Kerry Threatens Israel
Secretary of State John Kerry appears to have shed the last vestige of a U.S. honest broker role in pursuing an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.
While conducting shuttle diplomacy with stops in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, Kerry unleashed a torrent of sharply critical remarks about Israel and its government.
If current peace negotiations fall apart, Kerry warned Israelis that the result would be a third intifada of terrorist attacks against Israel.
But that was just for starters.
In addition, Kerry said, Israel would be more internationally isolated, there would be increased calls for boycotts and divestment from Israel, and the advent of a Palestinian leadership committed to violence.
For good measure, Kerry also denounced Jewish settlements in the West Bank as "illegitimate" and called for an end of the presence of "IDF soldiers perpetually in the West Bank."
Kerry's remarks fit perfectly with the Palestinian playbook. His anti-Israel outbursts were bound to play well in Ramallah and Amman. But in Israel, they left a bitter impression of an Obama administration determined to score points with Palestinians and Arab regimes at Israel's existential expense.
In response to Kerry, Israeli officials said they won't bow to his "intimidation tactics." They also warned that Kerry's remarks will harm the peace process by encouraging the Palestinians not to compromise. With Kerry on their side, why should they?
Obama's successful visit to Israel earlier this year was just torpedoed by his secretary of state, who presumably wasn't just speaking for himself, but also for his boss.