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Friday, December 06, 2013

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me

I'll bet you all didn't realize this but John FN Kerry is here to 'regain Israel's trust.'
Thursday’s Kerry, at least the one on display alongside Netanyahu, was completely different. Nary a word about the settlements, not a word about a third intifada, not a hint of his “I’ve got news for you” hectoring.
On Thursday it was smiles, “my friend, Bibi,” and a deep understanding of Israel’s security concerns.
If the television interview left the impression of a secretary of state a bit cavalier and dismissive about Israel’s security concerns, Thursday’s statement provided the antidote.
“I understand the challenge of security that Israel faces,” he said, after recalling a visit he took to Kiryat Shmona in 1986 where he saw Israeli children hiding from rockets from Lebanon, and another visit he took years later to Sderot where he saw people “taking cover from Gaza.”
What happened? What happened was a bad month in USIsraeli relations – a month where everybody, including Iran, saw fundamental tactical differences between the US and Israel.
What happened was, at Washington’s urging, the signing of an interim accord on Iran that the Israeli government considers a danger to Israel’s security.
A senior US administration official who briefed reporters Thursday said that in the US view, the Iranian deal has not impacted on the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process. Iran, he said, was a separate discussion.
This, however, seems to be wishful thinking. The two issues – the Iran deal and the Palestinian negotiations – may not be linked in Washington’s view, but they are linked in Jerusalem’s.
Not linked in the sense that if you get something on the Iranian front, you can give something more to the Palestinians, but rather that Israel watched carefully, and with grave concern, what happened in Geneva, and drew the conclusions.
Despite the efforts of Kerry and Netanyahu to paper over difference at their joint appearance on Thursday, there was deep, deep disappointment in Israel over how the Obama administration, and Kerry, handled the Iranian dossier.
And here is where there is linkage with the Palestinian issue, and it also explains Kerry’s underlining the security issue in his statement Thursday.
First of all, the agreement Kerry is pushing with the Palestinians will necessitate Israel taking calculated security risks.
But with Iran suddenly “off the ropes,” emboldened and enjoying newfound international legitimacy as a result of the recent accord in Geneva, Israel is likely to be less willing – not more willing – to take those security risks.
Secondly, any possible future agreement with the Palestinians would undoubtedly necessitate ironclad security guarantees from the US. An Israeli willingness to place its security in the hands of American guarantees has decreased – not increased – as a result of Washington’s handling of the Iranian file.
As a result, Kerry comes to Jerusalem and – unlike the impression he left after his television interview last month – places a huge emphasis on Israel’s security.
What could go wrong?

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At 8:41 PM, Blogger mrzee said...

Geneva is irrelevant with respect to American guarantees. Their "gurantees" have been worhtless since at least the "Rogers Ceasefire" at the Suez canal, of August 1970.



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