Kerry in Israel: Blind Alleys and Empty Words

Secretary of State John Kerry was in Israel on Monday and Tuesday, after a stop in Turkey. Reports indicate the usual mix of Obama-administration delusions and dubious promises.

The Jerusalem Post reported Israeli officials’ “astonishment” at statements Kerry made in Istanbul on Sunday, when he praised the Turkish government’s “sensitiv[ity]” and lack of “triumphalism” in responding to Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s “apology” over Israel’s Mavi Marmara raid.

That apology was made by phone to Turkish prime minister Erdogan over two weeks ago at the tail-end of President Obama’s visit to Israel. Some believe Obama pressured Netanyahu into making the call; some sources in Israel have said Israeli officialdom was itself keen on mending fences with Turkey out of a hope of renewed strategic cooperation on regional threats.

But what is clear is that Turkey’s response has been less than heartwarming and tends to confirm those who stressed Erdogan’s ideological hostility (if not outright anti-Semitism) toward Israel. As Israeli officials reminded the Post, the Turkish press has been full of reports and interviews with Erdogan and his foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu “gloating over the apology.” A day after the apology, billboards in Ankara gave a clear triumphalist message.

Erdogan has announced plans to visit Hamas in Gaza. Davutoglu hosted a dinner for relatives of Turks killed on the Mavi Marmara and members of the Al-Qaeda-linked IHH organization that sent the ship. Meanwhile Israeli-Turkish talks on supposedly renewing ties have been delayed by two weeks.

Kerry appears to respond to such developments with Orwellian inversions instead of serious stocktaking.

Once in Israel, Kerry surprised no one by pursuing the Palestinian issue, meeting with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and prime minister Salam Fayyad (reportedly soon to be sacked by Abbas). The UK’s Telegraph reports that Kerry “wanted to adopt the Arab Peace Initiative…as a basis” for restarting Israeli-Palestinian talks.

The Arab Peace Initiative was a plan broached by Saudi Arabia in 2002 in an effort to rehabilitate its post-9/11 image. It purports to offer Israel full diplomatic relations with Arab countries in return for withdrawing to indefensible borders and being inundated with Palestinian “refugees.” The Telegraph says Kerry

was said to have proposed wording that would soften the initiative’s demand for Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 borders, saying they could be modified by mutual agreement, while inserting stronger security guarantees for Israel.

It also says Abbas turned him down flat, insisting on full Israeli return to the 1967 lines and the release of terrorists from Israeli prisons. No surprises there either, since Abbas has, on various pretexts, refused talks with Israel since Kerry’s boss assumed office in 2009.

Yet the Telegraph goes on to say that Kerry “is expected to visit Israel and the West Bank every fortnight in an effort to give momentum to efforts at renewing the peace process….”

If accurate, this will be a remarkable waste of American energy and resources on something that has repeatedly proved to be a dead-end at best.

Meanwhile it turns out Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is also coming to Israel this month. Over the past year particularly, processions of high-level U.S. officials to Israel—in this case, with Hagel following Obama and Kerry, as high-level as it gets—have been aimed at dissuading Israel from taking action on Iran’s nuclear program.

Kerry, for his part, said Tuesday morning after meeting with Netanyahu that “we are open to negotiation [with Iran], but it is not an open-ended, endless negotiation…. Iran cannot have and will not have a nuclear weapon.”

On Sunday Israel’s strategic affairs minister Yuval Steinitz, who is close to Netanyahu, conveyed a considerably sharper sense of urgency, stating:

Sanctions are not enough and the talks are not enough. The time has come to place before the Iranians a military threat or a form of red line, an unequivocal red line by the entire world, by the United States and the West…in order to get results.

Steinitz, who says something should be done in “a few weeks, a month” if Iran doesn’t stop enriching uranium, added:

We warned beforehand that the way in which these talks are being conducted is a ploy to gain time, the Iranians are talking and laughing their way to a bomb…. [W]hat is currently happening in Korea serves to demonstrate…how urgent it is to stop Iran’s nuclear (activity).

Is the Obama administration, with all its delusions about the region, capable of seriousness about Iran? The top Israeli leaders are likely grappling right now with that question.

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  • κατεργάζομαι

    AMERICA's RUDDERLESS SHIP of FOOLS! – Kerry, Hagel, Obama. The three blind mice (ratz).

    • Roger

      Led by a president dictator that hates this country and is led by marxist ideology and a muslim heritage.

    • Victoryman

      Don't forget the Quisling, Brennan.

      • defcon 4

        Is Brennan a quisling or an islamofascist himself?

        • JacksonPearson

          "Is Brennan a quisling or an islamofascist himself?"
          He's both…

    • JacksonPearson

      "AMERICA's RUDDERLESS SHIP of FOOLS! – Kerry, Hagel, Obama. The three blind mice (ratz)."

      "Hanoi John Kerry" is no Middle East expert.
      Perhaps wind surfing, but nothing else!

      • Confucius say

        RE: "Hanoi John Kerry" is no Middle East expert. Perhaps wind surfing, but nothing else! "

        Speaking of John Kerry's expert wind surfing,

        Q. What does Teresa Heinz Kerry call "fart" in German?
        A. Farfrompoopin!

  • AdinaK

    David knows all too well the price being paid due to "blind alleys and empty words", as he sits on the front line of southern (Islamic) rocket fire! Never mind the fact that a so called "cease fire" is in place, and in "danger" of unraveling. The fact of the matter is that it is nothing short of a total charade, one which Israel's leadership allows itself to be dragged into, over and over again.
    But feel free to also ignore current events. However, let's meander back to Oslo, and to its attendant truths –

    G-d save us from our delusional Israeli leadership, and Washington's dangerous interference!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

  • Yoda

    Poor Israel, with the Current enemy the Unites States of Amerislam under Obama, they don't stand a chance, they are truly alone and surrounded on all sides by their enemies, Obummer, Kerry and Hagel all are the Devils advocates

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "Kerry appears to respond to such developments with Orwellian inversions instead of serious stocktaking."

    Why? Because he's a…________

    • Roger

      I have to wonder, which low tax port is he hiding his wife's yacht in?

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "I have to wonder, which low tax port is he hiding his wife's yacht in?"

        I've never heard a peep about her. Have you?

  • Texas Patriot

    Kerry is no different than any other American Secretary of State for the last 65 years. They have all worked toward achieving a peace within the U.N.'s original mandate for the creation of a Jewish state. Unfortunately, it is now clear that there will never be peace among Israel and her neighbors, and the only logical course of action is to respond to the incessant personal attacks from her neighbors by steadily expanding her territories until she occupies all of the land originally intended for her by God. Kerry apparently is in denial about this. Obama, I would suggest, is not.

    The days of assuming that Israel's neighbors want anything but perpetual war and the eventual destruction and elimination of Israel are over. It is now time for a new aggressive counter-response policy which imposes the strict consequence of forfeiture and permanent displacement by neighbors who have chosen a path of perpetual war against Israel and her citizens.

    Let's see how the Arabs respond when they lose a little bit more of their own territory with each new attack.

    • stern

      "all of the land originally intended for her by God." While I do agree with you on this statement, there are many who do not and who say that the Bible is not a reliable source of real estate proof of ownership. Far better is to say that Israel should take all the land originally intended for her by the world and granted to her under international law. The San Remo Conference and League of Nations Mandate for Palestine remain the only legally binding international decisions on the disposition of the land.

      • defcon 4

        It's funny how these same "many who do not and who say the Bible is not a reliable source of real estate proof of ownership" have nothing to say about who has co-opted the Temple Mount or why Soddy Barbaria is an exclusively muslime state.

  • WildJew

    "Hagel following Obama and Kerry have been aimed at dissuading Israel from taking action on Iran’s nuclear program…."

    Obama-supporters are fully behind Obama's efforts to protect Iran from an Israeli strike on her nuclear sites. The United States is the "Great Satan." Millions of Iranians chant death to America. Iran is no North Korea. Iran is developing long-rang missile capability. Iran has terror cells in the U.S. One day, Iran could pose a mortal threat to the United States. One would think Americans would not only support an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites but demand Iran be neutralized before it is too late.

    • Texas Patriot

      Israel probably does not have the technology to completely eliminate Iran's nuclear weapons programs. America does. Did you notice any consternation or concern by Netanyahu during Obama's recent visit? The reason is that Obama has assured him that if Iran proceeds toward the assembly of a nuclear weapon, America will take care of the problem. Since doing that may require the use of nuclear weapons, we need the Russians to be on board with us, just as we need China to be on board with us in the event we need to use nuclear weapons in responding to N. Korea. At this point in world history, all civilized nations including Russia and China, are staring down the barrel of an international Islamist conspiracy with the declared purpose of taking over the world by military force and imposing Islamic law on the entirety of the world's population.

      Here's a tip. The Cold War is over. Russia and China are in the same boat we are, and they are not going to allow their former surrogates to become a problem. At the same time, giving the surrogates every opportunity to back down from their aggressive nuclear weapons and ICBM programs is imperative.

      Relax and watch the show, WJ. If N. Korea and Iran continue down their stated path of developing nuclear weapons and delivering them against the United States and Israel, the world is going to see some fireworks like it hasn't seen since August of 1945.

      • WildJew

        Your optimism seems rooted in the notion that Obama is a pro-American president like any number of American presidents in the past. Many Americans are guided by this this false narrative, in my view. I do not subscribe to the theory. I do not believe Obama wants what is best for this nation. He has done nothing to date to indicate he does want what is best for the United States – as opposed to what is best for the ummah – much less what is best for Israel's security.

        • Texas Patriot

          Do you suppose that it is best for the ummah for Obama to go after Al Qaida with pilotless drones? Was it best for the ummah to invade Pakistan and take out Osama bin Ladin? If Obama is so great for the ummah, why did OBL issue a personal fatwah against him? Like many of us, Obama thought it might be possible to make peace with Islam. After the worldwide chants of "Obama, Obama, We're All Osama" that we all heard on 09//11/12, there is no longer any room for doubting what kind of challenge we're up against. Obama is as patriotic an American president as we have ever had, IMO. And he will prove it even to skeptics like you, when he defangs N. Korea and Iran and totally eliminates their nuclear weapons and ICBM programs. Otherwise, the war against the global Islamic conspiracy will take time. Israel can do her part by responding aggressively to local attacks. America will do her part, along with Russia and China, to take care of things on a broader perspective.

          • WildJew

            Obama authorizes the killing of murderous jihadists who target American citizens (with the exception of those operating out of Benghazi, Libya), I believe because they hurt the "stealth jihad" cause which he supports. Jihadists and their supporters are divided over what is the most effective way to conquer the West. Al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood for example have the same goal but differ in their tactics. Obama supports Muslim Brotherhood's more pragmatic tactics.

            Time will tell if you are right about Barack Obama. I do not believe you are right. We shall see. If Iran joins the nuclear club because Obama buys them time – as I believe he is doing – will you concede you were mistaken about Barack Obama?

          • WilliamJamesWard

            Obama got rid of some of the Al-Qaeda because they were a challenge to
            the Muslim Brotherhood and not accepting the control the Brotherhood wishes
            for. Obama is the greatest threat to America, Iran trails behind him and he
            will do nothing against Iran unless it is to keep himself in power, all else is
            unimportant to the megalomaniac. Everything he has done as President is
            a disaster, Time will not tell if Obama is anything but the cause of the end
            of time for America. Kerry is a flaming indication of Obama's support of
            Islamists over Israel, the stupidity of those who think these people are business
            as usual is beyond belief, we are betrayed and undone by the left……….William

          • Texas Patriot


          • Drakken

            Your faith in Comrade Obummer is misguided and extremely foolish, this is not going to end well and your messiah is going to get caught with his pants down and it will cost a lot of American lives in the end that could have been avoided.

          • kasandra

            "Obama is as patriotic an American president as we have ever had, IMO." What color is the sky on your planet?

          • kasandra

            Just want to make sure everyone realizes I was responding to T.P.

          • Texas Patriot

            Red, White & Blue

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Red, White & Blue"

            See, that's the flag. The sky on earth is bluish, depending on the weather.

          • Anonymous

            Obama a patriot of the United States of America!? Wow, just wow.. Obama has about as much fondness for the United States as an Alger Hiss. Obama's latest illustration of his deep love for Amerika has been to award the Russians with a military contract to supply helicopters to Afghanistan. Yeah, that illustrates how much he just loves America — pretty much in keeping with Obama's "corpse man" slip up. Not to mention his allowing Americans to die in Benghazi, then falsely accuse and blame the murders on another American citizen (the Coptic). Yeah, now that is "patriotism" of an Alger Hiss variety.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "Here's a tip. The Cold War is over. Russia and China are in the same boat we are…"

        No way is it over. The cold war with the Soviet Union ended because the Soviet government doesn't exist. They call it "Russian Federation" now and have to keep a lower profile. The Chinese have evolved on capitalism, but not their attitudes about "capitalists" and they don't consider themselves a part of that.

        "…and they are not going to allow their former surrogates to become a problem."

        They want to minimize problems for themselves and maximize problems for their competitors for the game of global hegemony.

        "Relax and watch the show…"

        Your delusional confidence is getting old.

    • Victoryman

      The American people support an Israeli strike on Iran – and support Israel 100%. The Golfer-in-chief, Hagel, Kerry, Brennan and company, however, only support islamo/fascism. Also, do not be deceived, should Obambi be followed by Hillary, the U.S. "Policy" towards Israel will not improve. Hillary is cut from the same (Alinsky) cloth as obambi.

  • Texas Patriot

    I think you guys need to get off this cloud of thinking that Obama is the problem. NO ONE has understood the challenges that Israel faces until very recently. Perhaps Israel herself didn't totally get it. The truth is that under Islamic law, no Muslim is permitted to make peace with anyone who occupies lands formerly conquered by Muslim armies, and that includes Israel. Should Israel abandon peace efforts? No. Holding out the branch of peace is always the right path. Should Israel imagine that her neighbors want peace? They may want peace, but their own religion prevents it. Thus there is no chance of it. EVERY ONE knows that now. So, take it one step at a time. Hold out the branch of peace, and when attacked, respond aggressively to eliminate the attackers, confiscate their lands, and forcibly remove their people from the forfeited lands. This is a new day. That is the new way. If Muslims don't like it, too bad. If they want to live in peace with their neighbors, they should change religions. Muhammad's Koran calls for perpetual war against all non-Muslims until the entire world is under Islamic law. If they want to stick with that religion, they should expect the foreseeable consequences.

    • Drakken

      The problem with your thesis is that Obummer is doing all he can to enable islam in the region and you don't quite seem to get it, liberal devotion is not a favorable quality when it comes to islam and muslims because you folks seem to believe that all cultures and people are equal and they are clearly not. Reality has a nasty habit of waking you from your unfounded belief system.

      • Victoryman

        Well stated!

    • gee59

      We have understood all along, so has your President. He has done his very best to destroy Israel and harm the interests of the United States.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "I think you guys need to get off this cloud of thinking that Obama is the problem. NO ONE has understood the challenges that Israel faces until very recently."

      To say that you are simply wrong is radical understatement. What do you mean by "lately?" The current wave of troubles started shortly after the terrorists responded to the Oslo Accords with more anarchy. Arafat made it perfect.y clear that he was still one of the terrorists posing as an "Islamic statesman for peace" (Islamic peace) back in 2000.

      Is that what you mean by recently? Because that's the last moment that I think even the most optimistic 2-state person could claim to have any reasonable hope for it.

      • Texas Patriot

        "What do you mean by "lately?""

        I didn't say "lately". I said "recently", and what I mean by recently is 09/11/2012, when demonstrators throughout the Muslim world were chanting "Obama, Obama, We're All Osama". That's about as clear as it gets.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "I didn't say "lately". I said "recently","

          Glad you cleared that up.

          "…and what I mean by recently is 09/11/2012, when demonstrators throughout the Muslim world were chanting "Obama, Obama, We're All Osama". That's about as clear as it gets."

          If that's what woke you up, you need to concede that you're not the sharpest tool in the shed. Why can't you defer a little to people that predicted it so clearly many years ago?

          I mentioned the Olso Accords and Clinton's "peace" efforts with Arafat where Arafat completely rejected an offer 1000 times better than they could have expected. Sovereignty over Temple Mount? And they went to war without even making a counter-offer.

          How can ANYONE believe that the "Palestinians" are doing anything other than lying constantly? Only willfully ignorant people hold these positions after late 2000 or 2001, depending on how long it takes you to read through the headlines and follow up to authenticate the most salient claims.

  • SoCalMike

    Kerry should just go back to sleep.
    He's as clueless now as the zit faced boy who carried water for North Vietnam years ago.

  • RiverFred

    Here is how to take out Iran, first disable their communications, second drop a bunker buster bomb on their nuclear facility that will knock off the mountain cover, 3rd. drop bombs on their exposed concrete facility, 4th the facility will be sealed by heat and implode from within. Unfortunately Israel will need the help of the US to take out all of their nuclear facilities. I would suggest we take out their oil fields as well, that will set them back 20 years.

    • Drakken

      If you take out all comm, power stations and the electrical grid, they are as good as the dark ages.

      • gee59

        Would they notice?

  • Ben Jabo

    Push comes to shove, there's always the "Samson Option" which will cure many ills

  • Victoryman

    If the jawbone of an ass is required, there are many in Washington who would qualify. The list is long and time is short…….

  • Len_Powder

    "Iran cannot have and will not have a nuclear weapon.”

    And the Pope is NOT Catholic!

  • Raymond in DC

    Kerry: “we are open to negotiation [with Iran], but it is not an open-ended, endless negotiation…."

    Curious, then, that the US has engaged in such open-ended, endless negotiations for FOUR YEARS so far. They keep telling us there's a limit to such negotiations, yet as frequently insist "there's still time" for diplomacy.

  • MTnman

    Binyamin Netanyahu and the Israeli people know well not to turn their backs on Kerry, after his Viet Nam experiences and "Fonda-like" sellout of our soldiers. Kerry is full of himself and quite arrogant with his self-promotion attitude.