Netanyahu has check-mated Obama.
The Prime Minister and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met on Tuesday, two weeks after Israel reportedly told the Secretary of State that more “good will measures” for Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority must parallel good will to Israel by giving the green light for building homes in settlement blocs.
The Obama administration obviously was far from happy with the Israeli demand, according to this morning’s report by Haaretz, which directly quoted a government spokesman as saying:
The Americans want Israel to implement a package of meaningful measures in the West Bank. The prime minister made it clear that we want American recognition of the settlement blocs and of the fact that we can build there.
The office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not denied the report, and it makes perfect sense. Abbas has figuratively shot himself in the head by not dampening incitement to kill Jews. He also not only has not condemned murders of Israel, his regime also has continued to praise the “martyrs.”
Netanyahu, the master of timing, has exploited the impossible situation in which Abbas has placed himself by promoting lies that are too ridiculous even for President Barack Obama and most of the international community to buy.
The Palestinian Authority recently has accused Israelis of “executing” terrorists who they claims were innocent people, has charged that soldiers and “settlers” plant knives next to terrorists who were shot dead, and has tried to create a change in the definition of the “Temple Mount status quo” to mean no Jews are allowed even to visit, let alone pray.
The inevitable change in the image of Abbas, along with this past week’s blood-letting by Palestinian Authority terrorists, left Kerry in the unusual position of not demanding “both sides” stop the violence when he met Prime Minister Netanyahu Tuesday.
The Prime Minister’s remarks released for publication were:
Good morning, John. I’d like to welcome you again to Jerusalem. You are a friend in our common effort to restore stability, security and peace. There can be no peace when we have an onslaught of terror – not here or not anywhere else in the world, which is experiencing this same assault by militant Islamists and the forces of terror. Israel is fighting these forces every hour.
Kerry was incredibly bland, limiting his comments to his concern about the attacks, although he did not specifically use the terms “Arabs,” whether from Jerusalem or from the Palestinian Authority. The usual “balance” was absent. Kerry did not even hint that Israel has to show “proportional response” and did not utter a sound about Israeli settlements being an obstacle to peace.
He didn’t even use the word “occupation.”
Kerry stated, for public consumption, at least:
I come at a time that, as the Prime Minister has just said, is very troubled. Clearly, no people anywhere should live with daily violence, with attacks in the streets, with knives or scissors or cars. And it is very clear to us that the terrorism, these acts of terrorism which have been taking place, deserve the condemnation that they are receiving and today I expressed my complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives and disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation.
Israel has every right in the world to defend itself. It has an obligation to defend itself…. So I’m here today to talk with the Prime Minister about the ways that we can work together, all of us – the international community – to push back against terrorism, to push back against senseless violence and to find a way forward, to restore calm and to begin to provide the opportunities that most reasonable people in every part of the world are seeking for themselves and for their families.
He added that the Islamic State (ISIS) state also is one the agenda of his discussion with Prime Minister Netanyahu.