Report: Kerry urged Palestinians to 'not give in to Trump' and eyes 2020 presidential run
Maariv, a major newspaper in Israel and no friend to Benjamin Netanyahu, has reported (link in Hebrew) that former Secretary of State John Kerry met with a top aide to the Palestinian Authority and made some remarkable comments. The English Language Jerusalem Post summarizes:
While the White House has confirmed that since the Jerusalem Declaration there has been a complete disconnect between the Palestinian Authority and the Trump administration, it turns out that the previous administration has maintained contact with PA officials.
Maariv reported that former US secretary of state John Kerry met in London with a close associate of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Hussein Agha, for a long and open conversation about a variety of topics. Agha apparently reported details of the conversation to senior PA officials in Ramallah. A senior PA official confirmed to Maariv that the meeting took place. (snip)
During the conversation, according to the report, Kerry asked Agha to convey a message to Abbas and ask him to “hold on and be strong.” Tell him, he told Agha, “that he should stay strong in his spirit and play for time, that he will not break and will not yield to President [Donald] Trump’s demands.”
According to Kerry, Trump will not remain in office for a long time. It was reported that Kerry said that within a year there was a good chance that Trump would not be in the White House.
Kerry offered his help to the Palestinians in an effort to advance the peace process and recommended that Abbas present his own peace plan. “Maybe it is time for the Palestinians to define their peace principles and present a positive plan,” Kerry suggested.
He promised to use all his contacts and all his abilities to get support for such a plan.
He asked Abbas, through Agha, not to attack the US or the Trump administration, but to concentrate on personal attacks on Trump himself, whom Kerry says is solely and directly responsible for the situation.
Then-SecState Kerry met with Abbas in September 2016
According to the report, Kerry indicated he may run for president again in 2020:
He surprised his interlocutor by saying he was seriously considering running for president in 2020. When asked about his advanced age, he said he was not much older than Trump and would not have an age problem.
Readers may recall that the Logan Act forbidding private diplomacy – centuries old and never enforced -- reportedly was invoked by Robert Mueller in order to threaten Michael Flynn with “a Logan Act violation after the election, when Mike Flynn asked the Russians to veto a U.N.”
The Logan Act is never enforced for good reason, and ought to be repealed, but since the Get Trump forces reportedly were willing to mention it in their quest to get something – anything – on members of the Trump team, it would be fair play to raise it in regard to Kerry, assuming this report is true. But such a use would be purely rhetorical.
Much worse is the notion that Kerry – yet another ancient Democrat putting himself in the presidential nomination game – is seeking to undermine the foreign policy of President Trump.
Kerry is reverting to form in subverting the foreign policy of the US Government. He first gained prominence and elective office by opposing the Vietnam War and pretending to throw his medals over the White House fence (it was later revealed he kept his medals and threw someone else’s medal).