Kerry flogs a dead horse in Israel after his fiasco in Syria

I listened to John Kerry’s speech today and if you think a two state solution for Israel and Palestine will work, it seemed eminently reasonable. But the fundamental problem with the 2-state solution is that Palestine consists of 2 factions which will never see eye to eye – Fatah and Hamas. A 2-state solution would be self-destructive and would not accept Israel’s right to exist. A 3-state solution would only give two non-viable Palestinian states. Kerry’s speech was very defensive and his attempts to deny that the failure of the US to veto the UN resolution was anti-Israel were unconvincing, and sounded like rationalisation. It was not difficult to discern the personal vindictiveness (against Netanyahu) that Obama/Kerry were giving voice to.

Kerry warned that the 2-state solution is in jeopardy – and so it has always been since it is based on wishful thinking rather than the realities on the ground.

BBC: 

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal based on a two-state solution is in grave jeopardy.

And he insisted UN condemnation of illegal Jewish settlements on occupied land was in line with American values.

Earlier, US President-elect Donald Trump tweeted in support of Israel, saying he would not allow it to be treated with “disdain and disrespect”.

He urged Israel to “stay strong” until he assumed office next month.

On Friday, the US chose not to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for an end to Israeli settlement construction, leading to an angry response from Israel.

The 2-state solution is going nowhere and alternatives have to be found. But Obama and Kerry have no capability of thinking outside the rut.

John Kerry and Barack Obama have a habit of choosing the wrong horse to back. After years of futile attempts to broker peace in Syria (after having first initiated and then encouraged the opposition to Assad), Turkey and Russia have managed to plan talks aimed at a nationwide cease-fire. That is something Obama/Kerry and the UN have not yet managed because they backed the wrong horse running in the wrong race. The new talks maybe have a chance because the US, the EU and the UN have been excluded.

Reuters: 

Turkey and Russia have prepared an agreement for a ceasefire in Syria, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Wednesday, adding that Ankara would not give up its opposition to President Bashar al-Assad staying on as leader. ….. Turkish minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s comments appeared to signal tentative progress in talks aimed at reaching a truce. While the insistence on Assad’s departure could complicate negotiations with his biggest backer, Russia, another Turkish official did not rule out a transitional role for the Syrian president.

Russia, Iran and Turkey said last week they were ready to help broker a peace deal after adopting a declaration in Moscow setting out principles that any agreement should adhere to. Russia has said the next talks are set for Astana, the Kazakh capital.

 …….. Last week, Russia’s foreign minister said Russia, Iran and Turkey had agreed the priority in Syria was to fight terrorism and not to remove Assad’s government – comments that suggested a shift by Turkey, which has long pushed for Assad to go.

…… Russian officials have said invitations to participants for the Astana talks have not been sent out and the time has yet to be decided. The talks would not include the United States and would be distinct from separate, intermittent U.N.-brokered negotiations.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura had spoken by phone with Lavrov and supported the efforts to establish a ceasefire and new peace talks.

Obama and Kerry have based too much of their foreign policy on wishful thinking – and wishful thinking supported by intelligence agencies producing reports, therefore, with a confirmation bias. They have given the administration just what they wanted to hear. In almost every instance (Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen ….) they have provided what the US government wanted to hear and ignored the realities that actually existed.


 

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