Kerry To Meet Bibi On Syria, Peace Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry is flying to Jerusalem Sunday to personally brief Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his meetings in Geneva this week with his Russian counterpart about removing Syria’s chemical weapons.

You can expect him to reassure the Israeli leader of President Obama’s continued commitment to making sure Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.  Many Israelis see Obama’s confrontation with Syria as an indicator of American resolve to stand up to Iran on the nuclear issue.

Kerry’s primary purpose is to “have an in-depth discussion” on the final status negotiations with the Palestinians, said the State Department spokesperson. Talks appear to have hit a snag, with both sides publicly complaining about the other.

Kerry is not expected to go to Ramallah on this visit because he met in London last Monday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been complaining that Israel is dragging its feet and not taking the negotiations seriously.

Netanyahu will no doubt repeat Israel’s complaint that the Palestinians have broken their no-leaks promise to Kerry, who has tried to keep a tight lid on the talks, by going to the media with a litany of charges.

Each side continues to insist that it remains fully committed to making peace and pure of heart despite the problems created by an insincere and uncompromising partner.

Kerry and Netanyahu will have the usual photo-op after their talks and you can expect them to say virtually nothing of substance, offering only platitudes, mutual expressions of friendship and appreciation and reiterating their desire for peace.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.