A leak of of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal reveals that it ignored the need to destroy terrorist tunnels and disarm Hamas while granting the terrorist organization, outlawed by the United States, millions of dollars to entrench itself in Gaza.
The “framework,” as Kerry called it, was so clumsily put together that the left-wing Haaretz newspaper, a long-time champion of peace with Hamas, reported that Kerry’s “conduct in recent days over the Gaza ceasefire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It’s as if he isn’t the foreign minister of the world’s most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast.”
After Hamas thoroughly rejected a ceasefire proposal by Egypt last week, Kerry knew he could not get support from Hamas without going through its allies, Qatar and Turkey. He staged a press conference with their foreign ministers, ignored Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, among others, and presented a proposal to the Israel Cabinet that was unanimously rejected Friday night.
Kerry made things even worse when he insisted that the Cabinet did not “reject” the proposal because, in his words, “There was no formal proposal submitted to Israel. Let’s make that absolutely crystal clear. Prime Minister Netanyahu called me a few minutes before this to tell me that that [rejection] was an error, and he’s putting out a statement to that effect … It’s fair to say that Israel had some opposition to some concepts, but that doesn’t mean a proposal by any means.”
Okay. It is not a proposal. It is a framework, one of Kerry’s favorite words dating back to his Peace Process Follies, where Palestinian Authority ultimatums became “negotiations” and the American “ultimatum” also was a “framework.”
The Jewish Press asked the Prime Minister’s spokesman if Netanyahu issued a “clarification,” as Kerry said he would. The spokesman, known for his accessibility and prompt response, has not answered after three hours of phone calls and text messages.
Until proven otherwise, it is more than conceivable that the Office of the Prime Minister has nothing to say. There is no sense in embarrassing Kerry since he does a good job at that all by himself.
The ”framework,” in the word of Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, “placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.”
Kerry held a press conference on Saturday, slobbering praise on the Qatari and Turkish foreign ministers. In the first two words in the excerpt of the YouTube below, Kerry uttered two words that fewer and fewer believe anymore. He said, “I understand.”
He understands Israel’s needs and understands this and understands that but does not understand anything more than he says at the moment.
According to his own spokeswoman Marie Harf Friday, the Secretary of Talk “made 13 phone calls as of today. He ended up making a total of 25 yesterday – very busy – talking mainly about his attempts to help broker a ceasefire in Gaza.”
What’s good for the phone company is good for the United States.
For all his talk, he delivered a draft that, again in the words of Haaretz’s Ravid, “was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry’s draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant.”
Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah are equally furious at Kerry for turning Qatar into the spokesman for the PA, Israel radio reported.
Here are some specifics of the draft, as leaked by Haaretz:
- Establish a humanitarian ceasefire ending all hostilities in and from the Gaza Strip, beginning in 48 hours and lasting for a period of seven days
Seven days? Does he really think Hamas will not fire a rocket in seven days, if not seven hours? And what happens if it fires “only” one rocket? And what does the IDF do in Gaza in the meantime if it cannot destroy terror tunnels? Play Scrabble? What’s a five-letter word for “jerk?” It is the same five-letter word for “alien.”
- Build on the Cairo ceasefire understandings of November 2012
The 2012 understanding states, “Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals; All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border; Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire; “Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.” That would give Hamas free access to rebuild its terrorist infrastructure, which is just what Foggy Bottom wants in order for it stay in the peace process business. If Israel were to wipe out terror, there might be peace and then Kerry would have nothing to do since he the Syrian civil war is not so important any more. Did you know that 700 people were killed in the last two of fighting there?
Kerry’s framework also proposes:
- Convene in Cairo, at the invitation of Egypt, within 48 hours, to negotiate resolution of all issues necessary to achieve a sustainable ceasefire and enduring solution to the crises in Gaza, including arrangements to secure the opening of crossings, allow the entry of goods and people…transfer funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries for public employees….
What is the U.S. State Dept. smoking? Egypt has outlawed Hamas and wants it to go the way of its mother movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Kerry thinks that Egypt, after its ceasefire offer was rebuffed, is going to hand over the deck of cards to the United States? Does the United States think it can bribe Hamas by paying salaries for its “public employees,” especially those in the Hamas army?
How does Kerry think he will implement his proposals that were never implemented two years ago?
Even Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who failed as much as Kerry in trying to make a living out of the “peace process,” rejected Kerry’s ceasefire plan as “completely unacceptable.”
Kerry does not have enough billions of dollars to buy Egypt, especially after the United States has so graciously signed a multi-billion deal with Qatar, one of Hamas’ biggest financial backers
It seems that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s remarks last year, in response to some of Kerry’s ridiculous proposals for an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, were not so far off the mark.
Ya’alon, in off-the record comments that were leaked, called Kerry “messianic” and “obsessive.”
Today there are a few more adjectives that can be added, but we will leave that to the reader to suggest.
For those who have the stomach to watch and listen, here are Kerry’s unremarkable remarks at the press conference with the Qatari and Turkish foreign ministers on Saturday.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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