Dr. Kerry’s Misdiagnosis

Have you ever wondered how you would live your life differently if you received a medical diagnosis that you were suffering from a terminal illness and had less than two years to live? Perhaps you would book a flight to an exotic destination, buy an extravagant gift for a loved one, or transfer valuable assets to their name, while you were still alive.

It is impossible to criticize people in such circumstances, who decide to abandon their daily routine, and simply enjoy life. This is exactly what a man in New Zealand, named Frank, decided to do three years ago, after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of heart cancer and given a maximum of two years to live by his doctors. Frank and his wife, Wilma, sold their house, liquidated their assets, and started to live luxuriously. They decided to do whatever their hearts desired without concern for the cost. In so doing, they accumulated credit card debt exceeding $80,000, which they expected to be covered by Frank’s life insurance policy.

Two years after he received the bad news, Frank’s physicians notified him that they had made a mistake. He is actually in perfect health, cancer-free,  and can expect to live for many years to come. The couple, of course, were in utter shock.

In the words of Wilma: “We had a good time. We spent too much money on food, going around New Zealand, and then on a business, which fell down. What would you do in this situation? If he said jump, I would jump … I was putting him first, whatever he wanted, he got. I’m short on my credit cards and the money we had left went on a business and that didn’t work out, so we are broke.”

I was reminded of this story after hearing the analysis of the US Secretary of State two weeks ago, when he proclaimed that Israel’s window for peace with its neighbors is steadily closing, and that there are no more than two years left for a permanent solution to be reached. It appears that John Kerry actually believes that the Jewish state is suffering from a terminal illness, and thus has no time to waste. He is traversing the world, carrying out shuttle diplomacy, meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, negotiating land-swap settlements with the Arab League (with our land), making grand declarations, and appearing in press conferences. Apparently, if he were able to do so, he would sign away our assets to our enemies within the framework of a peace deal, all to save us from certain death.

I turn to our friends in the media and say: you can relax. You can kindly remove the “final journey” of John Kerry from the headlines. Nobody is dying. Our nation faced more difficult situations in the past, and it has a long and full life ahead. I presume that one day we will achieve peace with the Palestinians, but until that happens many US Presidents and Secretaries of State will come and go. It will happen when Israel’s “partners” for peace, are convinced that they truly want it. Presently, it seems that the Secretary of State and his boss are only ones convinced that this is so.

To Mr. Kerry I say: learn a lesson from Frank and Wilma. It’s a mistake to live today as if there is no tomorrow. We have heard declarations that Israel is out of time by many others on many occasions, yet the state of Israel lives on. Even though your career as Secretary of State will probably be over in about two and a half years, presumably you have many years before you in various capacities of political leadership. Do not exhaust all of your political capital, and do not exert all of your energy, on a race against the hourglass, when its very existence is a figment of your imagination.


About the Author
Calev Michael Myers is the Deputy President of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (IAJLJ) and the President and Executive Chairman of ARISE - Alliance to Reinforce Israel's Security and Economy (ARISE). He is also a Senior Partner at Yehuda Raveh & Co. Law Offices (YR&Co.). The opinions expressed in Calev's blogs may not necessarily reflect the opinions of the IAJLJ, ARISE or YR&Co.