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John Kerry’s Middle East Folly

kerry folly

We knew a few days ago Israel’s reason for refusing to go along with John Kerry’s brokered week-long ceasefire deal with Hamas, but here it is. Israel was wisely unwilling to go along with what amounted to a suicide agreement

Surely Secretary of State John Kerry knows of the extensive labyrinth of tunnels in Gaza. Surely he knows that far beyond the rockets these pose a mortal threat to Israel that no country would accept. And surely he knows that the Israeli military is meticulously searching and destroying the tunnels and that this will take time, perhaps weeks and not days. Then why in the world would he publicly offer a truce proposal, especially one purportedly dressed up with some pro-Hamas goodies from Qatar?

Secretary of State John Kerry, third from left, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, third from right, speak with delegations during a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday. (Pool photo by Charles Dharapak/Reuters)

One explanation is that he is foolish beyond our wildest imagination, entirely disconnected from reality. He maybe thinks Israel bluffs like his boss does, or maybe he does not understand that Israel’s “right to defend itself” must include destruction of the tunnels. Perhaps he is deluded to think Israel wouldn’t publicly spurn him.

Another possibility is that this is yet one more sign of President Obama’s antipathy toward Israel. He’d rather Israel not complete its task, not eradicate Iran’s agents and not demonstrate that hard power is not only available but also essential to defeat those who would destroy you. There might be some extended rationale for this, but it boils down to Obama’s determination to appease bad actors in the cause of a temporary cessation in violence.

[...]

And, as was hinted at, shortly after the collapse of Kerry’s ceasefire truce plan it included every Hamas demand, and not a single demand of Israel

Ceasefire proposal presented to Israel by top US diplomat met all Hamas demands, scarcely mentioned Israel, according to Haaretz.

A ceasefire proposal presented to Israel by US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday made scarce reference to Israel’s security needs, Haaretz claimed on Sunday.

Israel quickly rejected the proposal, with some commentators questioning Kerry’s grasp of the situation in Gaza.

The newspaper claimed that the draft banned Israel from destroying the so-called terror tunnels that entered Israeli territory from Gaza during a proposed seven-day humanitarian ceasefire.

According to Haaretz, the draft contained 3 key items outlining the ceasefire agreement between Israel and the “Palestinian factions.” These items include a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire beginning Sunday evening, use of the understandings reached after Pillar of Defense in 2012 as a starting point, and talks in Cairo “within 48 hours” to resolve outstanding issues pertinent to maintaining a long-term cease-fire.

Haaretz said that Hamas’ demands were all met in the draft, including opening of border crossings, passage of goods, and payment of civil servant salaries. However, there is no mention, Haaretz said, of Israel’s central demand for the Gaza Strip to be demilitarized and the terror tunnels destroyed.

[...]

This would be ceasefire was to be overseen by Turkey and Qatar, who also hate Israel, and a more moderate neighbor in Egypt was ignored. But yeah, Turkey … who is at this moment preparing a “freedom flotilla” to sail to Gaza, and we all know exactly what is usually carried on those freedom flotillas.

Bookworm Room has a very good piece reflecting on John Kerry’s renewed inability to grasp who the real enemies are in these situations (Gaza), going all the way back to 1971 during Kerry’s anti-Vietnem war folly…

Here’s the thing, though: When it comes to John Kerry, we’ve heard this song before. Let me take you back to 1971, when John Kerry testified before Congress about his actions during the Vietnam War:

Mr. KERRY. My feeling, Senator, is undoubtedly this Congress, and I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but I do not believe that this Congress will, in fact, end the war as we would like to, which is immediately and unilaterally and, therefore, if I were to speak I would say we would set a date and the date obviously would be the earliest possible date. But I would like to say, in answering that, that I do not believe it is necessary to stall any longer. I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government and of all eight of Madam Binh’s points it has been stated time and time again, and was stated by Senator Vance Hartke when he returned from Paris, and it has been stated by many other officials of this Government, if the United States were to set a date for withdrawal the prisoners of war would be returned…

The Viet Cong’s demands at the time were for a complete American surrender and the communist takeover of the whole of Vietnam. (As an aside, that’s what we ended up doing, in part because people like Kerry, whose conduct at that time was illegal and seditious, paved the way.)

Looking at Kerry’s recent disgraceful performance in the Middle East, it’s clear that this is what Kerry does. He sides with murderous totalitarian regimes against his country and her allies. When it comes to Kerry’s embrace of Hamas, he is just acting true to form.

Indeed…

MORE:

Hamas calls for 24 hr holiday cease-fire after launching multiple salvos of rockets

Netanyahu says Hamas violating its own cease-fire

Hamas and NorKs in secret arms deal worth hundreds of thousands of dollars … Gee, I wonder where Hamas got all that money from?

Egypt army destroys 13 more Gaza tunnels

Hamas chief: We cannot coexist with occupiers

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