web analytics
January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Secretary of State John Kerry’

Full Text: Speech by Secretary of State John Kerry at State Department

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very, very much. Thank you. (Coughs.) Excuse me. Thank you for your patience, all of you. For those of you who celebrated Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy Chanukah. And to everybody here, I know it’s the middle of a holiday week. I understand. (Laughter.) But I wish you all a very, very productive and Happy New Year.

Today, I want to share candid thoughts about an issue which for decades has animated the foreign policy dialogue here and around the world – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Throughout his Administration, President Obama has been deeply committed to Israel and its security, and that commitment has guided his pursuit of peace in the Middle East. This is an issue which, all of you know, I have worked on intensively during my time as Secretary of State for one simple reason: because the two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors. It is the only way to ensure a future of freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people. And it is an important way of advancing United States interests in the region.

Now, I’d like to explain why that future is now in jeopardy, and provide some context for why we could not, in good conscience, stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that both sides must act now to preserve the possibility of peace.

I’m also here to share my conviction that there is still a way forward if the responsible parties are willing to act. And I want to share practical suggestions for how to preserve and advance the prospects for the just and lasting peace that both sides deserve.

So it is vital that we have an honest, clear-eyed conversation about the uncomfortable truths and difficult choices, because the alternative that is fast becoming the reality on the ground is in nobody’s interest – not the Israelis, not the Palestinians, not the region – and not the United States.

Now, I want to stress that there is an important point here: My job, above all, is to defend the United States of America – to stand up for and defend our values and our interests in the world. And if we were to stand idly by and know that in doing so we are allowing a dangerous dynamic to take hold which promises greater conflict and instability to a region in which we have vital interests, we would be derelict in our own responsibilities.

Regrettably, some seem to believe that the U.S. friendship means the U.S. must accept any policy, regardless of our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles – even after urging again and again that the policy must change. Friends need to tell each other the hard truths, and friendships require mutual respect.

Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, who does not support a two-state solution, said after the vote last week, quote, “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share,” and veto this resolution. I am compelled to respond today that the United States did, in fact, vote in accordance with our values, just as previous U.S. administrations have done at the Security Council before us.

They fail to recognize that this friend, the United States of America, that has done more to support Israel than any other country, this friend that has blocked countless efforts to delegitimize Israel, cannot be true to our own values – or even the stated democratic values of Israel – and we cannot properly defend and protect Israel if we allow a viable two-state solution to be destroyed before our own eyes.

And that’s the bottom line: the vote in the United Nations was about preserving the two-state solution. That’s what we were standing up for: Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living side by side in peace and security with its neighbors. That’s what we are trying to preserve for our sake and for theirs.

In fact, this Administration has been Israel’s greatest friend and supporter, with an absolutely unwavering commitment to advancing Israel’s security and protecting its legitimacy.

On this point, I want to be very clear: No American administration has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama’s. The Israeli prime minister himself has noted our, quote, “unprecedented” military and intelligence cooperation. Our military exercises are more advanced than ever. Our assistance for Iron Dome has saved countless Israeli lives. We have consistently supported Israel’s right to defend itself, by itself, including during actions in Gaza that sparked great controversy.

Time and again we have demonstrated that we have Israel’s back. We have strongly opposed boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting Israel in international fora, whenever and wherever its legitimacy was attacked, and we have fought for its inclusion across the UN system. In the midst of our own financial crisis and budget deficits, we repeatedly increased funding to support Israel. In fact, more than one-half of our entire global Foreign Military Financing goes to Israel. And this fall, we concluded an historic $38 billion memorandum of understanding that exceeds any military assistance package the United States has provided to any country, at any time, and that will invest in cutting-edge missile defense and sustain Israel’s qualitative military edge for years to come. That’s the measure of our support.

This commitment to Israel’s security is actually very personal for me. On my first trip to Israel as a young senator in 1986, I was captivated by a special country, one that I immediately admired and soon grew to love. Over the years, like so many others who are drawn to this extraordinary place, I have climbed Masada, swum in the Dead Sea, driven from one Biblical city to another. I’ve also seen the dark side of Hizballah’s rocket storage facilities just across the border in Lebanon, walked through exhibits of the hell of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, stood on the Golan Heights, and piloted an Israeli jet over the tiny airspace of Israel, which would make anyone understand the importance of security to Israelis. Out of those experiences came a steadfast commitment to Israel’s security that has never wavered for a single minute in my 28 years in the Senate or my four years as Secretary.

I have also often visited West Bank communities, where I met Palestinians struggling for basic freedom and dignity amidst the occupation, passed by military checkpoints that can make even the most routine daily trips to work or school an ordeal, and heard from business leaders who could not get the permits that they needed to get their products to the market and families who have struggled to secure permission just to travel for needed medical care.

And I have witnessed firsthand the ravages of a conflict that has gone on for far too long. I’ve seen Israeli children in Sderot whose playgrounds had been hit by Katyusha rockets. I’ve visited shelters next to schools in Kiryat Shmona that kids had 15 seconds to get to after a warning siren went off. I’ve also seen the devastation of war in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian girls in Izbet Abed Rabo played in the rubble of a bombed-out building.

Hana Levi Julian

John Kerry, Straw Men and the Saban Echo Chamber

Monday, December 5th, 2016
  • The Saban Echo Chamber and the Trump Effect
  • Peace with Other Arab Countries
  • Which Arab Countries?
  • Just Plain Insulting
  • Skipping Over the Peace Process
  • Jews, Settlers and Settlements and Obstacles to Peace
  • Kerry’s Straw Man
  • Kerry’s Complicated Solutions and Lack of Imagination
  • Just to Throw one Idea at Kerry
  • Conclusions

Secretary of State John Kerry’s rant at the Saban Forum was fascinating in that it illuminated everything that is wrong with the supporters of the two-state solution “peace” process.

 

The Saban Echo Chamber and the Trump Effect

To begin, Kerry asked the room to raise their hands to indicate their support for the two-state solution, and then to raise their hands if they are against it. Perhaps one or two hands were raised against it.

There’s no better indication that either nearly all the participants of the Saban Forum are out of touch with what Israelis believe and reality itself, thus forming a Saban echo chamber, or the participants are too intimidated to publicly admit to their peers that they don’t support it, just like Americans were publicly afraid to disclose they were voting for Trump.

I got the impression from Jeffrey Goldberg’s tough questions, that Goldberg realizes and acknowledges there’s an incorrectable problem with the two-state solution “peace” process and Kerry’s perception of reality, but Goldberg is unable or unprepared to make that intellectual leap and reach the logical conclusion.

 

Peace with Other Arab Countries

I was honestly baffled at Kerry’s absolute insistence that an Israeli peace with the other Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan, is predicated on peace with the “Palestinians.”

Kerry insisted that while the Arab countries need Israel’s expertise in areas like agriculture, technology and finance, they refuse to take it because of the “Palestinian” conflict.

First of all, if these Arab countries want to shoot themselves in the head, gei gezunterheit.

Second of all, Jordan takes Israel’s water. Jordan’s parliament just approved a natural gas deal with Israel. And Israelis even manage agricultural farms in Jordan (shhhh) .

Egypt, under the non-fundamentalist Al-Sisi – whom the Obama administration pushed away, is discussing major cooperation projects with Israel, where Israel will assist Egypt in solar energy, agriculture, desalination, and even expanding tourism.

So, when Kerry includes Jordan and Egypt not taking what Israel has to offer, one has to wonder about his disconnect.

 

Which Arab Countries?

But here’s the real question. Which Arab states was John Kerry referring to, and are the real benefits to Israel so earth-shattering?

In this new Middle East, we already quietly get oil from Kurdish controlled Iraq.

Now that Erdogan is close to consolidating his position as Turkish dictator, he is calming down and making deals with Israel, especially over Israel’s natural gas.

Lebanon, for as long as it remains controlled by the Hezbollah terrorist organization and the Islamic regime in Iran, will never make any peace.

Syria, doesn’t exist anymore as a country, and no one is rushing there to eat Hummus in Damascus.

Iraq? Yemen? The Islamic State of Iran (who aren’t even Arabs, and don’t care about “Palestinians”)?

We already have quiet business happening with some of the Gulf states.

That pretty much just leaves Saudi Arabia, and personally, besides overflight permission for El Al, I could pass on them.

 

Just Plain Insulting

John Kerry doesn’t like how Israel turned out. He believes it’s not faithful to the original vision.

“It’s because we want to be able to see this thing develop into the full-blossomed beacon that Israel has the potential of being…”

A nasty word directed at Kerry, is the only proper response I can think to such a condescending and false statement such as that.

There’s nothing more to say on that one.

 

Skipping Over the Peace Process

I found it fascinating how Kerry confused the timeline between Oslo I (1993) and Oslo II (1995).

I found it instructive how Kerry completely avoided discussing and glossed over the only reason that Oslo II was stopped in its tracks – and that was the horrifying terror attacks by our so-called peace partners.

Terror attacks so extreme, that even then Prime Minister Shimon Peres threatened to end any further IDF pullouts if the attacks didn’t end.

Yet, he somehow expects Israel to not learn from history and experiences and what our own eyes see before us.

 

Jews, Settlers and Settlements and Obstacles to Peace

Let’s discuss settlements, that being an area dear to my heart.

Kerry says the vision of the settlers is to control all of Judea and Samaria and to prevent peace and a Palestinian state.

To the first part, I finally congratulate Kerry on finally saying something factually correct.

We “settlers” believe in greater Israel. We believe in applying sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria.

On the last part, I congratulate Kerry on recognizing the truth, we “settlers” do not want a Palestinian state in the Land of Israel, in any form.

As for his middle part, that’s Kerry’s straw man argument. As the only vision for peace that Kerry will accept or consider is his repeatedly failed two-state solution.

 

Kerry’s Straw Man

Kerry only believes peace is possible on his terms.

He warns that Israel could become a “unitary” state. He claimed there are more Arabs on this side of the Jordan river than Jews.

He pooh-poohs any other idea and concept for peace as leading down the same road.

He then knocks down his straw men.

 

Kerry’s Complicated Solutions and Lack of Imagination

What is most amazing is how he bragged about all the “complicated”, convoluted, ridiculous and impossible to implement solutions he came up that he claims would allow Israel to maintain its security after evacuating strategic territories.

The man is capable of building absurd castles in the skies for implementing his peace process, but when it comes to challenges that applying sovereignty might encounter, Kerry can’t even conceive there might be any solution to the problem.

It’s a religion for him.

 

Just to Throw one Idea at Kerry

Kerry raises the central concern that anyone considering a Sovereignty solution encounters. Long-term demographics.

Naftali Bennett has addressed the problem, Caroline Glick has addressed the problem and even Betzalel Smotrich has addressed the problem.

Yet Kerry acts as if no one advocating Sovereignty has any solution.

Kerry spoke about the Marshall Plan after WW2. Kerry spoke about complicated networks of drones, fences, and cooperation with terrorists on our border with Jordan.

I have a simpler, less expensive, and less convoluted solution for his concerns.

I’ve spoken with a number of Arabs living under the Palestinian Authority regime, and they would love if Israel freed them from under the PA thumb.

But do you know what they want more than that?

A Green Card.

If Kerry really was worried about the demographic problem and the future of Israel, he would find a way to offer a Green Card to every “Palestinian” family who chooses to voluntarily and permanently leave the Land of Israel.

He would get his peace partners in crime, France and the EU to offer the same.

Most of Gaza and the West Bank would likely be empty within a few months time.

Kerry has 6 weeks to implement this idea before Trump takes over and closes the borders.

That’s just one possible solution.

 

Conclusions

Is Kerry really serious about peace? Or does his vision of peace only involve kicking indigenous Jews out of our ancient homeland?

After listening to his rant last night, the answer is self-evident.

JoeSettler

Report: US Waiting for “Green Light” for Assad Talks

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

An Arab paper in London, Al Rai El-Youm, reports that the US is waiting for the Syrian OK to open up secret back channel talks with the Bashar Assad’s government in Syria, according to Israel IBA news.

The US is waiting for the “green light” from the Syrians, at which point they’ll send a delegation to Damascus.

Last week US Secretary of State Kerry said that in the end the US will have to talk with Assad. The State Department later corrected that statement and said Kerry meant not with Assad himself, but with other officials in his government.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Embarrassed to be An American!

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
What do you think?

In an effort to repair relations with France, Secretary of State John Kerry brought musician James Taylor to sing an acoustic version of “You’ve Got A Friend” for the people of that country.
During the performance, Kerry rocked back and forth with his hands folded and his head held high… (Breitbart News)

Obama-style diplomacy. Today’s America…

WATCH: JOHN KERRY BRINGS HUGS, JAMES TAYLOR TO REPAIR RELATIONS WITH FRANCE

Batya Medad

Assessing Secretary Kerry’s Proposal

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

The value of Secretary John Kerry’s proposals are consistent with Kerry’s track record.

Kerry’s Syrian Track Record Until the eruption of the civil war in Syria, Kerry was a member of a tiny group of US Senators – along with Chuck Hagel and Hillary Clinton – who believed that Bashar Assad was a generous, constructive leader, a reformer and a man of his word. Kerry was a frequent flyer to Damascus, dining with Assad and his wife at the Naranj restaurant in central Damascus.  Following a motorcycle ride with Bashar al-Assad, he returned to Washington referring to Bashar as “my dear friend.” 

 

In September 2009, Kerry opined that “Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region,” while Assad was conducting hate-education, repressing his opposition, hosting and arming terrorist outfits like Hezbollah, cozying up to Iran, and facilitating the infiltration of Jihadists into Iraq to kill US soldiers. WikiLeaks disclosed that on February, 2010, Kerry told Qatari leaders that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria and that a Palestinian capital should be established in East Jerusalem.  “We know that for the Palestinians the control of Al-Aqsa mosque and the establishment of their capital in East Jerusalem are not negotiable.”

 

According to the London Telegraph, Kerry was a fierce critic of the Bush Administration’s hardline against Assad, advocating a policy of engagement – rather than sanctions – against terror-sponsoring Syria.  In March 2011, Kerry subordinated reality-driven hope to wishful-thinking-driven hope: “my judgment is that Syria will move; Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West.”  However, more than 200,000 deaths and 2 million refugees later, Assad’s Syria has certainly changed for the worst. In January 2005, following another meeting with Assad, Kerry said: “This is the moment of opportunity for the Middle East, for the U.S. and for the world…. I think we found a great deal of areas of mutual interest…strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Syria.” 

On September 3, 2013, Kerry assured his colleagues that “the Syrian opposition has increasingly become more defined by its moderation.”  However, Assad’s opposition consists, mainly, of anti-US, Islamic supremacists, Shariah-driven, anti-democracy, the violently-intolerant Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, whose subversive vision transcends Syria, encompassing the Abode of Islam as a prelude to the grand assault on the Abode of the Infidel. 

 

Kerry and the Palestinian Issue While vital US interests and homeland security are threatened by smothering Middle Eastern firestorms – from the Persian Gulf through Northwest Africa – Secretary Kerry is preoccupied with the Palestinian tumbleweed side-show. The latter has been the centerpiece of the Arab talk, but never the Arab walk. Contrary to Kerry’s Palestine Firster approach, the Palestinian issue is not directly or indirectly linked to the Arab Tsunami, is not a core cause of regional turbulence and has not been the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict nor the crown jewel of Arab policy-making.

 

Kerry’s Arab Spring  

According to the New York Times, December 21, 2012, Kerry contended that the Arab Street is transitioning toward democracy: “What is happening in the Middle East could be the most important geo-strategic shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

Yoram Ettinger

Kerry Cancels Cairo Trip, Slams Hamas

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry cancelled a trip to Cairo at the last minute Tuesday, then blamed Hamas for ignoring a ceasefire with Israel by bombarding Israeli cities throughout the day.

Dozens of rockets have battered Israeli cities since the ceasefire was due to begin at 9:00 this morning, striking as far as Zichron Yaakov, some 150 kilometres north of The Strip.

According to a report in The Jerusalem Post, Kerry told reporters in Vienna, “I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets in multiple numbers in the face of a goodwill effort to offer a ceasefire, in which Egypt and Israel worked together, that the international community strongly supports.

“Hamas is purposely playing politics” by continuing the rocket fire, using innocents as “human shields… against the laws of war… that is why they are a terrorist organization,” Kerry added

The paper said Kerry is prepared to return to the region in order to nurture a ceasefire deal, but at the moment he is scheduled to return to Washington after talks in Vienna with Iranian officials about that country’s nuclear program.

Meir Halevi Siegel

Kerry, after Schumer Criticism, Seeks to Allay Skepticism

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

By Jacob Kamaras/JNS.org

After he was apparently criticized by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for comments he made last month on boycotts of Israel, Secretary of State John Kerry in his Monday address at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference sought to allay skepticism on nuclear negotiations with Iran and Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations.

Without mentioning Kerry by name, Schumer apparently took a shot at the secretary of state by saying those with “even with the best of intentions” who warn Israel that it will face increased boycotts if it does not reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians “have it all wrong.”

“Those quote unquote friends [of Israel] should be condemning the boycotts in any possible way, weakening them,” Schumer said.

In February, at the Munich Security Conference, Kerry said in connection with the outcome of the U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian talks, “There are talks of boycotts [of Israel] and other kinds of things. Are we all going to be better with all of that?” President Barack Obama, asked by Bloomberg View columnist Jeffrey Goldberg if he agreed with Kerry’s assessment on boycotts, said in comments published Sunday that Kerry “has been simply stating what observers inside of Israel and outside of Israel recognize, which is that with each successive year, the window is closing for a peace deal that both the Israelis can accept and the Palestinians can accept.”

Obama also said, “If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction—and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time… If Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout [for Israel] is going to be limited.”

On Monday, Kerry told AIPAC, “I will continue to staunchly, loudly and unapologetically oppose boycotts of Israel. That will never change.”

Regarding the nuclear talks, Kerry said there is a “healthy debate” on the effectiveness of the negotiations and that “we welcome that.” He said American diplomacy with Iran “is guided by a simple bottom line: no deal is better than a bad deal.”

“The truth is, it is strong diplomacy that has actually made this moment [of getting Iran to negotiate] possible, and we need to give it the space to work,” Kerry said.

The interim nuclear deal with Iran, according to Kerry, has “not changed one piece of the sanctions architecture, and yet we are able to negotiate.”

“This is not a process that is about trusting Tehran,” he said. “This is about testing Tehran. And you can be sure that if Iran fails this test, American will not fail Israel. That I promise.”

A “good deal” with Iran would make certain that Iran could not obtain nuclear weapons, continually ensure that the Iranian nuclear program remains peaceful, and expand Iran’s “breakout” time for obtaining a nuclear weapon so that the world could act if Iran takes improper steps, Kerry explained.

Schumer—one of 26 senators to cosponsor the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act, which would levy additional sanctions on Iran should the Islamic Republic violate the terms of the six-month interim nuclear deal or fail to reach a final agreement—said America “must keep tough sanctions in place until Iran agrees to give up nuclear weapons.” The New York legislator criticized the terms of the interim deal, which gave Iran $7 billion in sanctions relief.

“It is no secret that I believe that we should not in the interim agreement have reduced sanctions in any way, until Iran reduced its nuclear capability,” Schumer said, adding that many in Congress “believe that any reduction in sanctions relieves the psychological power of future sanctions” on Iran.

JNS News Service

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kerry-after-schumer-criticism-seeks-to-allay-skepticism/2014/03/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: