Shia Altman

Kerry’s last gasp, I hope

What has not been said about Secretary of State John Kerry’s unfair, inaccurate and super-biased “Vision of Middle East Peace,” speech, that has not already been articulated by numerous columnists and pundits? Or yelled? And about President Barack Obama for that matter. I don’t want to go over what I think is already pretty well known; I will just mention a few points and observations.

Let’s see. In Master Kerry’s ridiculously long harangue — one hour and thirteen minutes — where he made both history and histrionics, there was no mention of Syria and no mention of ISIS or ISIL or whatever the Obama administration calls the terrorist group. I mean, after all, what do Syria and ISIS have to do with the Middle East or peace over there?

But I think I finally get it now, why Obama and his silly crew allowed and so, enabled, the killings of hundreds of thousands of Syrians and the mass exodus of millions contributing to the destabilization of the Mideast region and parts of Europe. Obama and Kerry are indeed concerned about peace in the region, but Syria is not in the Middle East! That must be it. And even if it was, Israel is to blame for everything anyway! Yeah, those must be the reasons. Oh, wait.

This from Kerry: “Now, I want to stress that there is an important point here: My job, above all, is to defend the United States of America – to stand up for and defend our values and our interests in the world. And if we were to stand idly by and know that in doing so we are allowing a dangerous dynamic to take hold which promises greater conflict and instability to a region in which we have vital interests, we would be derelict in our own responsibilities.”

Wonderful words! I guess that is why he and Obama took care of that Syrian Civil War/ISIS thing right from the start. Oh, wait.

Kerry: “Now, I want to stress this point: We fully respect Israel’s profound historic and religious ties to the city [Jerusalem] and to its holy sites. We’ve never questioned that. This [United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334] resolution in no manner prejudges the outcome of permanent status negotiations on East Jerusalem, which must, of course, reflect those historic ties and the realities on the ground. That’s our position. We still support it.”

Oh really? Then why didn’t the resolution say that? Why not leave no doubt? The UN resolution made clear that anything outside the Green Line was not just “occupied,” but in fact, “illegal,” a different and dangerous label introduced into the dispute, not an old identification, as Kerry claimed.

From the resolution: “1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;”

Why not add the caveat? Kerry knows words matter a great deal with such delicate issues. If the Western Wall is being held illegally, how can one even attempt to argue otherwise? It is illegal for Jews to be there. And how does one convince the Palestinians otherwise, and to negotiate what has just been given to them before they even come to the table?

Kerry: “In the end, we did not agree with every word in this resolution. There are important issues that are not sufficiently addressed or even addressed at all.”

Then why not fix it? Demand the resolution be changed or not allowed to be introduced, or vetoed? And why have the resolution at all, especially if you are just about out the door? How could the US allow Israel to be thrown to the UN wolves at all, let alone with an imperfect resolution?

Now to be fair, I want to mention a positive about John Kerry’s appearance at the Dean Acheson Auditorium at the State Department. The whining diplomat looked extra spiffy for his seemingly endless condemnation of Israel. He looked great. And he has really nice hair. Let’s face it, he does.

As I watched Kerry and became more and more mad, I thought, what could this clueless man do once his tenure at State was over?

I know. I think he should do shampoo commercials. “Hi. I’m John Kerry. You may remember me from my stint at the State Department, and as a Senator from Massachusetts, and from when I ran for president in 2004. Is your hair unmanageable? Well, I used to have that problem too. After all, I used to fly all over the world into all kinds of climates, complaining about Israeli settlements, and boy, would my hair get damaged and messy. Now you too can have beautiful, lustrous hair…”

Finally, I noticed on social media, that the usual Jewish Obama apologists either became silent as they saw that Obama’s resolution caused a bit of a split in Democratic ranks, or they increased their defense of him in proportion to the anger increased toward him. For some, the most anti-Israel president could still do no wrong.

I also noticed some very secular, anti-religion, settler-hating Israelis and Jews come to Obama’s and Kerry’s defense, latching onto any article or post with which they disagreed to be sure their views were strenuously made evident. They don’t hide their contempt of settlers, or Benjamin Netanyahu, or anything where religious history might be part of a dialogue equation.

Those defending Obama and Kerry may think they are doing Israel a favor by adding their voices to the condemnation of Israel, but they are doing just the opposite.

Barack Obama and John Kerry got their revenge against Benjamin Netanyahu, and they made a bit of trouble for the incoming US administration. But let’s hope they feel they have bashed Israel enough and that they can just pass the rest of their government days ignoring Israel as they have the rest of the world.

About the Author
Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in Los Angeles. His Jewish studies, aerospace, and business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not dabbling in Internet Marketing, Shia tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and Judaic and Biblical Studies to both young and old.
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