Kerry Back in Israel on Peace Push

It's the Secretary of State's 10th visit

  • Share
  • Read Later

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel for his 10th visit Thursday, telling Israeli and Palestinian leaders that peace “is not mission impossible.”

Kerry is looking to advance a peace agreement that the U.S. has said it hopes to have in place by April, even as both sides appeared increasingly pessimistic, Reuters reports.

“There is growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, standing beside Kerry in Jerusalem. Netanyahu criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the heroes’ welcome that greeted Palestinian prisoners who were released Tuesday following convictions on murdering Israelis.

Kerry will meet with Abbas on Friday in the West Bank. On Thursday, he called for both sides to agree on a framework for an agreement, adding that he would not impose U.S. ideas but “facilitate” peace efforts.

“This is not mission impossible,” he said, according to the Associated Press.  “In the weeks and months ahead, both sides are going to need to make tough choices to ensure that peace is not just a possibility but is a reality.”

[Reuters]

11 comments
vcbhutani
vcbhutani

Netanyahu said to Kerry: "I know that you're committed to peace. I know that I'm committed to peace, but unfortunately, given the actions and words of Palestinian leaders, there's growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace." This is just not true. If anyone is opposed to peace in the Middle East, it is Israel. From the moment of its birth Israel has done everything to ensure that its neighbours would never be able to live in peace, especially the Palestinians. And how did Israel respond to that? It built a great relationship with USA with the help and instrumentality of the Jewish Lobby in US politics to ensure that USA would forever remain committed to Israel’s security. USA even went on to assist Israel towards nuclear weapon power status. As long as these facts remain ground actuality, as they do at the moment, there is no call for Israel to be reasonable.

It goes out of the way to make nonsense of Kerry’s 10th visit to the region and has ensured that it too shall produce no results. For his part, Kerry has remained true to form. He has never let a phrase fall from his lips that would suggest that there was any weakening of US commitment to Israel. Let alone 10 visits, even 10,000 visits shall produce no result.

The minimum needed for peace is that Israel should return to its borders of 1967, it should stop further construction of settlements in territories that do not belong to it, it should agree to accommodate as full citizens of Israel all Palestinians who have lived there for centuries from a time when Israel did not exist, and it should abandon dreams of making Israel exclusively a Jewish State: in this day and age there is no country which has people belonging to one religion or race. The future development of humankind is towards States that are multireligious, multiethnic, and multilingual and that live a life of interdependence. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, 4 Jan 2014, 1702 IST

YehudaElyada
YehudaElyada

Some food for thought: one idea that was circulating during the negotiations for territorial exchange between Israel and Palestine is to annex a strip of Israeli territory, contiguous to the Palestinian territories along the 1967 border, exclusively populated by some 300,000 Arabs (all enjoying full Israeli citizenship rights, including self elected local government, Arabic culture K-12 education system, equal vote parliamentary representation, even optional Sharia Law family courts) living in dozen Jewish-free towns and villages, to future Palestine as compensation for Jewish settlements beyond the 1967 lines. No Arab would have to move from his home, no Arab community life would disintegrate, and no new barriers would be erected. Yet, this idea was promptly and universally rejected by the (Israeli) Arabs and all their MP Representatives. No sane citizen of Israel would exchange his nationality for an Arab one, propaganda notwithstanding. Because it's better to be a "second rate citizen" in the "Apartheid" state of Israel than a royalty in a proud Arab "democracy". That's not my judgment – 1.5 Million Arab citizens of Israel prove this insight with their daily behavior!

DanBruce
DanBruce

Any peace deal should stipulate that there will be no Palestinians living within the borders of the State of Israel. Oh, you think that seems extreme? How do you feel about a Palestinian State in which there are no Jews? That's what the Palestinians have in mind. 

Karl
Karl

“There is growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, standing beside Kerry in Jerusalem.


That's rich. Netanyahu was not elected to make peace but to push and protect Jewish settlements among the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria. From 0 Jews in the occupied West Bank of Jordan after the War of 1967, we've somehow gotten up to half a million settlers. Every Israeli prime minister has pushed them, one after the other for almost fifty years and especially during the last 20 years of "peace talks". Three times as many Palestinians have been killed this year than last, all unsolved murders, presumably by armed settlers or Israeli soldiers. No one is ever caught. Abbas is in charge of 9% of the West Bank but that is in name only. Israel does what it wants where it wants in occupied lands or Greater Israel, however you want to define it. But the bottom line is that there are millions of stateless persons living in Greater Israel now, people who were born there but have been denied any rights that an outright annexation would have given them. That bottom line is not going to change until the Western media and Western governments take to heart the hopelessness of seeking normalcy on this sort of civil foundation. And until then the crash pad that is Israel will continue to spread until someone is able to step in and start pushing them back. US policies, shadowed by the Holocaust perpetrated by Europeans and with which we have no connection, have led us down a path that leads nowhere. The US has tried nothing and nothing works. Cutting off money, support, and sanctions on Israel could bring peace but our leaders and media prefer to play with Hanukkah menorahs  and wave Israeli flags while Israel bit by bit isolates itself from more and more of the world - with our cooperation and blessing. 



Karl
Karl

@DanBruce Somebody likes your racist idea of driving millions of Israeli citizens and Israeli subjects out of Greater Israel. The day when three million Arabs are pushed out of Israel will be Israel's last day in the U.N. and the beginning of it's diplomatic isolation from the rest of the world. That's why it wont happen and that's why you should prepare for an officially Jewish Israel with a growing majority of Muslim citizens and subjects. That is the end result of all Israeli actions in the occupied territories since 1967, the destruction of the 80% Jewish state created by ethnic cleansing in 48, for a "Jewish state" with fewer than 50% Jewish inhabitants, whether they are "citizens", "subjects" or "detainees in Gaza". Yes I know that there is a rising violent right wing settler movement that is already trying to drive the weaponless Arabs out of Greater Israel but I think that before it has any chance of achieving success the opprobrium it will bring to Israel will cause Tel Aviv itself to clamp down on it. Israel has to live in this world not a dream world.

dmatz963
dmatz963

@Karl why do you think there were 0 Jews in the West Bank before 1967?  Did any Jews live there before 1948?  What happened to them?


dmatz963
dmatz963

@Karl @DanBruce I liked the post, simply because it points out the hypocrisy that Palestinians and the International Community wish their proposed Palestinian State to be Jew free.  It's 2014, apparently its acceptable to declare certain countries in this world Jew- free.  I would never advocate for an Israeli Arab to be forcibly removed or transferred to a future Palestinian state.  Are you for or against the forcible eviction of Jews from their homes in the West Bank?

DanBruce
DanBruce

@Karl @DanBruce You fail to address the fact that the proposed Palestinian State will be inhospitable to Jews. If the Palestinians are to stay in Israel, are you ready to agree that the Jewish settlements stay in Palestine? Why is it okay to have a Jew-free Palestinian/Muslim State and not a Palestinian-free Jewish State?

Karl
Karl

@dmatz963 @Karl There were Jewish communities in that part of historical Palestine, probably 10% of the population in 1947. But in 1922 there was probably only 10-12% of Palestinians who were Jewish in Ottoman Palestine which became a British Mandate. So comparing the push of 3/4 of a million Arabs from Palestine to create Israel in 48 with the push of tens of thousands of Jews from the small part of Palestine left in Arab hands after 1948 is like comparing mountains and molehills. It's not right that anyone whose family has lived somewhere for generations should be driven away, whether in what became West Jordan, or in Israel in 48, and now in Greater Israel, or in Europe in the 30's and 40's or in the Americas long ago. There is no moral backing for ethnic cleansing. States are created all the time on the backs of minorities. Whole states like the South Sudan and Kenya are peopled with an array of minorities. But pushing any people off their land for any reason is wrong. 

DanBruce
DanBruce

@Karl And you are still refusing to acknowledge that the Palestinians and their Muslim brothers want a Middle East void of Jews and without a State of Israel. Dance semantically all you want around that fact, but it won't go away, and, until the Palestinians abandon their dream of a Jew-free Palestine (which they define as all of the original UN mandate), there can be no peace.

Karl
Karl

@DanBruce @Karl You are creating a "straw man" argument. You reference issues as if we were talking about Norway or Switzerland, and not a country where half the people ruled are, have been and apparently will remain subjects of Israel. A rose is a rose is a rose, whether you call it Israel, Gaza or Palestine it is still a Jewish-only dream and the subsidized housing for Jewish-only settlements among subject Palestinians who are at the mercy of Jewish thugs from other countries, who can vote, can travel to Israel and abroad at will, AND ARE ARMED, while the Palestinian non-citizens linger in a stateless limbo, unable to do any of those things except vote for tribal spokesmen, masquerading, as a responsible governing authority, washes the sand from under the feet of your straw man argument. Jews can live live anywhere in Greater Israel except the open air Arab prison of Gaza which most closely resembles a Dystopian future society's reservation for outcasts run of course by the inmates with more or less interference from Israeli drones and gun ships flying overhead at will. A place where the streets become sewers because Israel decides the inmates are using too much electricity. You are not talking about a decent country you're talking about GREATER ISRAEL.