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Kerry’s Israel/Palestine Vision: Too Little, too late 

Kerry

Kerry’s vision for Israeli/Palestinian peace was too little, too late to matter after eight years of one-sided Obama administration support for the Jewish state.

His remarks included something old and something new – too much of the former, too little of the latter, lip service only, not an honest, equitable way to resolve longstanding conflict.

America under Obama’s leadership and all previous US presidents failed to do what’s most important – grant official recognition to Palestinian statehood within pre-June 1967 borders, East Jerusalem as its capital, and its diaspora population having the right of return.

Kerry’s address was a meaningless 11th hour gambit after eight Obama years of futility, accomplishing nothing toward resolving decades of Israeli/Palestinian conflict – rhetoric with no policy initiatives backing it. Talk without action is hollow.

Obama entered office two days after Israel’s Cast Lead slaughter ended. He partnered in Israel’s 2012 Pillar of Cloud and 2014 Protective Edge aggression. He endorsed Israeli state terror against defenseless Palestinians, blaming them for its high crimes.

He did nothing to advance an equitable and just peace, nothing supporting Palestinian self-determination based on pre-June 1967 borders, nothing denouncing merciless occupation harshness, nothing recognizing the right of oppressed people to resist Israeli tyranny, nothing holding the Jewish state accountable for decades of Nuremberg-level high crimes.

Claiming a “two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just an lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians” reflects long ago outdated thinking – unattainable today with Israel controlling over 60% of West Bank land, its most valued areas, while claiming Jerusalem as its exclusive capital and maintaining Gaza’s blockade, solely for political reasons, not security ones.

One state for all its people is the only equitable and feasible way forward today. Nothing else can work. Nor can anything without international community punitive action against Israel for failing to treat Arabs and Jews equally.

Rule by occupation, colonization, apartheid and state terror assures endless conflict. Enforcing international law with teeth is the only way to change things. Peace talks are futile, stillborn each time announced, the greatest hoax in modern times.

They’re an insult with one side holding supreme power, the other having none at all, along with Israeli-collaborative PA governance betraying its own people.

The only language Israel understands is force. It’s time to exert it politically, economically and financially. Occupation harshness has no legitimacy. Palestinian self-determination is fundamental – free from Israel’s iron-fisted rule.

Arab rights are as sacrosanct as Jewish ones. Peace is unattainable without treating everyone in Palestine and Israel equitably.

Kerry’s address was a worthless exercise a few weeks ahead of Trump succeeding Obama, perhaps intending to be more pro-Israeli than his predecessors.

Yesterday he tweeted “(s)tay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching,” signaling whatever Obama and Kerry say or do in their waning days won’t matter.

Things will change when he enters office – maybe for the worst, Israeli interests served exclusively at the expense of what Palestinians deserve.

Reactions to Kerry’s Israel/Palestine Speech

It was too little, too late after eight years of one-sided Obama support for Israel. Kerry offered dishonest lip service alone for long-suffering Palestinians, achieving nothing toward resolving decades of conflict.

Coming in the waning days of Obama’s tenure, his address was meaningless. America’s policy toward Israel remains unchanged, likely hardening under Trump, Palestinian rights ignored entirely.

Netanyahu reacted as expected, calling Kerry “biased,” his speech a “great disappointment.” His office issued a statement, saying “(j)ust like the resolution that John Kerry advanced at the United Nations, the speech he delivered was biased against Israel.”

“For more than an hour Kerry dealt obsessively with the settlements and almost did not touch on the source of the conflict – Palestinian opposition to the existence of a Jewish state with any borders.”

Fact: Israel consistently blames others for its own wrongdoing, its high crimes threatening regional and world peace.

On national television, Netanyahu ranted, saying “(t)his is what the secretary of state has to focus on in one of his final speeches, for an entire hour.”

“The entire Middle East is in flames. Entire countries are collapsing. Terrorism is rampant, and for an entire hour the secretary of state attacks the only democracy in the Middle East maintaining stability, not only for our Jewish and Arab citizens but also contributes to stability in our region.”

“Maybe Kerry hasn’t noticed that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christmas can be celebrated safely and peacefully. This unfortunately doesn’t interest the US Secretary of State.”

What utter rubbish, truth turned on its head, Netanyahu’s arrogance and duplicity clear to see – a thuggish rogue state head, an embarrassment to legitimate governance.

Extremist education minister Naftali Bennett shamelessly said “we will not establish another terrorist state in the heart of (Israel).”

According to Joint (Arab) List MK Ahmad Tibi, Kerry’s speech “will not leave (its) mark in history if the administration does not (officially) recognize” Palestinian statehood before Obama leaves office.

Trump absurdly claimed Israel is treated “very, very unfairly,” adding he’s “very, very strong on Israel,” stopping short of stating a position on continued Israeli settlement expansions.

Separately, he tweeted “(w)e cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the US…”

AIPAC blasted Kerry’s speech, calling it “a failed attempt to defend the indefensible,” adding:

He “placed overwhelming, disproportionate blame for the failure to advance peace on our ally, Israel, while neglecting numerous Israeli peace offers and Palestinian refusal to resume direct talks.”

Fact: Israel rejects peaceful conflict resolution, Palestinian statehood and affording Arabs the same rights as Jews.

Fact: Its longstanding slow-motion genocide policy calls for maximum land with minimum Arabs – furthered by state-sponsored terror.

Reactions from Congress were mixed. Republicans reacted harshly. House Speaker Paul Ryan said after allowing Res. 2334 to pass, affirming the illegality of Israeli settlements, “Kerry has no credibility on Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

Other Republicans accused him of “abandon(ing) Israel,” delivering a “pointless tirade,” a “delusional” effort, a “path to pain,” not peace, a “charade,” a “disastrous (exercise showing) willful ignorance,” embarrassing Israel while looking forward to change once Trump assumes power.

Democrats were largely disappointed, tempering their criticism of Kerry while affirming their support for Israel – ignoring its apartheid ruthlessness.

About the author: Stephen J. Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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