It appears that Secretary of State John Kerry is receiving signs telling him that all his plans and the thoughts, principles, facts and situational awareness he has been relying on are all completely backwards and wrong concerning the Middle East in general and the Palestinian-Israeli situation in particular. Even the weather was sending a message that his presence is not at all helpful as after arriving for the second visit in less than a week, Secretary Kerry had barely enough time to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem and then go to Ramallah and meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas and then beat a path directly out of town leaving his further meetings with Netanyahu and his visit to Jordan to incorporate King Abdullah II into the alliance to pressure for a solution with Israel, instead heading on to Viet Nam before a winter storm of great ferocity stranded him in Israel. The weather dropped as much as a meter of snow in the eastern highlands of Israel and the Palestinian Territories with rain causing floods across the western lowlands and southern Negev region. Some, myself included, might have looked at the weather, coming as it did, ending a high pressure forced peace at any cost sacrificing anything that resisted standing in the way of implementing Secretary Kerry’s and President Obama’s perfect solution forcing Israel into concessions beyond those her leadership is comfortable making as a message for Kerry and Obama from on High.
Thus far there has been very little commentary on the reactions, demands and suggestions coming from Prime Minister Netanyahu other than the one point that Israel will not accept having her security guaranteed in any way, shape, or manner by third party troops be they from the United States, Europe or Timbuktu. There has been mention that the United States not only understands the Israeli insistence on having troops guarding the Jordan River Valley which is also the eastern border for the Palestinian state should one ever be formed and that is where weapons would be imported to use against Israel much as items came across the Egypt-Gaza border through smuggling tunnels such as rockets and mortars of which thousands upon thousands have rained down on Israeli citizens living in the south and Hamas and other terror units in Gaza have recently shown the ability to reach the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Imagine the carnage if the same range of rockets were to be launched from Judea and Samaria (West Bank) easily striking the heartland of Israel where the vast majority of her citizens and industry are located. Israel has had the experience of allowing third parties to monitor and guarantee their safety when the Europeans took over inspections of items entering Gaza across the Egyptian border crossing what was referred to as the Philadelphia Corridor. The European monitors ran away within two weeks immediately after Hamas terrorists looked at them angrily and gave them threatening nasty looks. They hid in their hotels in Tel Aviv for a few weeks before leaving for home to never be seen again.
There have also been numerous other circumstances where United Nations, NATO and other institutions placed monitors or troops tasked to prevent terrorist groups from arming themselves or reinforcing areas with bunkers and other military structures always leaving immediately whenever the reason for their presence actually required them to actually perform their duties. This was made evidently clear when international troops deserted the Sinai Peninsula without delay when requested to remove themselves by Egyptian President Nasser so that, as he explained, the Egyptians could drive the Jews into the sea. There is the glaring lack of success repeating in Lebanon where a UNIFIL force that was doubled in strength by the United Nations managed to allow Hezballah to import ten times the numbers of rockets than they had in their arsenal before the Second Lebanon War. If it was not for the strikes on Syrian transfers of weapons to Hezballah in Lebanon as well as destroying a Russian shipment of arms on the docks which were also intended for Hezballah, then Hezballah would be currently armed with chemical weapons, superior antitank missiles, antiship missiles and antiaircraft missiles. The world is aware that Israel was the source of these strikes as the Syrians were informed unofficially through leaks to the press from President Obama’s Administration which were then published informing Syria and the world from where the strikes originated and by what means they were carried out.
Secretary Kerry came last week with General John Allen in tow to discuss plans that would address Israeli concerns over security once the two state solution is enacted and the Palestinian State has been formed. Israeli leaders and military brass met and discussed the plans and there was apparently progress made and a tentative plan may have been reached, at least sufficient agreements were attained to give a picture of what any final deal would entail. Many presumed experts on the Palestinian Israeli peace negotiations would have claimed that with a high degree of agreement between Secretary Kerry, General Allen, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israeli civilian and military leaders and the staff accompanying Secretary Kerry that a deal was all but guaranteed as the Palestinians would certainly work to find a path to peace as these experts claim that the Palestinians truly hunger for peace and it is only because the Israelis refuse to be reasonable that there has been no peace yet. Well, Secretary Kerry went plan in hand to Ramallah last week to discuss an almost completed agreement which only needed the Palestinians to agree and maybe work out a few minor differences and the peace plan of the millennia would have been molded. That is where there was a slight problem. Chairman Abbas not only refused to agree to a single point of Secretary Kerry’s presentation but went on to inform Secretary Kerry in no uncertain terms that the only peace proposal that Abbas would accept had to include the complete surrender of every inch of the so-called occupied lands, Jerusalem as the Palestinian Capital City, all Jews removed from any lands belonging to the Palestinians, no Israeli presence along the Jordan River, the complete “Right of Return” for over five million Arab refugees who fled the Israeli war in 1948 and the release of every single Palestinian freedom fighter currently held in Israeli prisons on false terrorism charges. This set Secretary Kerry back on his heels but Chairman Abbas was not yet finished. Immediately after Secretary Kerry left Mahmoud Abbas held a press conference where he denounced the entire plan that had been presented to him and reiterated the litany of demands upon which he refused to waiver insisting that peace would only be attained on his terms and if it results in the eradication of the Jewish state. What is befuddling is the reason Secretary Kerry returned at all and did not instead simply write off Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas as not even the slightest interested in any compromise or reaching anything resembling a workable peace with Israel. It should have been completely and unambiguously clear that Abbas is demanding the complete destruction of Israel as a state for the Jewish People and will accept nothing less.
There have been those who upon coming to the realization that the Palestinian leadership will only accept the destruction of the Jewish state ask why Abbas believes that he will ever get such an unreasonable demand. The answer starts with the Khartoum Declaration and the three no’s; No peace with Israel, No negotiations with Israel, No recognition of Israel. This was the agreed position of the Arab world after the humiliation of their loss in the Six Day War. Subsequently, the Arab nations realized that as long as the world was presented with the Arab-Israeli conflict that the world would side with Israel as the underdogs. The massive size of the Arab world compared to Israel imparted visions of David versus Goliath with the Israeli David against the massively larger and more armed Arab Goliath. It was this revelation which demanded that the Arabs find a weak and sympathy garnering representation which when placed next to Israel appeared weak and defenseless against the might and power of the Israeli Defense Forces war machine. Thus the Palestinians became the Arab’s face and the Arab-Israeli conflict was rebranded as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with Apartheid massively powerful and intransigent Israel oppressing the poor, downtrodden, weak, helpless Palestinians upon who the world could only have sympathy and feel they were helping the oppressed underdog and saving the weak from the mean and oppressive Jews. The actual battle lines had not changed one iota. The proof of that is the constant drumbeat out of Iran of “Death to Israel”, the “A World Without Zionism and America” conferences in Iran, the Durban Conferences where the world with a few exceptions piled hatred and bile upon Israel and only Israel, the United Nations Human Rights Council which is required at the start of every session to discuss and condemn the Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians where any and every accusation is heard and applauded and sympathized and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement among so many others which exists solely to heap damnation upon Israel and only Israel as if there were no other ills in the world. It has even been stated by respected statesmen that if only Israel were to be abolished then every wrongdoing and ill in this world would automatically be resolved and there would be perfect harmony throughout the world. If you honestly believe that then you have my sympathy as it must be rather impossible surviving day to day without any ability to reason and integrate facts that you independently verified. Of course if you are relying on others to spoon feed you what you accept as fact, well, that explains much.
Beyond the Cusp