I was going to write a post on John Kerry’s outrageous conduct in the negotiations over a Gaza ceasefire, but Bookworm has already written much of it for me, comparing Kerry’s current appeasement of Hamas with his long-ago attempts at cozying up to the North Vietnamese:
Looking at Kerry’s recent disgraceful performance in the Middle East, it’s clear that this is what Kerry does. He sides with murderous totalitarian regimes against his country and her allies. When it comes to Kerry’s embrace of Hamas, he is just acting true to form.
I will add a couple of things, though, to the points Bookworm made. John Kerry was treasonous then for his Paris meetings with our enemy while he was still in the US Naval Reserves:
…[H]e met on the trip with Nguyen Thi Binh, then foreign minister of the PRG and a top negotiator at the talks. Kerry acknowledged in that testimony that even going to the peace talks as a private citizen was at the “borderline” of what was permissible under U.S. law, which forbids citizens from negotiating treaties with foreign governments.
Now Kerry is acting similarly in helping our enemies and hurting our allies and the US—only this time he’s doing it as the agent of the US president in his capacity as Secretary of State, not as a rogue freelancer. That’s progress for you.
Israel is not the only ally he’s hurting here, either. There’s Jordan, Egypt, the Saudis, and the PA (which isn’t exactly an ally but is the group of somewhat more moderate Palestinians) who have been shut out of the negotiations by Kerry in favor of Hamas’ sponsors Qatar and Turkey.
Kerry and Obama seem to be a better and more naturally simpatico team than Obama and Hillary ever were. Kerry is even more supremely narcissistic than she, and although Hillary had little problem playing along with whatever Obama ordered her to do, every now and then her instincts probably chafed and wanted to defend our allies and take a harder stance against our enemies. For Kerry, doing the opposite comes naturally, and he was doing it even earlier than Obama and equally audaciously.
The Israeli newspapers are beside themselves at what Kerry has done. This Times of Israel piece is well worth reading in its entirety; it outlines the perniciousness of Kerry’s actions, and why they so stunned the nation. But the most shocking thing of all to me was when I saw that leftist Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, writing in the leftist peacenik Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, absolutely excoriated Kerry for his actions during the negotiations.
And remember that Ravid previously liked Kerry. But Ravid is so shocked at Kerry’s recent actions that he’s reeling. He cannot bring himself to imagine that Kerry did this with malice aforethought, and so he finds it necessary to ascribe Kerry’s actions to the “fool” rather than the “knave” category. Here’s some of the flavor of it:
The draft Kerry passed to Israel on Friday shocked the cabinet ministers not only because it was the opposite of what Kerry told them less than 24 hours earlier, but mostly because it might as well have been penned by [Hamas leader] Khaled Meshal. It was everything Hamas could have hoped for…
The secretary of state’s draft empowered the most radical and problematic elements in the region – Qatar, Turkey, and Hamas – and was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry’s draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant.
It’s not clear what Kerry was thinking when he presented this draft. It’s unclear what he had in mind when he convened the Paris summit. It can only be seen as surreal…
Kerry isn’t anti-Israeli; on the contrary, he’s a true friend to Israel. But his conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It’s as if he isn’t the foreign minister of the world’s most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast.
It is a big mistake to imagine that Kerry is acting on his own, either. Obama has not denounced what he said or did, and it is highly unlikely that he will fire him or ask him to resign. They are on the same page about this, although Kerry provides Obama with some cover to not be blamed directly. Whether Kerry is following Obama’s specific and detailed instructions it’s hard to say (Obama would have to be paying a lot of close attention to do that, and there’s no indication that he is). But there’s no reason to believe that the general and even some specific outlines and goals for the talks hadn’t been ironed out and clarified and agreed on between them before Kerry even left Washington.