April 11, 2014

The Kerry Peace Plan Goes ‘Poof’

“We may fail,” he says, but “I don’t care.” Well, then…

Ever since Israel’s formation in 1948, a bone of contention has been what to do with those who weren’t Jewish and were uprooted by the new nation. In recent decades, the Palestinian question has focused on what’s become known as the “two-state solution,” wherein Israel would give up land, including parts of Jerusalem, for the purpose of founding a Palestinian state whose goal would be the elimination of the Jewish one. Of course, this doesn’t count the other regional enemies Israel has to contend with, such as Iran and Syria. Hardly a palatable solution for Israel.

While Israel has defended itself stoutly in two previous wars, it has always been forced to give back much of what it rightfully won in order to preserve peace in that region. Yet it’s never enough, and the Palestinians are once again demanding more. It doesn’t help when Secretary of State John Kerry seems to be on the Palestinian side, conceding in response to criticism from Sen. John McCain that “we may fail” in the peace process, but he’s going to keep pressing Israel for concession. Of failing, he said, “I don’t care.”

But instead of a two-way street with the U.S. simply acting as referee, a recent reported change in American policy makes us more of a participant. In return for the Palestinians suspending plans to join 15 international bodies and treaties while Israelis release Palestinian prisoners from their jails and freeze certain settlement plans, the U.S. has brought the fate of Jonathan Pollard to the table. Pollard was convicted in the U.S. in 1987 of spying for Israel, but is eligible for parole next year.

McCain’s assessment that Kerry is approaching a “trifecta” of foreign policy failures under his watch may partially explain Kerry’s desperate ploy of adding Pollard’s release to the mix. The weakness of the desired end result – a simple pledge from both sides to keep talks going beyond a previous April 29 deadline – points out that Kerry’s efforts are indeed leading toward failure, whether he cares or not.

As Investor’s Business Daily put it, Kerry “belongs in the Guinness Book for worsening America’s status and influence faster than ever thought possible.” Kerry’s bumbling predecessor, Hillary Clinton, gave Russia a ridiculous “reset” button for our dealings with them. What we truly need is to reset our strained relationship with our closest Middle East ally, one “deeply disappointed” with our recent efforts.

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