"Should he reason with useless talk or make speeches that do him no good?" Job 15:3
Kerry forces Israel's moment of decision
There was a ghoulish creepiness to US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Israel last week. Here we were, beset by the greatest winter storm in a hundred years. All roads to Jerusalem were sealed off. Tens of thousands of Jerusalemites and residents of surrounding areas were locked down in their houses, without power, heat, telephone service or water.
And all of the sudden, out of nowhere, Kerry appeared. As Hamas-ruled Gazans begged the supposedly hated IDF to come and save them from the floods, and as Israel took over rescue operations for stranded Palestinians living under the rule of the PLO 's gangster kleptocracy in Judea and Samaria, here was Kerry, telling us that we'd better accept the deal he plans to present us next month, or face the wrath of the US and Europe, and suffer another Palestinian terror war.
What is going on? Why can't Kerry leave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the rest of the country alone, even for a week, in the middle of a blizzard of biblical proportions? According to leaks from the now five month old negotiations, after 20 rounds of talks, the Palestinians have not budged from the positions they have held to for the past 50 years. They do not accept Israel's right to exist. They do not recognize the existence of the Jewish people. They do not believe that the Jews have the right to freedom or self-determination. They insist on taking control of our 3,000 year old capital. They demand that we surrender our ability to defend ourselves from foreign aggression and Palestinian attacks and infiltration from the east.
There is nothing new here, of course, This was the case 13 years ago at the Camp David summit. This was the case during the Annapolis summit in 2007 and 2008. This was the case when PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas rejected then prime minister Ehud Olmert's offer of peace in 2008.
Facing the Palestinians' continued defiance of the very notion of peaceful coexistence with Israel, Kerry is planning to present his own peace deal next month and try to force Israel to accept it. Although the text of Kerry's deal has not yet been revealed, we know exactly what it will involve just by listening to what he has already told us.
In his speech at the Saban Forum on December 7, Kerry said, "For many years the broad contours of an eventual solution have been absolutely clear, and they were crystallized for the world in December of 2000 when president Clinton laid down the parameters for a final-status agreement. They were reaffirmed through the Annapolis process during the Bush administration."
The Clinton parameters involved a near complete American embrace of the PLO 's maximalist demands. The Annapolis guidelines went even further in the PLO 's direction.
And now, Kerry intends to put forth his own parameters that will be even more forthcoming to the PLO than either the Clinton or Bush administrations were.
Like the Clinton and Bush plans, the Kerry parameters will involve Israeli surrender of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to the PLO , which rejects the historical fact that two Jewish temples were built at the site that was and remains the cradle of Jewish civilization and history and holiest site to Judaism.
They will involve the mass expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to make room for an anti-Semitic, Jew-free state that maintains its devotion to the destruction of the rump Jewish state. Kerry's framework deal will involve the mass immigration of hundreds of thousands of foreign-born Arabs, who have been living in al-Qaida-, Hamas- and PLO -controlled UN-run "refugee camps," for the past four generations to the new state of "Palestine."
Kerry's plan will require Israeli society to destroy its cohesion through the dismemberment and destruction of hundreds of Jewish communities. As occurred before the Gaza withdrawal, it will require the government to oversee the demonization and criminalization of well over three million law abiding, patriotic Israeli citizens who oppose the mass expulsions.Kerry's parameters will require Israel to surrender its ability to defend itself against foreign aggression and Palestinian attacks. As for the Palestinians, implementation of the Kerry parameters will guarantee that all moderate elements in their society, including among Israeli Arabs, will be overwhelmed and destroyed. The PLO state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, like the Hamas state in Gaza, will be breeding grounds for global jihadists. They will actively incite, organize and oversee an armed insurrection of the Arabs of the Galilee and the Negev, meting out punishment for all dissenters.
As for the US forces that Kerry proposes deploying to the Jew-free PLO state, they will be targeted by the Palestinians, just as the Palestinians and the Syrians attacked US Marines in Beirut 30 years ago. And like the Marines in Beirut, they will be withdrawn in humiliation and defeat, but the lesson - that the Arabs perceive the Americans and Jews as enemies of equal weight - will not be learned. And, at any rate, unable to defend itself after agreeing to Kerry's parameters, Israel will cease to be a strategic ally and be transformed into a strategic basket case. Its destruction will interest Kerry and his supporters just as much as the destruction of South Vietnam interested them in 1975.
Aside from being a more anti-Israel version of the Clinton parameters and Bush's framework, Kerry's parameters, and framework deal, have one other unique and particularly dangerous feature. Until now, US peace plans followed former prime minister Ehud Barak's dictum that "nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to."
That is, no hypothetical Israeli concession on Jerusalem, for instance, will be binding unless a final deal is concluded.
Kerry indicated at the Saban Forum that his goal is to coerce Israel into making irrevocable concessions up front, before the Palestinians agree to peaceful coexistence.
As he put it, "A basic framework will have to address all the core issues - borders, security, refugees, Jerusalem, mutual recognition, and an end of claims. And it will have to establish agreed guidelines for subsequent negotiations that will fill out the details in a full-on peace treaty."
For the past five and a half years, Netanyahu's strategy for dealing with US President Barack Obama has been to try to survive him. He's withstood Obama's constant demand for Israeli national suicide for "peace" by giving the bare minimum of revocable concession possible to keep Obama at bay.
But with Kerry poised to shove his lethal parameters down our throats, parameters that will require Israel to irrevocably accept terms of peace that will destroy the country, it is obvious that Netanyahu needs to adopt a longer-term strategy. Our goal cannot be limited to waiting out Obama. Our goal must be to extricate Israel from the two-state trap.
Yes, Israel will pay a huge price for jumping ship. For 20 years, non-leftist Israeli leaders have been trying to go along to get along with the Left, and the Americans and their ever-escalating demands. But Kerry's obsessive harping, and his insistence on pushing forward with his disastrous framework deal forces our hand.
Either we pay a huge price now, or accept our destruction within five to 15 years.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.
Israel to Kerry: Back Off
Obama utterly disdains the Israelis. By Jed BabbinJanuary 20, 2014
April is the deadline John Kerry has set for himself. By then he aims to negotiate a peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He's been at it for six months, to the dismay of pretty much everyone, especially the Israelis. Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon blew his stack at Kerry. Yaalon said, in conversations with American and Israeli officials, that Kerry "operates from an incomprehensible obsession and a sense of messianism - can't teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians." He added, "The American plan for security arrangements that was shown to us isn't worth the paper it was written on."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded, saying "The remarks of the Israeli defense minister, if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate especially in light of everything that the United States is doing to support Israeli's security needs."
You can read that two ways. What Yaalon said in characterizing Kerry and his actions is entirely accurate.Yaalon's remarks - for which he later apologized unnecessarily - are a clear indication that, contrary to Obama's insistence, the gap between Israel and America is very wide and is getting wider. To fully understand that gap - and why Kerry and Obama are making the situation vastly worse - we need to give it some context.The context begins and ends with Obama and his utter disdain for the Israelis and everything that has to do with what had been, until Obama, the one ally we had in the Middle East.
Obama's mindset, expectedly shared by his cabinet and other representatives, is that it's always the Israelis who are the obstacle to peace, whether it's peace with the Palestinians or peace with Iran.Obama's Islamocentric foreign policy has been evident since before his election. Obama has always regarded Israel with disdain, a fact that has been evidenced repeatedly by his - and his cabinet members' - actions. The disdain is not just his personal dislike for Prime Minister Netanyahu: it's much deeper.For example, Bob Gates, in his memoir "Duty", recounts a January 2010 memo he sent to National Security Advisor Jim Jones proposing a meeting with Obama on a possible Israeli attack on Iran and whether we'd help Israel, hinder it, or do nothing. Obama closed the resulting meeting, saying he was making no decision.
In March 2010, when Joe Biden visited Israel, the Israelis announced the construction of new housing in Jerusalem, angering Obama enormously. At the time, the White House evidently believed it was more dangerous for the Israelis to build a few apartments in the West Bank than for the Palestinians and Hezbollah to fire missiles at Israeli civilians. In a White House meeting later that month, Obama presented Netanyahu with a list of 13 demands to reduce American anger with Israel and then abruptly left the meeting to have dinner elsewhere in the White House, telling Netanyahu,"I'm still around. Let me know if there's anything new."
Never before or since has the prime minister of any nation been treated so harshly in the White House.
In December 2011, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the problem between the Israelis and the Palestinians had to be solved by Israel getting back to the "damn [negotiating] table." And now we have an unprecedented scolding of John Kerry by one of Israel's top ministers.
The Israelis have to tolerate Obama's preaching and Kerry's lectures, but only up to a point. That point has been reached.
Consider Yaalon's remark that the American plan for security arrangements isn't worth the paper it's printed on. But what is the plan?
We already know it in detail.In May 2011, the day before Netanyahu came to Washington to confer on precisely those points, Obama gave a speech in which he declared that -
Israel should go back to its pre-1967 war borders, adjusted for land swaps to meet their needs and the Palestinians'. This is the plan that Kerry presented to Yaalon.And there is certainly no difference in Israel's position, announced immediately after Obama's 2011 speech, that the pre-1967 borders were indefensible. Not that they were questionable, not that they could be the basis for compromise: they are indefensible. Yaalon's rejection of Obama's plan is not new, nor should it be controversial.The lack of controversy should result from the facts on the map. The pre-1967 borders would leave the terrorist Assad regime (or whichever jihadist group is running Syria if and when Assad falls) control of the Golan Heights and pretty much the entire West Bank area up through Jerusalem, Israel's capital. Israelis would have to get Palestinian government permission to go to their capital city.
There should be no controversy about Yaalon's other remarks. Yaalon implied that he and other Israeli leaders are being lectured by Kerry who - by background and experience - is unequipped to lecture them on anything, much less their nearly seven decades of enduring attacks from Palestinian terrorists (such as Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip) and all its neighboring Arab states.
If Yaalon had the inclination, it should be he lecturing Kerry on the realities of those wars. I can understand his reluctance to do so. As Bill Buckley once said, you can't argue with the invincibly ignorant.
This brings us to the intolerable lie of the week. Ever since he was inaugurated, Obama has been assuring us that he is a strong supporter of Israel, that our relationship with Israel is as solid as ever and that he will not do anything to weaken it. That is a lie, or at least three lies strung together in a ball of spin. I keep going back to the Gates book because I just finished it and it's fresh in my mind. The January 2010 Gates memo and meeting in which Obama memorably insisted on not deciding whether we'd support or oppose Israel in the event they attacked Iran presaged a series of events.
First is the campaign of hard pressure Obama has placed relentlessly on Israel to not attack Iran.
Next was Obama's refusal to sell Israel the penetrator bombs they'd need for an attack on some of Iran's hardened nuclear sites.
Third is one of the necessary effects of Obama's nuclear deal with Iran which no one beyond this column has been willing to raise. For the duration of the agreement - six months from January 21, to be renewed for as long as Obama is willing to let Iran do what it wishes - Israel's hands are tied. They cannot attack Iran because to do so would pit them against the United States. Israel would become an outlaw nation, would find itself sanctioned by the UN and denied American aid which would be tied up or cut off entirely. It would be in danger of losing its last friend in the world. Time is what the Iranians have needed, and time is what American presidents have been eager to give them. We know that the Iranians' top nuclear negotiator says that they'd be able to reverse the effects of the Obama agreement in one day: that is, they'd be able to resume enriching uranium to 20% almost instantaneously. And we know that it is much easier - and much faster - to further enrich the 20% enriched uranium. It's faster and easier to get from 20% to 50% and from 50% to 90% - weapons grade - than it was to get it to 20%.
George W. Bush gave Iran eight years to enrich uranium and develop and test the other technologies you need to build a nuclear weapon. Barack Obama has given them another five. And now he's prevented the Israelis from denying them any more time. The only difference between the threat Iran poses to Israel and the threat it poses to us is the geographic fact that Israel is closer. We are still, to Iran, the Great Satan, and they are as much at war with us now as they have been since they seized our Tehran embassy in 1979.
Israel is now more isolated and alone than it has ever been. We've gone from the time in 1973 when U.S. Air Force fighters were being armed and fueled to fly into the fight the Israelis seemed to be losing to this time, when we're tying the Israelis hands. And it's all based on the intolerable lie Obama is spinning, to wit that we're still Israel's best ally. Regarding Iran, we're not pursuing our own interests, far less those of our allies.
Jed Babbin served as a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush. He is the author of several bestselling books including Inside the Asylum and In the Words of Our Enemies.
US envoy Indyk: 75-80% of settlers remain in Israel under Kerry plan
In a conference call with US Jewish communal leaders, US special envoy to the peace talks, Martin Indyk revealed more details regarding the framework plan for final status talks being developed by US Secretary of State John Kerry.Several media reports say that Indyk indicated there would be "no surprises" for Israeli or Palestinian leaders in the plan once it is published in the coming weeks. He said that both sides would be expected to accept the plan with reservations, as a basis for negotiations towards concluding a final status accord by the year's end.
Apparently, Indyk outlined that the plan would address mutual recognition, security, land swaps and borders, Jerusalem, refugees and the end of conflict and all claims. He reportedly said that under the framework, 75-80 per cent of West Bank settlers would remain under Israeli sovereignty owing to land swaps and that it was his impression that Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas is not entirely opposed to settlers remaining in a Palestinian state, an issue of great contention within the Israeli government this week.
Apparently, the framework plan will also address issues highlighted by Israeli leaders, including reference to Israel as "the nation state of the Jewish people," in line with Israeli insistence that the PA recognise Israel as a characteristically Jewish state. It will also cover Palestinian incitement and address compensation for Jews who were expelled from Arab lands following the establishment of the State of Israel.
Haaretz reports that an unnamed PA official has said that if Kerry's framework plan includes a stipulation "to recognise Israel as a Jewish state alongside a vague formulation of the right of return," then it "cannot be a basis for any outline that could lead to an agreement." Meanwhile, writing in Sof Hashavua, Ben Caspit says that Kerry is considering delivering an address directly to the Israeli public to shore up popular support for a peace agreement.
How can that work?
He also said that while he would agree to allow NATO forces to deploy in the future Palestinian state, he would not permit any Jewish soldiers to serve in the NATO units stationed on the territory of such a state. As he put it, "I will not agree that there will be Jews among NATO forces and I will not allow even one Israeli to live amongst us on the Palestinian soil." Juderhein - the Nazis called it. Jew-free.
Look carefully at the map on the wall.
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