#EpicFail: John FN Kerry has even managed to alienate Israel's Left
Evelyn Gordon reports that US Secretary of State John FN Kerry's plans for our region are so extreme that he has even managed to alienate Israel's Left
, which is dying to support him.
Two regular Haaretz contributors and long-time peace advocates wrote columns this month decrying the current approach. First, former Haaretz editor-in-chief David Landau blasted Kerry for treating veteran Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem as “settlements.” Next, psychology professor Carlo Strenger explained why the Syrian crisis makes a full West Bank withdrawal impossible.
Read the whole thing
Much of Landau’s piece restated what
has long been obvious: the “indiscriminate lumping together of Jerusalem
suburbs with far-flung” settlements has encouraged mainstream Israelis
to do the same–and therefore oppose a construction freeze in either–and
made it impossible for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to
negotiate without a total freeze, because he can’t demand less than
Washington does. But Landau also added a new twist: “Kerry’s ham-fisted
lumping together of Ramot and Gilo with West Bank settlements” has even
forced Israeli leftists to side with Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu against Washington (and, he might have added, the EU as well).
It is “veritably forcing myriad moderate Israelis, who long for peace
and the two-state solution, to bridle, with the Netanyahu camp, at the
Strenger’s piece, however, tackled a broader problem: the ongoing
implosion of Syria. Peace activists have long advocated a deal with
Syria, he noted, but “most Israelis now shudder when they think what
would have happened if Israel had returned the Golan Heights. Al-Qaeda
and other extreme Islamist groups would be at the shore of the Kinneret,
creating an unbearable security risk.”
This lesson matters for the West Bank, he wrote, because despite his
conviction (incidentally not shared by most Israelis) that Abbas truly
wants peace, “Israelis ask a simple question: do you have the ability to
prevent a takeover of Palestine by extremists?” And the obvious answer
is no: Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction, and Abbas can’t
guarantee it won’t take power following an Israeli pullout.
Labels: 1949 armistice lines, Free Syrian Army, Golan Heights, John Kerry, Nusra Front, Syrian uprising, two-state solution