what changes are necessary to make the deal palatable to the Palestinian side. Agreeing with most, if not all, of the demands made by Abbas you amend the deal and return and represent it with the new demands included to the Israelis. The Israelis, between the poison pill and the new Abbas dictated demands, will be left with no alternative but to reject the deal. That is when you hold the press conference and talk about the steps made to bring the sides closer together and that Abbas has agreed in principle to the terms, as he had altered them of course, in the deal which the Israelis are still expressing concerns and reservations and if the Israelis would simply bend a little more, then peace might be at hand.
Of course anybody with a modicum of brains and common sense, this excludes both Secretary Kerry and President Obama who are both unbendable ideologues who believe their answers are the universal truths and cannot understand why anybody could reasonably disagree with their proposals, who has spent the slightest amount of time dealing with the Middle East would know, the reason there has never been a peace accord reached between the Arab interests and Israeli survival has never been about peace but about the eradication of Israel. As long as Israel seeks to remain the homeland of the Jewish People there will be no agreement by the Arabs which includes the Palestinians. The truth was put forth by the Arabs at the Conference of Khartoum after the June 1967 Six Day War where the Arabs initiated the Three No’s. These were; No peace with Israel, No recognition of Israel, No negotiations with Israel. The implications were simple and obvious, the only resolution the Arabs were willing to countenance was the eradications of Israel, also known as the fourth ‘No’; No Israel. The unfortunate result of this object lesson is that neither Secretary Kerry nor his boss, President Obama, will learn one single iota of insight from this farcical disaster that is the new American push for Israeli-Palestinian peace through which all the troubles in the world will simply melt away once that peace has been forced upon the two sides. Some walls are meant for fools to repeatedly walk into and always be surprised that the wall has not removed itself. The Palestinian recalcitrance and refusal to accept anything short of the eradication of the Jewish State is one such wall.
Beyond the Cusp