December 28th, 2016

John Kerry’s speech on Israel and Palestine

Open thread. Live feed can be found here.

I’ll add commentary later today.

UPDATE 1:00 PM:

I can’t bear to listen to Kerry, so I’m reading summaries online. It appears from what I’ve read so far that the speech was a combination of defensiveness and justification of the Obama administration, along with paeans to the fiction of the peace process that blames the problems with finding a 2-state solution on the Israeli settlements. Cause and effect are backwards, history is ignored, and Israel bears the burden of Kerry’s/Obama’s blame.

Has any outgoing administration ever done anything remotely like this? Delivered a major foreign policy speech on an initiative that runs counter to that of the successor administration about to take office in three weeks? And done it without any particular crisis necessitating action? While simultaneously going against its own previous policies?

Without doing a ton of research on the matter, I think I’m safe saying “no, never; not even anything remotely like it.” But there’s never been an administration remotely like Obama’s in its basic duplicity.

It is no accident they’re doing this now, and it’s not just about Trump or even Netanyahu, or anything Israel has done recently. I believe this was always the plan from the moment Obama took office in 2008. It’s just that he wasn’t free to do this before. He only had a brief window of opportunity for it: between November 9 and January 20, the election and the inauguration. He had to wait for the first date to pass because he knew the American voter wouldn’t like it and it could cause an election loss for his side. And he had to squeeze it in before the second for obvious reasons: he loses power on that day.

I don’t thin is the end of what Obama has planned for us in the next three weeks.

UPDATE 2:10 PM

The money quote in the Kerry speech—the line everyone seems to be discussing the most—was “Israel can be either Jewish or democratic.” The fuller quote is this:

If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic. It cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace…

This seemed so strange to me that I went for the full transcript, which I found on C-SPAN (blame them for the all-caps; not my doing, I’m just cutting and pasting:

THEY CAN CHOOSE TO LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE STATE OR THEY CAN SEPARATE INTO TWO STATES. BUT HERE IS A FUNDAMENTAL REALITY. IF THE CHOICE IS ONE STATE, ISRAEL CAN EITHER BE JEWISH OR DEMOCRATIC. IT CANNOT BE BOTH. AND IT WON’T EVER REALLY BE AT PEACE. MOREOVER, THE PALESTINIANS WILL NEVER FULLY REALIZE THEIR VAST POTENTIAL IN A HOMELAND OF THEIR OWN WITH A ONE STATE SOLUTION. MOST, ON BOTH SIDES, UNDERSTAND THIS BASIC CHOICE AND THAT IS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT THAT POLLS SHOW THEIR IS STILL STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE TWO STATE SOLUTION. IN THEORY. THEY JUST DON’T BELIEVE IT CAN HAPPEN. AFTER DECADES OF CONFLICT, MANY NO LONGER SEE THE OTHER SIDE AS PEOPLE, ONLY AS THREATS AND ENEMIES. BOTH SIDES CONTINUE TO PUSH A NARRATIVE THAT PLAYS TO PEOPLE’S FEARS AND REINFORCES THE WORST STEREOTYPES RATHER THAN WORKING TO CHANGE PERCEPTIONS AND BUILD UP BELIEF IN THE POSSIBILITY OF PEACE.

Hard to know where to begin when criticizing his quoted remarks. But I may as well begin here with a tweet from Dan McLaughlin about “Jewish” and “democratic”:

@baseballcrank

Wow. Now there’s two things the United States government has not previously declared to be opposites.

Facts:

(1) Israel (the Jewish state) is the only democratic government in the area.

(2) Israel already has many citizens who are not Jewish, and who are in fact Arabs [emphasis mine]:

Arab citizens of Israel or Arab population of Israel are Israeli citizens, whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab. The majority of the Arabs in Israel are Muslim but some are Christian or Druze. Many identify as Palestinian and commonly self-designate themselves as Palestinian citizens of Israel…Most Arab citizens of Israel are functionally bilingual, their second language being Modern Hebrew. By religious affiliation, most are Muslim, particularly of the Sunni branch of Islam…

According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, the Arab population in 2013 was estimated at 1,658,000, representing 20.7% of the country’s population…

Most of the Arabs living in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed, were offered Israeli citizenship, but most have refused, not wanting to recognize Israel’s claim to sovereignty. They became permanent residents instead. They have the right to apply for citizenship, are entitled to municipal services, and have municipal voting rights.

(3) The Arab countries in the region are Judenrein.

So Kerry’s comment was Orwellian.

Then we have this gem of a sentence from the Kerry quote, with its narrative about “narrative,” and its tit-for-tat equivalence:

Both sides continue to push a narrative that plays to people’s fears and reinforces the worst stereotypes rather than working to change perceptions and build up belief in the possibility of peace.

In some ways, that’s even worse than Kerry’s “cannot be both Jewish and democratic” quote. Anyone who has followed the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for the last few decades, and certainly those who have followed it from the beginning, should know that one side has been “continuing to push a narrative” that reinforces the worst stereotypes: it’s the Palestinians who teach their children that Jews are evil barbaric monkeys. It’s the Israelis who have made concession after concession for peace, and the Palestinians who refused to accept those offers and held on to the idea that they could obliterate the Jewish state with time if they just held out long enough.

47 Responses to “John Kerry’s speech on Israel and Palestine”

  1. NeoConScum Says:

    Mendacity, thy name is John Boy Kerry. Moral Cowardice, thy name is Kerry & Obama.

    Honor has No Lodging on their Slimy Souls.

  2. Yancey Ward Says:

    I thought the most telling thing about this betrayal is that Obama didn’t even have the courage to vote for the resolution. Cowardice on every single level you can imagine.

  3. Rich Says:

    Remember, this is coming from a man who famously “threw away” his medals from Vietnam; and then decades later “remembered” that they weren’t actually his medals.

  4. T Says:

    As I have read multiple times at Instapundit: We are being patronized by our inferiors.

  5. Montage Says:

    The U.S. [thanks in part to Obama] will provide 38 billion in military aid to Israel over the next ten years. Obama does support Israel. Criticizing Israel for building settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is not ‘anti-Israel’ [or anti-Semitic – let’s stop with that, please]. The settlements are considered controversial to many people. That is just a fact. But you know [as does most everyone] that abstaining from the UN vote [as controversial as it was] won’t change anything. Israel will still continue to expand – rightly or wrongly. The UN will still draft resolutions condemning them – to no effect. Israel will also continue to get the full support of the United States – as they should. Palestinians will still continue to ignore their own violence in the region – sadly.

    But, if Israel wants a two state solution and if the Palestinians want it as well there HAS to be a point at which the two sides can come together. And, yeah, maybe that means compromising something. At this point Israel doesn’t seem interested in the two state solution. And, yes, I know the Palestinians screwed up their chances in the past. But that doesn’t mean Israel is always right and never wrong. Nor does it mean they cannot be criticized. [Even Jews in Israel don’t always agree on these subjects] There are many sides that have to be considered. Anyway, as a tax payer that’s my opinion. I never expect there to be peace in the Middle East. The people on all sides are led by fools. That’s all. Thanks.
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/09/14/fact-sheet-memorandum-understanding-reached-israel

  6. Oldflyer Says:

    Didn’t listen. Kerry honed his dishonesty during his Vietnam betrayal; and life is too short to spend listening to his lies. However, reading the excerpts that Neo posted, I see that it was probably worse than I imagined.

    Trump to Israel; (sic) “Hold on, here comes the Cavalry”

    Extending the subject; it is long since past time for us to cut back our finding to the UN. I do not know why we subsidize that nest of vipers. If we don’t abandon that sham altogether, we should contribute not a dime more than our fair share.

  7. Esther Says:

    Stupid me, I remember when candidate Obama declared that an undivided Jerusalem must be the Capitol of Israel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWrvPvo8yXc

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Montage:

    You write:

    Criticizing Israel for building settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is not ‘anti-Israel’ [or anti-Semitic – let’s stop with that, please]. The settlements are considered controversial to many people. That is just a fact.

    “Let’s stop with that”???? What are you talking about? Actually, no one here said that criticizing Israel for building settlements was either anti-Israel or anti-Semitic, so perhaps you should “stop with that.”

    Or perhaps you’re cutting and pasting your remarks on many blogs?

    I have made it very clear what I’m objecting to, and I’m not going to waste time repeating myself for you, except to say that this action by Obama and Kerry is not about “criticizing” “settlements.” It goes way beyond that.

    And yes, “The settlements are considered controversial to many people.” (Actually, that should be “by many people,” but same idea.) So what? Just about every single thing on earth is considered controversial by “many people”—and that includes the question of whether the Holocaust occurred, whether Jews should be allowed to exist, whether we actually landed on the moon, and whether 9/11 was a plot by George Bush.

    But to re-phrase what I think was probably your point, people of good will and intelligence can disagree on the matter of the settlements and whether they are a good or bad idea. Again, that’s not what this is about.

  9. Dirtyjobsguy Says:

    You have to give Hillary a small credit that the worst of obamas foreign policy crimes had to wait for Kerry. This will all force Trump to be more active in foreign policy than he may have intendended

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    Esther:

    Thanks for that clip.

  11. Oldflyer Says:

    Thanks for the lecture Montage. Unfortunately, you seem to be cherry picking the history. Where were you in 1948 and 1967?

    Where did these Palestinian people that some people want to champion come from? Could it have been from Jordan and Syria when the British were mandating the region? Or even after 1948 when the Arabs tried to kill the nascent Israeli state; and repopulate the land with Arabs that they dubbed “Palestinians”?

    If you champion a peace plan, did you lecture Arafat as he consistently rejected overtures?

    One final thought. The Israelis are demonstrably not led by fools since they have survived rhetorical and actual attacks for decades to build a vibrant country from nothing.

  12. Esther Says:

    Stupid me, I also recall Ben Rhodes describing how the Obama administration sold the Iran deal. They crafted a narrative, created an echo chamber and seeded the internet with talking points for gullible 27 year old journalists.

    I wonder if that’s happening now.

  13. Mr. Frank Says:

    If the Palestinians had no weapons and Israel had weapons, there would be peace. If the Palestinians had weapons and the Israelis had no weapons, there would be no Israel.

  14. Paul R Says:

    Montage is doing what the main stream press does…a pox on both houses. He(or she) doesn’t see the differences, which are glaring, for those with eyes to see. To compare Israeli leaders, left OR right, with Palestinian leadership, displays extremely poor judgement.

    Obama, and people like Ben Rhodes, though foolish, in that they are practitioners of secularism, a quasi-religion which makes fools of it’s practitioners, strike me as knowing exactly what they want. Kerry, on the other hand, strikes me as pure fool, and a tool, of his superiors, who exploit his foolishness to accomplish their mendacity.

    I can’t bear to listen to any of them either Neo, tool or knave…it ALL sounds like utter nonsense.

  15. Montage Says:

    neo-neocon

    The ‘anti-Semitic’ statement was not about your post [or you] it was the general reaction I read on a number of right wing sites when Israel is criticized. It is often used as a way to shut down debate so I put it in there in a pre-emptive way.

    The primary reason for my statement is that nothing really changes in the Middle East. I expect the same general debates to be going on in 2026 and 2036.

    Oldflyer
    I wasn’t around in 1947 and I was too young in 1967 but would an opinion change anything? No. That said, as we move forward [not backward] I do hold a bit of hope that both sides will come together. Maybe Trump can make headway – although I suspect the Palestinian leadership may not much like him. Israel has built a strong country – but we have given them tremendous help. Not all are fools. True. I’m just not much a fan of Netanyahu. But it’s not my country so if Israel continues to elect him then they must like him or feel he has the right answers.

  16. OM Says:

    Montage:
    “I wasn’t around in 1947 and I was too young in 1967 but would an opinion change anything?” How the Arabs reacted in 1947 and 1967 isn’t an opinion. The non-Israelis have a history of behavior that isn’t opinion. And your dodged Oldflyer’s point, didn’t you.

  17. Richard Saunders Says:

    Montage — the reason people say that criticizing Israel for building “settlements” (actually, apartment buildings) is anti-Semitic is because those who do the criticizing of Israel never castigating China for conquering Tibet, Turkey for occupying northern Cyprus, or Russia for grabbing Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

    So of all the countries in the world that have conquered and occupied some previous people’s land (and that’s every country in the world, including ours), the only one that gets singled out is the only Jewish state, a tiny dot on the map. As we lawyers say, res ipsa loquitor — the thing speaks for itself.

  18. parker Says:

    My two cents: In hindsight, Israel should have claimed all the lands conquered during the 1967 war as sovereign Israeli territory. And, the January 15th conference in France, which will attended by representatives from around 70 nations, will give Obama an excellent opportunity to further endanger Israel’s security.

    Time to kick the UN out of the USA. An organization that appoints Iran to its human rights commission is not an organization worth supporting in any manner.

  19. Esther Says:

    Antizionists always lead with the preemptive disclaimer that they’re not antisemitic. Antisemites used to be proud of it, now they’re not and they don’t want to be called that mean word anymore. Ok.

    Anyone else find it amusing that Kerry only criticized Jews running a (multicultural) state, but was silent on whether a Palestinian state can either be Islamic or a democracy, but it can’t be both? –While also, hilariously, endorsing ethnic cleansing, as long as the ethnically cleansing is done to Jews.

    But, describing that as antisemitism is a silencing microaggression, so I won’t do that. It’s hard to keep from laughing though, sorry.

  20. Montage Says:

    OM
    How the Arabs reacted in 1947 and 1967 was wrong. But you are aware the 1948 Palestinian exodus? What lead to the exodus was also problematic. At least some would say it was.

    When I said ‘my opinion’ I meant that me having an opinion in those years would not have been anything other than an opinion.

    There are at least two sides to the story. Even though the Israeli side may be more right it does not negate the other side completely. Understanding this does not mean one is being unfair to Israel. As noted the US has agreed to 38 billion in support. That kind of aid should allow room for some debate and negotiation on the issues in the region.

  21. Bob Kantor Says:

    I forced myself to listen to John Kerry’s revolting speech in its entirety. The low point was a statement he made that no commentator has picked up on thus far, namely, that Jerusalem became divided after the 1967 war. That’s literally true. But it obscures the fact that prior to the 1967 war Jerusalem was united under Jordanian rule, during which time the Jordanians systematically destroyed Jerusalem’s synagogues, used Jewish gravestones to build army barracks, and denied Jews access to their holy sites. As I recall few if any in the rest of the world raised objections to these despicable actions.

  22. expat Says:

    How can you have negotiations when there is no legitimate government in Palestine to negotiate with? How long has Abbas been in power? If he died tomorrow, would Hamas take over or would there be a civil war? What exactly do each of the two governments there do for their people or to build a sustainable country? Look how they took advantage of the greenhouses they were given after the Gaza pullout. Did Hamas send young people to, say, the Netherlands to learn about horticulture so the could expand this section of the economy? I don’t remember hearing about this. Where do they send their terrorist for treatment when they are wounded? To Israel. Why can’t they train their own doctors and set up hospitals?

    I would love to see someone stand up to the the “poor” Palestinians and tell them they are incapable of running a country and that it is unlikely that the people’s lives would improve if Israel would relocate to the US. Follow this up by saying that they will get no more money from us to support such dysfunctionality.

  23. Esther Says:

    Montage, are you aware there was an ‘exodus’ of almost a million Jewish refugees from Arab lands? They were forced to leave all their property and possessions and fled for their lives to Israel in 1948.

  24. parker Says:

    Nowhere does the left show its true colors for all to see than the conflict between Israel and the ‘Palestinians’. Arafat dies with millions or perhaps billions in European banks and the distinction of being a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. That will be bho in ten years, except for the dies part.

  25. parker Says:

    Montage is just parroting the propaganda of the left. Have pity upon him/her.

  26. Esther Says:

    Maybe he’s paid by the word or the hour? Could be a decent gig.

  27. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “So of all the countries in the world that have conquered and occupied some previous people’s land (and that’s every country in the world, including ours” Richard Saunders

    Israel has not conquered and occupied the land it controls. It won those lands fair and square in defending itself from attacking Arab armies. That principle is supported by Muslims but only for themselves.

    “How the Arabs reacted in 1947 and 1967 was wrong. But you are aware the 1948 Palestinian exodus? What lead to the exodus was also problematic. At least some would say it was.” Montage

    In 1948, the Arab rulers commanded the Arabs living in ‘Palestine’ to leave, so that the Arab armies would not have to worry about Muslim civilian casualties. Those who say otherwise are either historically ignorant or lying.

    What completely negates the Muslim side is Allah’s command that once land falls under Muslim control it can never be otherwise. That is the SOURCE of Muslim violence toward Israel.

    Platitudes like “every story has two sides” are invalidated when genocide is one side’s motivation. Nor is that genocidal motivation limited to Hamas’s charter, Allah demands it in the Qur’an, which of course is Hamas’ justification for genocide.

    “Israel should have claimed all the lands conquered during the 1967 war as sovereign Israeli territory.” parker

    They might well have had not the US pressured them into ‘concessions’, so that Israel could ‘prove’ its desire for peace.

    No, nothing will change as long as its the same old, same old.

    Annex Gaza. Annex the West Bank. Expel every Muslim living in Israel. Declare that henceforth, every terrorist attack upon Israel will result in the destruction of a Muslim ‘holy site’. Emphatically declare that the day Israel is attacked with a nuke is the day Mecca ceases to exist. When the other side seeks your death, that’s how you settle an argument. When the ‘reward’ requires intolerable sacrifice, the reward is abandoned.

  28. OM Says:

    But, but, but, 38 billion means “we” should have some leverage in negotiating a settlement.

    I don’t think the “two” parties involved even agree what the words “negotiate and settlement” mean. Does settlement mean an end to the conflict? I also don’t assume that the “Palestinians” constitute one entity, as Ester has also pointed out. And then of course there are the other non-Israeli belligerents.

  29. parker Says:

    GB,

    I agree nothing will change until one side inflicts so much death and destruction that it makes the other side grovel in the sand for a drop of water.

  30. Judith L. Says:

    Tell me if I’m mistaken, but I understand Kerry’s statement that Israel can be “either Jewish or democratic” to mean that, in his opinion, there is no place for a Jewish state. I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but, if that is the case, it sounds to me as if what he is calling for is a return to the status quo of 1930, just waiting for the events of 1933. And that isn’t antisemitism?

  31. neo-neocon Says:

    Judith L.:

    Kerry’s statement is almost unintelligible, perhaps purposely so.

    But my interpretation is that he means that if there is no 2-state solution implemented, and Israel remains one state, then it must stop being a Jewish state.

    Which, if you think about it, creates an incentive for the Palestinians to never negotiate a 2-state solution with Israel. Not that they need such an incentive, because so far they have never negotiated in good faith for that anyway.

  32. Judith L. Says:

    So he’s saying, Israel can have a Jewish state with indefensible (1948) boundaries or it has to give up being a Jewish state.

  33. neo-neocon Says:

    Judith L.:

    Actually, I think he’s saying that Israel can have a Jewish state with indefensible 1948 borders as long as the Palestinians have a state also made up of the rest of the territory. Otherwise Israel must incorporate the entirety of Palestine into one state that is not Jewish.

  34. JaneLK Says:

    A simple concept, often used or alluded to by those closer to or on the left, is that being anti-Israel does not make a person anti-Semitic. I learned a long time ago that this was BS. When Israel is referred to in terms of it’s majority population, the word “Jews” is used; sometimes exclusively or adjunct to “Israelis.”

    Montage: I was not alive in 1948, and I was learning how to walk in 1967. Regardless, when I was old enough to read and understand basic historical concepts, I did just that – I read and understood that Israel was repeatedly attacked without provocation and yeah, they won each and every time. But also, each and every time, they offered peace and citizenship to non-Jewish Arabs living in Israel. That included in 1948, when you refer to the “Arab Exodus.” The Jews begged the Arabs to stay but they declined, as it became the starting point to delegitimize the new State of Israel.

    What has been happening is beyond shameful. Whether you are religious or not, every day, archaeologists find artifacts dating back to at least the Second Temple. Recently, a golden bell was found, thought to be one of the 70+ bells (with pomegranates encased within) that were sewn to the bottom of the High Priest’s robes. Roman coins in Hebrew, bowls referring to Jerusalem – the list goes on and on. And the “Palestinians” are constantly destroying archeological sites to once again Israeli history. One would think people have better things to do, like work, enjoy your family, learn – rather than use all of your time to destroy.

  35. AMartel Says:

    Gawd he’s just so pompous and sanctimonious talking about “hard truths.” This empty hairdo hasn’t had to face a hard truth ever in his life. Maybe that one time gravity intervened and rudely knocked him off his bike.

  36. charles Says:

    Could anyone imagine Kerry telling Queen Elizabeth that the UK can be Anglican or Democratic – but, it can’t be both?

    Actually, what Kerry or any US administration should be saying is: Hey Saudi Arabia, you can be our ally or you can forbid all non-Muslims from practicing their religion in your country; but, you can’t be both!

    I must be going insane or paranoid; because it seems to me that the Obama administration is trying so hard to totally muck up the US’s foreign relations before Obama leaves office just to make things worse for Trump.

  37. Tuvea Says:

    Why can’t Israel be both Jewish and Democratic at the same time?

    Isn’t he also implying that Chuck Schumer or Joe Lieberman can’t be both Jewish and Democratic?

    Certainly the course that the democrat party is steering that it will soon be impossible to be both an observant Jew and a ‘Democrat’ at the same time.

    On the other hand MiniTrue requires that everyone embraces DoubleThink as a result of indoctrination.

  38. Rich Says:

    Montage : “But, if Israel wants a two state solution and if the Palestinians want it as well there HAS to be a point at which the two sides can come together.”

    I agree completely. Israel NEEDS a two state solution, because an single state solution would mean that Israel would become an Arab state, and therefore not a Jewish one, which would negate the reason why Israel was established. It would effectively be national suicide (probably followed in short order by actual suicide).

    Unfortunately the Palestinian leadership has made it plain on many occasions, and in many ways, that they DON’T want a two state solution, because that would mean allowing a Jewish state to exist on what they regard as Arab territory. Your argument is based on the assumption that the Palestinians will do something which they have never shown any willingness to do; talk about doing, sure, but actually doing, never.

  39. neo-neocon Says:

    charles:

    Well, mucking it up for Trump is just one motive, it’s not their only motive.

    Another motive is to sneak this change into international law in a way that Trump can’t rescind by executive order. They had to do it during the lame duck period, too, because they were waiting till after the election so there wouldn’t be a backlash that would affect Hillary.

    Another motive was to punish Netanyahu. Another was to give a big FU to the American people who rejected them.

    Have I missed anything? Probably.

    Oh, and I actually can imagine Kerry saying that to the Brits. He is just the arrogant SOB to do it, and the Obama administration hasn’t shown a lot of love for Britain, either.

  40. miklos000rosza Says:

    John Kerry is a character whom I find difficult to discuss without lapsing into ad hominems.

  41. Jakhny Says:

    Montage, why is it so hard for you to admit that there is a difference between the building of settlements is illegal and what the UN resolution did goes way beyond asserting that the building of settlements is illegal? I hear in your writing that you want to be honest yet you are unwilling to admit this. Sir, this makes you dishonest. Admit it to yourself and then admit it on-line and feel better by getting rid of that dissonance in your brain.

  42. blert Says:

    miklos000rosza Says:
    December 28th, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    John Kerry is a character whom I find difficult to discuss without lapsing into ad hominems.

    &&&

    In scorn, there is truth.

    Dittos.

  43. Mark30339 Says:

    “Has any outgoing administration ever done anything remotely like this? Delivered a major foreign policy speech on an initiative that runs counter to that of the successor administration about to take office in three weeks? And done it without any particular crisis necessitating action? While simultaneously going against its own previous policies?”
    .
    Great question. Does anyone know the moment when the Left was completely stripped of any capacity for shame or good conscience?

  44. expat Says:

    Chuck Schumer and Steny Hoyer don’t seem too pleased. The Dems may have to rethink Obama’s legacy.

  45. John Dough Says:

    Obama has really messed up this time. His legacy is toast and he’s managed to bring the Dems and GOP together with one “abstention” vote. This boy has been abstaining since he got into elected office

  46. Brian E Says:

    Here is the Palestinian response to Kerry’s speech:

    “Mustafa Barghouti of the PLO executive committee delivered the Palestinian reaction. He stated flatly that the Palestinian leadership cannot accept the parameters of Kerry’s proposed two-state solution. Barghouti explained that Kerry’s principles pertaining to refugees, recognition of the Jewish state, and Jerusalem are “unacceptable.”

    First, said Barghouti, “you cannot make the issue of Palestinian refugees only an issue of compensation; you cannot deny people their right to return to their home.” This was in response to Kerry’s statement that most refugees will not return to their historic homes, e.g., in Tel Aviv and Haifa, and instead should receive compensation.

    “Second,” he added, “recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would deny the right of the Palestinian people who are citizens of Israel and that is totally unacceptable.” In other words, the solution must be one state, not two states.

    So that’s that — and has been for decade upon decade.”

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/12/kerrys-speech-on-middle-east-is-unacceptable-to-the-palestinians.php

    Something that hasn’t been talked about is the risk faced by Israeli leaders of prosecution by the ICC now that the settlements have been declared illegal. While nothing is going to happen immediately, this may have long term ramifications.

    As I remember it there was interest by some countries to declare Bush a war criminal and face charges before the ICC. The ICC didn’t have jurisdiction in any case, since neither the US or Iraq was a member of the ICC, but the Palestinian Authority is.
    ____

    “In the medium-to-long-term the resolution may have serious ramifications for Israel in general and specifically for the settlement enterprise. The reason for this stems from the two main clauses of the resolution. The first clause states that the settlements have “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” The International Criminal Court in The Hague is currently conducting a preliminary investigation concerning a suit filed against Israel by the Palestinians. One of the issues raised in the suit is the construction of settlements. International law takes form through different measures including Security Council resolutions. Thus, this decision, at this time, could influence the preliminary investigation and could provide cause for the ICC prosecutor to order a full investigation of Israel settlement construction.”
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.761049

  47. NeoConScum Says:

    John Boy Kerry: VTC**:

    **VAST TESTICULAR CONCAVITY.

    ‘Nuffsaid..

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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