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Kerry Blames, Threatens Israel if ‘Peace Talks’ Fail

In a remarkable televised interview, US Secretary of State John Kerry placed all the blame for any snags in the peace talks on Israel and threatened Israel of dire consequences if the current talks are not resolved to this US administration's satisfaction on the timetable set up by this administration.


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John Kerry scolded and threatened the Jewish State in a television interview on Nov. 7, 2013

John Kerry scolded and threatened the Jewish State in a television interview on Nov. 7, 2013
Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus



U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has thrown away the gloves, removed all the makeup, and resorted to naked threats and bullying in order to force Israel to fulfill this U.S. administration’s dream of successfully – from its, not Israel’s perspective – concluding the current round of Middle East “peace” talks.

Kerry’s threats to the Jewish state were broadcast during a joint interview with Udi Segal of Israel’s Channel 2 and Maher Shalabi of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, a preview of which was aired on Thursday, Oct. 7.

Perhaps most revealing was Kerry’s rhetorical query: “The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos,” Kerry said. “Does Israel want a third intifada?”

While the blame and the threats were dealt only to the Jewish State, Kerry did give the back of his hand twice to the Arab reporter.

The first time Kerry shut down the Arab reporter had to do with the creation of a single state. Shalabi pointed out that a growing number of Arabs have begun to turn away from the two state goal, and instead are talking about a single state.

To that suggestion, Kerry was categorical: “Well, there is no one-state solution.” He would brook no further discussion of that topic at all.

The second time Kerry withheld candy from the Arabs was when their reporter tried to cajole Kerry into saying the U.S. would impose a solution on Israel, pointing out that the U.S. “imposes elsewhere.”  Kerry definitively deflated that line of questioning. He pointed out that the U.S. is a facilitator and can help the two sides.”But in the end, you can’t have a peace imposed by anybody. You have to have a peace that the parties agree on.”

Other than being shut down on those two suggestions, everything that Kerry said must have been music to the ears of the Arab Palestinian reporter and his people.  It was a total smack-down of the Jewish state.

It was a virtual cornucopia of attacks against and misrepresentations of Israel’s actions and rights as has ever been lined up other than in, perhaps, Stephen Walt and John Meirsheimer’s infamous book about “The Israel Lobby.”

To begin with, Kerry reiterated his position that not only the Arabs consider the “settlements,” that is, Jews living and breathing beyond the 1949 Armistice Line, illegitimate, but so does the United States and the rest of the world.

The U.S. Secretary of State lectured Israel incessantly.  Here’s just one example:

Let me ask you something: How – if you say you’re working for peace and you want peace and a Palestine that is a whole Palestinian that belongs to the people who live there, how can you say we’re planning to build in the place that will eventually be Palestine? So it sends a message that somehow perhaps you’re not really serious.

And here’s another, in response to whether there is a problem of cynicism from both sides:

Well, from both sides.  And particularly in Israel – Israel says oh, we feel safe today, we have a wall, we’re not in a day-to-day conflict, we’re doing pretty well economically.  Well, I’ve got news for you. Today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s or next year’s.  Because if we don’t resolve this issue, the Arab world, the Palestinains, neighbors, others are going to begin again to push in a different way.  And the last thing Israel wants to see is a return to violence.

And one more thing: How does Israel survive as a Jewish state in a binational status? People have to stop and think about this reality. You need to resolve this issue, and it needs to be resolved now.

When the Israeli reporter tried to push back and present the problematic activity of the Arab Palestinians, Kerry just turned it around into another attack on Israel.  One can only imagine the intake of breath heard throughout Israel as this played out:

MR. SEGAL: How do you think a picture of Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, hugging murderers that killed children 20 or 3o years ago and say that they’re heroes of the Palestinian people – what kind of message do you think this is sent about peace process or peace atmosphere to the Israeli people?

Kerry begins his response sounding mildly sympathetic, but that tone is quickly replaced by annoyance at the Israeli people.

SECRETARY KERRY: It’s very difficult. I have no illusions.  I know that the vast majority of the people in Israel are opposed. I understand that. Prime Minister Netanyahu understands that, and it is a sign of his seriousness that he was willing to make this decision. The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos.  I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?

And for the record, Kerry asserted repeatedly that “the Palestinians and President Abbas have committed themselves to non-violence.” And he threatened that if Israel did not work with this current “non-violent” Arab Palestinian leadership, then Israel “may wind up with leadership that is committed to violence.” As if hugging and calling murderers heroes is an excellent example of a leadership committed to non-violence.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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