Secretary Kerry's Mideast 'Piece' Talks Break Down
Secretary of State John Kerry has been tireless in his travels to the Mideast, pressing and pushing for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement. But the peace settlement he has pursued should more accurately be called a “piece” settlement, since the only topic he seems to care about is how many pieces of territory the embattled Jewish State can be prodded into giving up to its sworn enemies.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly considering presenting the negotiators for the Arabs of Palestine -- the PLO -- with a new negotiating position, bolstered by maps -- that would indicate areas Israel may be persuaded to cede.
But only in return for PLO recognition of the Jewish State’s right to exist within secure borders.
None of these concessions, even if made as a good-faith effort to achieve peace, are enough for the European Union (EU). Catherine Ashton is the EU foreign-policy spokeswoman. She recently lashed out at Israel for settling more Jews in East Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.
This criticism from Minister Ashton comes at a particularly bad time. But it only emphasizes the blunt truth: Europe is becoming more inhospitable to Jews. Rising anti-Semitism even in such previously safe refuges as Malmö, Sweden, should concern the EU. Islamist violence and intimidation against Europe’s Jews is on the increase. In Ukraine, someone distributed pamphlets outside synagogues where worshipers had gathered for Passover services. These anonymous pamphlets demanded that Ukrainian Jews “register” or face deportation and confiscation of property.
The European Union, it would seem, needs to consider its own failures to protect the human rights of European Jews. Instead, it shovels billions of Euros into the coffers of the so-called Palestinian Authority. We say “so-called” because PLO boss Mahmoud Abbas cancelled elections scheduled for 2009. He rules today by fiat -- and through the generous financial backing of the EU and the United States.
In propping up a corrupt character like Abbas, we violate our own best traditions. In the Civil War, President Lincoln expected to be defeated at the polls, but he would not even consider canceling or delaying regularly scheduled elections for President and Congress.
Similarly, in the midst of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt never hesitated in placing his policies before the voters in mid-term elections in 1942 and the presidential poll of 1944.
Abbas has never been cooperative. His negotiators complained recently to President Obama that the Israeli settlements in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria constituted “a very ugly map.” The president should have asked Abbas to show him what the PLO’s idea of a beautiful map of the Mideast would look like. They have such maps. They are printed in schoolbooks, in tourist pamphlets, and on their official seal. It’s a map of “Palestine” with no Israel at all.
Now, Mahmoud Abbas has concluded a deal with Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood front group that rules in Gaza. It is from the Gaza Strip that Hamas has sent 10,000 rockets into Israel. This is the only result of the pressure from the EU and the UN on Israel to evacuate Gaza and to remove Jewish settlements from that strife-torn area.
Any territorial concessions by Israel to the PLO -- any “piece” agreement -- can be expected to yield no true peace, but only more staging areas for rocket attacks. Abbas has consistently denied the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state -- but he insists that any Palestinian state would be free of Jews. The German word for such is Judenrein.
Why American policy makers want to assist Abbas -- who celebrates suicide bombers and names public squares for them -- in creating yet another terrorist haven is a mystery.
Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick has shown in her new book, The Israeli Solution, that the PLO cannot account to EU’s own auditors how it spent some 27 billion Euros. The vast kleptocracy that is the PLO sponges off credulous European and American diplomats, constantly promising to advance a peace process that never processes.
Glick further shows that Abbas is giving $120 million per month to Hamas. He is therefore a leading non-state sponsor of terrorism. Why the United States has an interest in making the PLO another state, another Terroristan, is beyond our comprehension.
Even now, with President Obama’s foreign policies being repudiated around the world, Secretary Kerry and his State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, is blaming “both sides,” for the collapse of talks. Her words were reported in the Jerusalem Post:
“As has been the case throughout this impasse, today, Secretary Kerry was again crystal clear that both sides have taken unhelpful steps and at no point has he engaged in a blame game,” Psaki said. But Kerry had himself blamed Israel in his testimony before Congress: “A day went by. Day two went by. Day three went by. And then in the afternoon, when they were about to maybe get there, 700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem and, poof, that was the moment,” Kerry said.
We have seen anti-Semitism rising in Europe and even in the U.S. Jews who go to Israel are now under pressure from Kerry’s State Department not to try to live in the capital of the Jewish State, nor in Judea and Samaria, where Jews have lived since biblical times.
In his apportioning of blame to both sides, Sec. Kerry is a prime illustration of what the late Newsweek editor, Meg Greenfield, wrote about “both sidesism.” During the Iranian hostage crisis, this no-nonsense liberal criticized the view some liberals seem bound to take in such clashes. If they were missionaries put in a kettle, Greenfield wisely noted, these starry-eyed liberals would try to see the situation from the cannibal chief’s point of view.
Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts in the PLO invented airline hijacking for terrorist purposes. They murdered the Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972. They murdered U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel in 1973. They were likely connected to the murder of 241 U.S. Marines and Navy corpsmen in Beirut in 1983. When the flaming Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11, they celebrated in the streets.
Why is it in our interest to pet the PLO, pander to them, or even try to pay them off?
Blackwell and Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council, in Washington , D.C.