The Five Flaws of Kerry’s Mideast Peace Process

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, a doomsday thriller about the Iranian nuclear threat and current geopolitical issues in the Middle East.


kerry

Here is a list of reasons why Secretary Kerry’s Mideast peace process is unfairly flawed in ways that endanger Israel.

1) No Palestinian reciprocity at the outset. Israel agreed to release 104 convicted terrorists just to get the Palestinians to talk peace. Would the U.S. agree to release 104 Guantanamo prisoners for talks with anyone?

Israel will undoubtedly be blamed if negotiations fail, so it’s unlikely that fair judgment by the international community motivated the release. Perhaps it was the price that Israel had to pay for a U.S. promise to prevent Iranian nukes and/or support Israel’s efforts to stop them. If so, is the U.S. good for its word (despite Obama’s repeated demonstrations that his Mideast “red lines” are meaningless)?

Whatever the explanation for Israel’s good-faith opening, there were plenty of ways for the Palestinians to reciprocate: removing anti-Israel incitement from their textbooks and/or official media, recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, promising to “freeze” their anti-Israel diplomatic offensives, etc. But Secretary of State John Kerry preferred to establish that Palestinian reciprocity is optional: if Israel isn’t volunteering what the Palestinians demand, they need only threaten to leave the talks and Kerry will compel the Israelis to comply.

2) No Palestinian good faith. The Palestinians will be represented by Saeb Erekat and Mohammad Shtayyeh. Shtayyeh’s Facebook page displays a map of Israel’s internationally recognized borders, plus the West Bank and Gaza – all emblazoned with the Arabic letters for “Palestine.” So the person entrusted with negotiating a “two-state solution” openly admits that his Mideast map has room for only a Palestinian state. Just as alarming, during a recent sermon attended by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and broadcast on Palestinian television, Religious Endowments Minister Mahmoud al-Habbash compared the PA’s decision to negotiate with Israel to the Prophet Muhammad’s Treaty of Hudaibiya (in the year 628 CE): “in less than two years, based on this treaty, the Prophet returned and conquered Mecca. This is the example. It is the model.”

3) No religious freedom in a future Palestinian state. Palestinians insist (ironically) that “peaceful coexistence” means no Jewish settlers in their state. But, on principle, why should Jews be banned from living in a future Palestinian state — particularly when Muslims constitute over 17% of Israel’s population? Will the future Palestinian state be as hostile to religious minorities as other Muslim majority states are? Unfortunately, recent history gives little reason to hope otherwise. Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning, Arab journalist reported the following about a year ago:

According to the Greek Orthodox Church in the Gaza Strip, at least five Christians have been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam in recent weeks…Church leaders…accused a prominent Hamas man of being behind the kidnapping and forced conversion of a Christian woman, Huda Abu Daoud, and her three daughters. Radical Islam, and not checkpoints or a security fence, remains the main threat to defenseless Christians not only in the Palestinians territories, but in the entire Middle East as well.

While Gaza is ruled by Islamists, the PA has also shown its hostility to Christians. On March 12, 2012, Algemeiner reported that

“A week after Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told an [international] audience of Evangelical Protestants…that his government respected the rights of its Christian minorities, [PA] officials…informed Bethlehem pastor Rev. Naim Khoury that his church lacked the authority to function as a religious institution under the PA…[T]here is a sense among Christians in Bethlehem that anti-Christian animus has gotten worse in the city…Khoury said.”

A few weeks ago, Palestinians vandalized the Cave of the Patriarchs, Judaism’s second holiest site. How safe will non-Muslim holy sites be if there is no more Israeli presence in the West Bank? Will a future peace agreement specifically guarantee protection of and Israeli access to Jewish holy sites?

If Israel’s presence in the West Bank has helped to moderate Muslim rule there, will Israel’s complete departure mean that West Bank Christians can expect their persecution to worsen to Gazan levels (with abductions and forced conversions)? Palestinian insistence that their future West Bank state be “Judenrein” doesn’t bode well for the indigenous Christians there (or for religious freedom).

4) No Palestinian mandate to negotiate peace. There are about 2.1 million Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and 1.7 million in the Gaza Strip. But Hamas-ruled Gaza vehemently opposes peace negotiations and denies Israel’s right to exist. Islamic Jihad and Hamas recently lambasted PA leaders for meeting with Israelis to talk peace. The last time that the PA announced direct talks with Israel, Hamas announced plans to launch terrorist attacks at Israel, in coordination with 12 other Gaza terrorist organizations.

And it’s not even clear that West Bank Palestinians favor these talks. Last Sunday, they rallied against peace until PA police violently suppressed the protest. Human Rights Watch has urged the Palestinian government to investigate the police beatings. Moreover, Abbas himself has no legal mandate, as his term of political office expired long ago yet he continues to rule with no elections in sight.

At best, the PA can deliver only half of any peace that it promises, which lets Palestinians have their cake and eat it too: the PA can extract painful territorial concessions from Israel at the negotiating table, while Hamas can continue terrorist attacks to achieve the one-state solution embraced on Facebook by PA “peace negotiator” Mohammad Shtayyeh.

5) Transferring the West Bank could be Israel’s geostrategic undoing. Jordan could collapse any day from a flood of about 500,000 Syrian refugees (and growing daily); severe poverty; popular discontent over corruption, inequality, and lack of freedom; acute water shortages; and/or Muslim Brotherhood action to overthrow King Abdullah’s monarchy. These factors make the Abdullah regime’s survival increasingly uncertain. After Israel militarily withdraws from the West Bank, will Hamas topple the PA there as it did in Gaza (two years after Israel’s 2005 Gaza withdrawal)? What if the Hamas-allied Muslim Brotherhood then takes over Jordan? If Jordanian-Palestinians — the largest ethnic group in Jordan — create a Palestinian state there (as advocated by this Jordanian-Palestinian writer), would Palestinians effectively have two states? The range and severity of threats to Israel from the combination of a post-Abdullah Jordan and a Palestinian West Bank state are considerable. Is it even possible to address these Israeli security concerns in a way that leaves Palestinian negotiators satisfied enough to sign a peace treaty?

With so many inherent defects in the current peace talks, why would the U.S. push its most reliable Mideast ally (and the only Middle East democracy) into such perilous waters or inevitable blame? One explanation is the increasingly fashionable idea (promoted by Arab governments) that settlements are blocking a peace deal that would produce Mideast stability. But inconvenient facts completely contradict this idea: Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen (etc.) would remain the same conflict-torn mess as they are now after any Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

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  • Hank Rearden

    The same issue keeps coming up with any talks. Israel has to make its case in the public forum in order to pressure the US to back off its pressure. These talks could, under the right strategy actually be an opportunity.

    For instance, Israel could come to the table with some Palestinian textbooks that incite Jew hatred by youngsters and read the relevant portions, then ask what the Palestinians are going to do about that?

    For instance, Israel could come to the table with pictures of the desecration of Jewish sites in East Jerusalem when Jordan controlled it and say that is why it cannot move on the Jerusalem issue.

    For instance, Israel could come to the table and say that Abbas is not a legitimate leader since his terms ran out in 2009. What are the Palestinians going to do about that?

    And in each case, hold a press conference after the negotiations for that day with the material they presented.

    Just one part of the strategy, of the mosaic. But why not do it? Why release the 104 terrorists in camera? I am a reader of FrontPageMag and am reasonably well-informed. But I have no idea whether these 104 have been release already or are yet to be released. Why is this a secret? It should be an event with press releases with the bill of particulars on each terrorist, or at least the top ten.

    Yes, Israel haters and Jew haters are not going to change their spots overnight. But give the defenders of Israel the ammunition to do so!

    MAKE THE CASE!! SUSTAIN THE NARRATIVE.

    • BagLady

      Let’s talk about the Bedouin. Let’s talk about the 240 new Israeli houses to be built in East Jerusalem etc etc etc

      • StanleyT

        Yes, let’s talk about all of these. The Bedouin have built illegally, without permits, in areas where they have never lived (they are NOMADS) until it became politically expedient for them to move there. The Jews are building in parts of Jerusalem where – except for a period of 19 years from 1948 to 1967 – there have always been Jews. They are building after being granted permits in a very, very long process.

        So by implication, you are in favour if illegal Arab housing and opposed to perfectly legal Jewish housing?

        You were saying ….

        • EarlyBird

          “The Jews are building in parts of Jerusalem where – except for a period of 19 years from 1948 to 1967 – there have always been Jews…”So by implication, you are in favour of illegal Arab housing and opposed to perfectly legal Jewish housing?”

          By implication you are supporting the right of any people to lay claim to their ancestral land, regardless of how long ago they lived there, and regardless of who has occupied it since they left. “Not me, but my ancestors, once lived on this land, and I’m taking it back in the name of those ancestors.”

          It means Native Americans get to take back Manhattan in their name of their people. It means I get to displace Irish Protestants in County Mayo who moved into my Irish Catholic forefather’s land. Mexican mestizo indians get to move onto land in San Diego, and on and on.

          This of course would mocked and derided on this site of any other group but European Jews were involved.

          • NAHALKIDES

            As usual, your history is in error. The Jews had been the majority presence in Jerusalem since the 19th century. The point is that there is no such thing as “Arab East Jerusalem”; it’s simply that the Arabs expelled all the Jews during the 19 years they held control of the eastern half of the city.

            The Jews have every right to build in any part of Jerusalem they choose, and it’s time the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

          • EarlyBird

            Please. As if Jerusalem is the only bone of contention.

            I’m not saying that Israel is “illegitimate” any more than the USA is illegitimate or Australia is illegitimate because each displaced previous owners and occupants of those lands.

            What I dispute is the nonsense of an Israeli Virgin Birth where everyone looks around and asks, “Why are they so angry? Oh, because everyone hates Jews!” Duuuuh.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            By implication you are supporting the right of any people to lay claim to their ancestral land, regardless of how long ago they lived there, and regardless of who has occupied it since they left. “Not me, but my ancestors, once lived on this land, and I’m taking it back in the name of those ancestors.

            You are the quintessential useful idiot, as every claim, every last one of them, made by the so-called Palestinians is a damn lie concocted by jihadists as a pretext to justify permanent and perpetual jihad against the Jewish infidels in Israel. As a matter of fact, the same exact playbook is being played out in Kashmir, Jammu, India, Burma, Southern Thailand, Philippines, Sudan, Nigeria, Kosovo etc., etc., etc, ad nauseum, but very apparently you are too narrow-minded to notice and to connect the dots.

            Nevertheless, it doesn’t really matter what the particular lies are that are used as a pretext to justify jihad against these various infidels, the fact of the matter is they are all beside the point. As the sole fundamental purpose of mainstream orthodox Islam, not radical Islam which is a figment of your unhinged imagination, is to subjugate into Islamic totalitarianism all religions and all infidels via jihad and through the imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law. Hence, go fly a kite you unhinged useful idiot moonbat!

            Indeed, the only concession all of the above infidels could possibly make to their individual Islamic enemies that would serve to pacify them, would be total and complete capitulation and surrender to Sharia, whereby they would be rendered into Islamic totalitarianism and subjugated into harsh and degrading dhimmitude, exactly like all non-Muslim infidels today that have the misfortune of living in Muslim majority countries throughout the Islamic world.

            Islam is not a religion, instead it’s a very aggressive, dangerous, and destructive form of totalitarianism that poses as being a so-called “religion of peace” to gain a foothold, because all it needs to spread is a small foothold. Indeed, what true religions compel faith via the pain of death for blasphemy and apostasy the same way only Islam does? The answer, of course, is none of them, proving unequivocally that Islam is a cult masquerading as being a religion to dupe its intended victims.

            Furthermore, the will of Allah that all Muslims totally, completely, and unconditionally submit to under the pain of death for blasphemy and apostasy as the first and foremost requisite of Islam in essence is Sharia, which again is Islamic totalitarian law. Thus, Islam far from being a religion is instead a totalitarian cult.

            Besides being a totalitarian cult, per the universally accepted throughout Islam doctrine of abrogation and the infamous sword verses of the Koran, the sole fundamental purpose of Islam is the subjugation into Islamic totalitarianism of all religions and all infidels via jihad and through the imposition of Sharia, which again is Islamic totalitarian law.

    • EarlyBird

      Hank,

      I’m sorry, but I can’t help but come to this site and think I’ve dropped into an alternate universe.

      “The same issue keeps coming up with any talks. Israel has to make its case in the public forum in order to pressure the US to back off its pressure.”

      What “pressure?”! What is the US pressuring Israel to do? I read this and it’s as if under Obama the US pressuring Israel to give up Tel Aviv.

      The ONLY real thing that matters to Israel in this conflict and throughout these perennial US-led “peace talks” is for its borders to continue expanding. The Obama administration has not made a freeze of the settlements a precondition for these talks, while most every president before hand has. W. Bush even managed to get Sharon to send the IDF in to pull settlers out of their homes.

      By the way, the release of the 104 prisoners has not yet started AND they will be released in stages, so that Israel can pull the plug on the releases when and if the current talks go south.

      People don’t seem to understand: Israel is winning. And in terms of US-led “peace talks,” they’ve never been in a better position than at this moment.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “The Palestinians will be represented by Saeb Erekat and Mohammad Shtayyeh. Shtayyeh’s Facebook page displays a map of Israel’s internationally recognized borders, plus the West Bank and Gaza – all emblazoned with the Arabic letters for “Palestine.” So the person entrusted with negotiating a “two-state solution” openly admits that his Mideast map has room for only a Palestinian state.”

    But both are favorites among Western traitors…er…DP elites.

    • Ken Kelso

      The ongoing incitement against Israel and Jews that is rife in the Palestinian school system speaks to their real hated intent.

      You can’t make peace with Muslim people’s who embrace and glorify death. You can’t make peace with people who teach their children that Jews are pigs and monkey and drink the blood of Arab children. You can’t make peace with people who do not recognize your right to exist.

      You cannot make peace with people who openly call for your destruction. Let’s be honest, if Israel agreed to move all 6 million of its Jewish population to an area the size of a postage stamp and gave the Arabs the rest, that would not be acceptable to them. BECAUSE THEY WANT ALL OF ISRAEL as the Map of Mr Shtayyeh shows.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    Any politician that claims the PA is acting in good faith is a big fat liar that needs to be driven from office. If you’ll lie about that you’ll lie about anything.

  • drthomasedavis

    John Kerri has to be the most arrogant pimp alive. He is a cowardly fop with no redeeming virtues a liar and a man of stolen valor..

    • ObamaYoMoma

      He’s also a moonbat of epic proportions.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Actually there is only one flaw and one flaw alone: The sole purpose of mainstream orthodox Islam, in stark contrast to the way it is inaccurately portrayed via the current politically correct narrative, is to subjugate into Islamic totalitarianism all religions and all infidels via the imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law. Hence, there is only one concession that Israel could make that would be acceptable, and that would be complete capitulation and surrender to Sharia so the Jewish infidels could become second-class oppressed dhimmis the same way the Christian Copts and indeed all other non-Muslim infidels living in Muslim countries are treated today, as Islam far from being a religion, is instead really a very aggressive and destructive totalitarian cult. Of course, it poses as being a “religion of peace” to dupe its intended infidel victims and to gain a small foothold, for a small foothold is all that it needs.

  • Marty

    hamas and the palestinian authority have insisted that the palestinian people hate Israelis, Jews, and Americans and be prepared to destroy them. And Israelis are exected to concede to such sociopaths? kerry is a fool.

  • Mladen_Andrijasevic
  • Joel Cairo

    Palestinians never act in good faith. They even denied me the black bird which is rightfully mine. Israel would be wise to avoid any close dealings with them as they will stab you in the back once the opportunity presents itself.

    • Ken Kelso

      Joel, what is this Black Bird your talking about?

      • Joel Cairo

        I must assume that you have forgotten about my search for the famous Maltese Falcon that was so unfortunately interrupted by the detective Sam Spade. After I was finally able to return to public life the search has been much more difficult, but I no longer have to concern myself with that bloated idiot, Kaspar Guttman.

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