In some better world, Secretary of State Giuliani, Gingrich or Bolton would be putting a stop to the State Department's usual shenanigans. Instead we've got Rex Tillerson and Israel-bashing business as usual. There were threats of a diplomatic crisis if Israel alters the status quo, lectures about Israel building in Judea and Samaria, and much of the usual sewage. It's not nearly as bad as it was under Obama. But neither is it much of a change. Because the same old people are still at the wheel.
One of John Kerry’s closest confidantes is now in charge of the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio at the State Department.
Mark Toner, the acting State Department spokesman and an Obama administration holdover, announced Wednesday that Michael Ratney, former U.S. consul to Jerusalem, will now take point on the Middle East conflict.
Martin Indyk — former U.S. ambassador to Israel who had been described as the Obama administration’s “anti-Israel apologist” — praised the appointment, tweeting that Ratney was a “valued member of Kerry’s peace team.”
An endorsement from Indyk is as good as the kiss of death.
Controversy has been ubiquitous throughout Michael Ratney’s Israel-related career.
While he served as Jerusalem consul, Ratney oversaw grants to OneVoice, a leftist non-profit that President Obama allegedly used to try to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel’s 2015 election.
After word of Obama potentially interfering in a foreign election was released, an investigation was opened up in the matter. However, when Congress called upon Ratney to release his emails, he claimed ignorance, saying he never saw the ones related to OneVoice. Even more suspiciously, he deleted the evidence.
Ratney’s deletion of his emails, instead of archiving them, put him in direct violation of the State Department’s policies. He claimed he was not aware of the rule at the time.
So we've got Mattis trying to put Anne Patterson, the Brotherhood's best friend, near the top of the heap. And the head of the notorious consulate in Jerusalem in charge of the portfolio. The Obama era isn't quite over yet. The house needs a lot more cleaning.