Josef Olmert

Kerry — So the Middle East is only Israel-laughable, but dangerous

It is not so easy to search for something which was still not written/said/emphasized enough about the John Kerry horror show,and it is not my habit to bore my readers with what was already chewed from every possible angle. Yet, there is ”something”, in fact not so”something” which deserves our collective attention. This is , in fact, the core of Israel’s problems in world public opinion , as well as in the diplomatic corridors so many countries, chief among them the US. This is the sense, that dealing with the Middle East, is exclusively dealing with the Palestinian-Arab- Israeli conflict, which according to this distorted view, IS THE Middle East problem, the one whose solution will bring a magical end to ALL ills of and issues in the Middle East. There is nothing new about that, and if everything which has happened in the Middle East in last century cannot change this perception, what can and will? Surely not Israeli hasbara, which for so many years focused exactly on that, and in the end, achieved so little. Here comes the US Secretary of State and says in 2016 what George Marshall, John Foster Dallas, James Baker and Hillary Rodham Clinton said , and this is just to mention some of the more prominent US Secretaries of State.

Seventy minutes of blah, blah, blah and NO Iran, No Syria, No Radical Jihadist Islam, No word about poverty, totalitarianism, discrimination against and persecution of minorities, women, Gay, Christians. La la land at its worst, but this time it is not just a laughing matter, it is more serious. It is a repetition, though in some thinly disguised manner, of the old rule in world affairs-blame the Jews and save the world. Exaggeration?, may sound like that, but not really. Rather these are words of caution and political sobriety on my part. So many ordinary Americans and people all over the world heard yesterday from our ”great” friend , that there is ONE and only problem in the Middle East.

They are and have been bombarded for years now about the Middle East, terrorism, unwanted migration, and so many other problems. Why does it happen? where did it start? who is responsible? well, now they got the answer. The Settlers supported by the most militant ever Jewish Israeli government , in short ,the Jews. This is THE argument against the legitimacy of Israel, and this is going to reverberate loud and clear among those who either have an initial bias against Jews, antisemites from the Right, who have said exactly that for so many years, but also Left Wing Liberals , both Jews and non-Jews , who increasingly question the legitimacy of Israel’s existence by making this legitimacy contingent on a solution of the Palestinian problem, a solution which , for them, should be a total surrender to the Palestinians,and now we understand, following Kerr’s speech, will be also the overall salvation of the entire Middle East.It is ridiculous, it is fantasy politics, but alas, this is the popular theme of so much Liberal talk. This is exactly where the outrageous Jewish and Democratic element, so emphasized by Kerry is coming into play. Zionism is NOT contingent on peace, Zionism is NOT contingent on democracy. Zionism is the undisputed right of Jews for statehood and national sovereignty in their homeland. Peace and Democracy are noble causes, to be pursued relentlessly , but never on the expense of the very national existence.

That said, we are democratic, we have peace with two Arab nations, among them the largest in the Middle East, and yet we are the only state in the Middle East and in the entire world, whose very existence is called into question the way it is . Kerry fell short of saying it exactly in such terms, but Kerry means it and he is not alone.

Here is our greatest problem in explaining the Middle East-when we are so right arguing, that our problem is NOT the originator
of the overall Middle East predicament[a term first used years back, before the current mayhem, by the great late Fouad Ajami], rather it is the outcome of the region’s most fundamental problems, we play to the hands of the Kerrys of the world, who prefer to deal with Jews rather than say, with roots of Islamic fanaticism .

The even sadder conclusion, is that up to a point, we being right but small, and historically the world scapegoats, need still to sometimes and temporarily lower our head in face of a big wave, and do certain things which will give us the option to collaborate with those countries which are not fooled by the ”blame the Jews” psychosis. Even these countries , and the new Trump Administration will be one of them, do not cherish our current government obsession with expanding the settlements. I, for one,to be sure, do not include Jerusalem in that category. A reminder to the Right Wingers among my readers-the settlements already fulfilled their historic mission, and how good it is, that they did.

About the Author
Dr Josef Olmert, a Middle East expert, is currently an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina