In her Friday news briefing, State Dept. Spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked: since the Arab league’s offer to accept the right of Israel not to be annihilated if only it withdrew from all the territories it acquired in 1967, will the league embrace the Jewish State should a deal with the Palestinian come through, or will there be other demands?
It’s a fair question on several levels, especially if the deal, should it, God forbid, take place, is softer on territorial demands than the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.
You would think that would be the problem, right? You would be wrong. It’s all about Syria.
The reporter’s question on Friday was: The Secretary has repeatedly made remarks on the Arab Peace Initiative and how it “holds out the possibility of normalizing relations with Israel.” He’s said this numerous times, but in December, at the Saban Forum, he said, “Israel would enjoy a normal peaceful relationship the minute this agreement” – as in agreement with the Palestinians – “is signed with 22 Arab nations and 35 Muslim nations, 57 countries in all.”
That was the promise – very similar to the blunt promises of sticks and carrots with which Secretary Kerry has been saturating Israel’s official, left-leaning media. That’s been the gist of Tzipi Livni’s call to give up a few negligible, ancient stones in favor of regional peace and prosperity, courtesy of our loving Arab neighbor states.
Reported continued: Now, I was with someone at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy the other day who made the note that the Arab Peace Initiative (API) has a very distinct qualification to that, which is that Israel “completely withdraw from the occupied Arab territories, including the Golan Heights.”
Indeed, the argument could be made that while Judea and Samaria are integral parts of the promised biblical Eretz Israel, the Golan’s status has always been less certain, even in Jewish sources. If Israel is tearing out its historic heartland, what’s the big deal about giving back a part of Syria?
Reporter continued: So is the Secretary working on having the Arab League amend the API, or is the hope that the Arab League put aside the API and endorse some future Kerry plan? One of those two things has to happen. Otherwise, his statement isn’t entirely accurate. Is that right?
Ms. Psaki responded: Well, as you know, we’re working with both parties on a framework for negotiations. We don’t have a final framework that’s even being discussed at this point, so in terms of what will or won’t be in a framework, never mind a final agreement, that’s not something I could speak to or we have the information to speak to.
So far nothing but hot air which has no relation at all to the question. It’s what spokespeople do.
Ms. Psaki continued: He is in constant touch with the Arab League and the Arab Peace Initiative Follow-On Committee and briefs them regularly every couple of months about the status of the discussions, the status of the negotiations, and where things stand. And they have indicated very publicly their support for those efforts. In terms of what the outcome will be and what will be needed or required, I’m not going to make a prediction of that because we have several steps to take before then.
Yes, but her boss had indeed made a prediction, it’s the centerpiece of his sales pitch to the Israelis: just say yes to some form of a Palestinian state, and the whole region will become your oyster. You can do all that song and dance and then retreat into a quiet corner and pretend you have no idea what we’re talking about, “what do you mean dance, moi?”
Psaki said the proposed U.S. framework will be the basis for negotiations for a final agreement. Meaning, when in doubt, parrot something, nobody is listening anyway. Except the pesky reporter was listening, and he pointed out the final agreement won’t address the Golan Heights, because it has nothing to do with a Palestinian state. He insisted on referring again to Psaki’s boss, who “says the minute this agreement is signed, 22 Arab nations and 35 Muslim nations will recognize or hold out the hope” of regional recognition of Israel.
Will they, or will they have new demands once Israel makes the big cut in its own flesh?
Psaki retorted, “Well, Michael, that’s a figure of speech. It doesn’t mean the minute he steps off the stage of an announcement that anything will be implemented.”
Please, Jewish brothers and sisters, if ever there was a warning given out by our State Dept., it this last line. It was just a figure of speech.
I don’t know how long is the line by now of people abandoned by the Obama Administration: the poor, the sick, the unemployed, I could go on and on. Do we really want our own shiny spot on that line? Do we really want to give up everything only to be met by a shoulder shrugging Secretary Kerry who tells us with his boyish smile that it was just a figure of speech?
The reporter continues to push, inquiring whether there’s there any discussion with the Arab League of amending their initiative, especially since, for the time being, there isn’t even a singular Syria to which Israel would be able to return anything, much less a border area close to where Al Qaeda and Hezbollah are busy killing each other. Is there any talk with the Arab League to amend their initiative to suggest waiting at least until there’s a government in Syria?
Psaki: There is not a discussion of amending the API.
Of course there isn’t, because what difference would that make? The purpose of the API is not to normalize regional relations with Israel but rather to weaken Israel so that it would be easier to annihilate when the next opportunity presents itself. Kerry Knows it, which is why it wouldn’t even cross his mind to convince those 57 Arab and Muslim states to give a little.
When American Jews, including Israel’s best friends and allies, including Orthodox individuals and institutions, are asserting that Kerry has our best interests in his heart; when they rebuke those of us who point straight at the false promises coupled with brute threats emanating practically from everything Secretary Kerry is saying to us, here in Israel – point them to Friday’s press conference. Tell them the Secretary of State wouldn’t even bother to suggest to the Arab League that it reconcile some of its absolutist demands, even temporarily.
He knows there’s no hope there. Why bother?
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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