I feel like the first responder at a port-a-potty explosion. I don’t even know where to begin, but I do know everything is covered in crap.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s final speech was so pathetic, inadequate, and incompatible with the reality of the Israel-Palestinian situation that I’d be hard-pressed to find a more unrealistic fig-leaf to cover for the unmasking of President Obama’s hatred of Israel as the Jewish state.
In it, Kerry rewrote history, misstated the nature of the conflict, the goals of the parties, and the interests of the United States. He exhibited a moral condescension and “know-better” haughtiness rarely seen except by suit-wearing poltroons who denigrated their own military comrades during a shooting war. Kerry’s existence is a personal debunking of Darwin’s “survival of the fittest,” having risen to high position with scarcely more cognitive ability than a chimpanzee wearing a blue tie and wingtips.
The only silver linings here are that in just a few weeks, Kerry is going away, hopefully forever, to where former failed secretaries of state go to write their turgid memoirs; and that nobody has listened seriously to him since February 1, 2013.
That being said, let me get out the shovel and start digging in to the excrement of this horrendous speech.
I’m right and you’re stupid
The basic theme here is that the United States knows what’s best for Israel better than Israel, a democratic state with free elections, knows for itself. Having spent eight years undermining Benjamin Netanyahu–who assumed office a mere two months after Obama–the president finally realized that his Israeli nemesis will remain in office after he himself departs. In Obama’s world, Netanyahu should not be in office, because he doesn’t agree with Obama, who is (in his world) always right.
Therefore, the disgusting abstention and active urging of the UN Security Council to bash Israel was necessary because Obama is right and the Israeli citizens who elected Netanyahu are stupid. It’s bigoted condescension, and that’s being kind. Kerry said “friendships require mutual respect.” If he believed that, he’d respect Israel’s right to self-determination, and its status as a nation able to negotiate its own treaties and protect its own national interests.
Gaslighting the law
Kerry cited every UN resolution that has no legal effect or was never ratified as proof that Israel should shrink behind pre-1967 borders, which are indefensible. Resolution 181, the Partition Plan, was not approved in 1947 because the Arab League walked out rather than accept a Jewish state under any conditions.
Israel’s legal right to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is established by international treaty, and recognized under the UN’s own charter Article 80. Read Daniel Horowitz’s excellent legal analysis of Israel’s right to build homes and settlements.
The only binding resolution of international law, a resolution which has never been countermanded to this very day, is the July 1922 Mandate for Palestine. Adopted by the League of Nations, that resolution recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” It called for the creation of a Jewish national homeland anywhere west of the Jordan River.
The Mandate for Palestine adopted by the League of Nations was the last legally binding document delineating regional borders. In Article 5 of the Mandate it explicitly states “The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.”
Kerry resorted to gaslighting to get around this inconvenient fact. He cited the history of the UN bashing Israel as justification for bashing Israel in the UN. He specifically advanced Obama’s vision of a two-state solution, which both Israel and the Palestinian leaders have rejected (albeit for different reasons), as the only solution available to the parties.
He kept using the word “occupation,” and “military law.” It’s Israel’s right to impose its own civilian law on its own citizens living within legally established borders sovereignly controlled by Israel. Kerry was referring to the redesignation of about 15,000 acres of “Area C1” land to Israeli civil control as state-owned land. Again, this isn’t illegal, and was done to protect all the citizens of Israel who live and work (including Palestinians) in this land.
But Kerry rewrote history, claiming the settlements are ideologically-driven because some Israelis have grown weary of constantly trading land for peace and reaping no peace. He cited how Israel has demolished shanties and shacks erected by Palestinian squatters, but missed the August 2005 unilateral and forced withdrawal of Israelis from northern Gaza. The shameful images of army troops evicting citizens from their homes, so that Palestinians could burn them and smash the businesses left there are still indelibly imprinted on Israel’s national memory.
And what did they get for that? Rockets, tunnels, kidnappings, and Hamas.
Kerry called England and France Israel’s friends, and implied that Jews and Muslims can coexist under Islamic law in peace. Tell that to the Jews of Paris, or the Jews who are harassed in England and fearful of their future in Europe.
Look at every Arab country and Islamic-controlled state that had thriving Jewish populations in the last 50 years. Where have the Jews gone? Does anyone really believe that in a two-state solution, a single Jew would be permitted to live under the Palestinian government? In September, Netanyahu called it what it is: ethnic cleansing. He was roundly criticized by terror apologists for it, but he was right.
Kerry claimed that Israel was to blame for the failed Oslo accords and other peace initiatives. If memory serves, it was Arafat who walked away from Clinton’s peace plan, preferring to provoke an intifada than to accept a two-state peace plan. The PA and its progenitor the PLO have never accepted peace with a Jewish neighbor.
Yet Kerry made the shocking statement that “Israel can be either Jewish or democratic, but not both,” throwing out the demographic argument that Palestinians would take over the Jewish state. That hasn’t happened with Israel’s significant Arab citizen population though. He implied that if the PA folded, that Israel couldn’t handle the civil administration, security and basic needs of the Palestinian population. To be blunt, that’s historically inaccurate, and it’s a crock of crap.
History paints a very different picture from the one Kerry was selling, but who cares about history when you’re pathologically convinced you’re always right?
Rainbow unicorns for everyone
Finally getting to the point (even Kerry couldn’t keep a straight face or follow the teleprompter reading all these lies), the secretary outlined a six-point plan for peace that’s straight out of fiction.
The first two points cite UN Resolutions 252 and 181 respectively. These resolutions confine Israel to pre-1967 borders, where Jordan illegally occupied the West Bank. Essentially he called on Israel to trade land it purchased with blood and trade it for a broken promise of peace once again, without the Palestinians having made a single concession.
No sane person in Israel, even the dovish ones there who oppose building settlements, would fall for this catastrophic course of action. Israel cannot meets its security needs if 252 were adhered to. And this isn’t like President-elect Trump’s “build a wall” issue (the Israelis have built a wall, and it works). It’s an existential issue–without land to fight an invading army, Israel cannot defend itself from destruction.
The latest UN Security Council Resolution 2334 deplores Israel for building on land they would unilaterally take away by force at some future time. This is in line with Israel’s enemies’ plan to isolate Israel, then coalesce by treaty a coalition to militarily intervene. Obama and Kerry simply advanced those plans to the next level in a supreme act of hubris.
The third point is laughably for Israel to provide compensation to two million Palestinian refugees. As if that money would ever make it into Palestinian families’ hands–it would be pilfered and used for weapons, terrorism, and rewarding families of suicide killers long before anyone was “compensated.”
The Palestinians in refugee camps, who are stuck in a stateless and permanent status of peasantry while others around them live in first-world conditions, were made that way by the Arab states who attacked in 1948 and refused to repatriate the families they told to leave Israel while the war continued. The vast majority of them settled in Israel in the few decades before 1948 when Arab leaders tried to match Jewish immigration.
How would Israel expect to compensate these people? It’s insane to even consider this until there’s a reasonable partner for peace.
Point four is for Israel to give up its “eternal and undivided” capital of Jerusalem. That would violate Israel’s Basic Law (their constitution). So Israel must repeal part of its Basic Law in return for nothing, while the Muslims get the same exclusive access and control of their holy sites that they have now. Sounds reasonable if you know nothing about history, the Bible, the Jews, and why Israel’s motto is “never again.” It’s fantasy.
Fifth, provide security for Israel and a non-militarized Palestinian state within known borders. Isn’t this the whole point of negotiations? Why should the U.S. determine those borders? Who are we to do this? This isn’t the end of World War II the U.S. rather arbitrarily picked the 38th parallel to demarcate North Korea from South Korea. It’s a supreme act of American interference to bully Israel into negotiating against their own self-determined national interests.
Oh, and also, it’s rainbow unicorns, because this isn’t going to happen anytime soon until the cultural and religious issues are worked out.
Point six, immanentize the eschaton. Peace, love, and M&M’s for everyone as we approach peaceful coexistence and ending the conflict. For the Palestinians, the conflict will end when there are no Jews left in the Levant. Is that what Kerry wanted? Otherwise, it’s nothing more than Pollyannish wish-casting.
Israel already has the fruits
Kerry listed the fruits of this peace, so Israel could be a regional economic powerhouse, and enjoy cooperation with key Arab states. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but Israel is already a regional economic powerhouse, and already enjoys (sometimes strained) cooperation with Egypt and Jordan. Israel even offers covert humanitarian assistance in the Syrian war, its medical personnel operating at great personal risk to treat wounded.
Israel’s hospitals treat Palestinian sick children, wounded terrorists, and Palestinian politicians with heart conditions. The only fruit Israel would love to have is to knock down their walls, dismantle their checkpoints, and put down their M-16s. To do that requires the Palestinians to want peace, and right now they don’t.
Kerry and Obama have dangerously and willfully ignored reality for eight years, and now at the end of it, they lash out at the people who have to live with their legacy of stupid. No speech could have outlined the ignorant and prideful arrogance of the Obama administration better than Kerry’s swan song.
Now be gone with you.