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An Honest Answer to John Kerry’s Question to American Jewry

June 6, 2013 5:57 pm 29 comments

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem May 23, 2013. Photo: Israel GPO.

And now, let us honestly answer U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s question to American Jews this week.

Ma nishtana (what is different) this time?” asked Kerry, referring to the Administration’s latest muddled foray into Israeli-Arab politics, and his efforts to defibrillate the much rejected ‘peace process.’ Of course, when Kerry says ‘peace process,’ he means ‘land for peace process.’

“We are running out of time and possibilities,” was Kerry’s answer to his rhetorical question as he encouraged his audience to press for peace talks. “No one has a stronger voice in this than the American Jewish community,” he claimed, at the annual American Jewish Committee global forum in Washington, adding “Leaders will take both steps only if their people push them to.”

Kerry’s question is a good one, and one that many a philosemite may ponder while considering their response to his request.

In truth, the first thing that has changed is that John Kerry is now Secretary of State. As the newly appointed bishop of what former State Department official Aaron David Miller called ‘The False Religion of Mideast Peace’ Kerry is eager to make his mark. Like all who preceded him, he wishes to cement his historic legacy by untying the Arab-Israeli Gordian Knot. How this plays to the interests of either party is anybody’s guess.

The second thing that has thankfully changed is that more Israelis than ever understand, as a result of a succession of unpleasant experiences, that giving away any more land is not likely to ever be a good idea. This does explain why Kerry thinks American Jews are so important to this process. Because Israeli Jews, who will actually bear the brunt of any decisions made, are not so interested in what he has to say.

The third thing that is different now is that anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment is on the creeping rise. In Europe specifically, the Arab narrative holds increasing sway, as was acknowledged by British Foreign Secretary William Hague during his recent trip to Israel. The Arab world, including states such as Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon, is falling under the growing influence of Islamist radicals who make no bones about their desire to do away with Israel.

I believe that this is what Kerry was referring to when he said that Israel was “running out of time.”

Israel “may not get another chance at peace” Kerry added, according to the Times of Israel, warning that the current Palestinian Authority leadership won’t be around forever, especially if the West Bank economy “implodes or if the Palestinian security force fails.”

“What would replace them?” he asked, presumably referring the real possibility that Hamas may oust the PA at any given moment. “The status quo is simply not sustainable. A stalemate today will not remain so tomorrow…Are we prepared to live with permanent conflict?”

“Quick,” Kerry appears to be saying, “give them what they want, lest they take it by force.”

Of course Kerry’s suggestion is ridiculous because the only thing worse than the Palestinian Authority being “replaced” now, is the Palestinian Authority being replaced after having wrangled more land from the Jews.

Surely the Secretary of State isn’t asking American Jews to encourage Israelis to agree to talking to the Palestinian Authority. Prime Minister Netanyahu has seized practically every opportunity in recent memory to profess his willingness to unconditionally engage in talks with the PA.

The bottle-necking is in the domain of PA President Abbas, who according to Israeli daily Israel Hayom told Kerry this week that “Israel must halt settlement construction and release Palestinian prisoners before peace negotiations can be renewed.”

Is Kerry asking American Jews to pressure their Israeli counterparts to respond positively to Abbas’s outrageous demands? The last time Israel wandered down that path, with the settlement freeze of 2009, the Jewish state was met with yet more recalcitrance from Abbas.

In truth the onus is on Abbas, and in that regard, to paraphrase, “No one has a weaker voice in this than the American Jewish community.”

The real question to be asked here is by American Jewry to John Kerry. Ma nishtana, why are you any different from all those who instinctively hold the Jews responsible for everything that is wrong in the Middle East.

The author is the editor of The Algemeiner and director of the GJCF and can be e-mailed at defune@gjcf.com.

29 Comments

  • John “Lerch: Kerry is a fool.

  • isaac brajtman

    Isn’t it time somebody said to the Arabs “look you guys lost each war and lost more and more each time.” After the last world war, the defeated countries signed a peace agreement and accepted their punishment for starting their aggresive war. They paid heavily and peace followed, and they are now our allies. Cant the Arab nations try this too, instead of making demands of the victor?

  • Subject: AS I HAVE BEEN PREDICTING

    RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=4589

  • Before you state that US Sec..Kerry is “a perfect ignorant of WWII and the concentration camps”, you might want to take a look as his heritage, from Wikipedia:

    It was discovered in 2003 by Felix Gundacker, a genealogist[4] working with The Boston Globe, that Kerry’s paternal grandparents, who had been born Jewish, as “Fritz Kohn” and “Ida Löwe”, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, changed their names to “Frederick and Ida Kerry” in 1900 and converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism in 1901[5][6] or 1902.[7] Fritz’ elder brother Otto had earlier, in 1887[6] or 1896,[4] also embraced Catholicism. The “Kerry” name, widely misinterpreted as indicative of Irish heritage, was reputedly selected arbitrarily: “According to family legend, Fritz and another family member opened an atlas at random and dropped a pencil on a map. It fell on County Kerry in Ireland, and thus a name was chosen.”[5][7] Leaving their hometown Mödling, a suburb of Vienna where they had lived since 1896, Fred and Ida, together with their son Eric, emigrated to the United States in 1905, living at first in Chicago and eventually moving to Brookline, Massachusetts, by 1915.[5]
    The village where Fritz Kohn was born in 1873 was at that time known as Bennisch and was a part of Silesia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but is today known as Horní Benešov in the Czech Republic.[6] After learning of his ancestral connection with their village, the mayor and citizens sent congratulatory correspondence to John Kerry with regard to his political pursuits.[6]
    For a time, Fred Kerry was a prosperous and successful shoe merchant, and Ida and two of the children — Richard (who would become the father of John Kerry) and Mildred — were able to afford to travel to Europe in the autumn of 1921, returning on October 21.[5] A few weeks later, on November 15, Fred Kerry filed a will leaving everything to Ida and then, on November 23, walked into a washroom of the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a handgun.[5] The suicide was front-page news in all of the Boston newspapers, reporting at the time that the motive was severe asthma and related health problems, but modern reports cite family sources saying that the motive was financial trouble: “He had made three fortunes and when he had lost the third fortune, he couldn’t face it anymore”, according to granddaughter Nancy Stockslager.[5]
    John Kerry has said that although he knew his paternal grandfather had come from Austria, he did not know until informed by The Boston Globe on the basis of their genealogical research that Fred Kerry had changed his name from “Fritz Kohn” and had been born Jewish,[7] nor that his great-uncle and great-aunt, Ida Kerry’s brother Otto and sister Jenni, died in Nazi concentration camps.[4]

  • Axis History Forum – Muslim dignitaries visit Auschwitz
    forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=175173

    There is nothing wrong with Muslim clerics visiting Auschwitz and praying for the persons who died there. But it is a distortion of reality to claim …

    To World Jewry:

    I hope you will consider my plea as one of the few Rabbis in Americas who speaks out for Israel, fights anti-Semitism throughout the world and one who speaks out vehemently against extremist Muslims. In addition I fight on behalf of Holocaust survivors and have been vocal regarding the Holocaust Claims Conference missing funds. I was also president of Rabbis for Romney. You are welcome to look me up on the internet.

    We are living in pre Holocaust times. European Jewry is facing major anti-Semitism and parts of Europe are Judenrein. Israel is facing a possible Holocaust from Iran and surrounding enemies. I was just banned from the Huffington Post for expressing my displeasure with Muslims praying at Auschwitz over my family ashes. Extremist Muslims want Israel and all Jews annihilated. My plea to all Jews: Speak out. Tell your Rabbis not to remain silent. We are running out of time.

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

  • velvel in atlanta

    Nehru said “Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.”

    PM Meir’s famous comment that peace will come only when the other side starts loving their children more than they hate Jews needs to be printed on the top and bottom of every piece of paper swapped during negotiations.

    Any experienced mediator knows that among the things to be agreed upon before the discussions begin is that parties must talk in good faith and that no one gets everything. There are issues upon which compromise is possible—even necessary—and others that are not. Honest discussion requires that all parties know which are which.

    Sec Kerry and his predecessors and the Foggy Bottom folks refuse to show Israelis respect when they refuse to acknowledge that they do not understand how Israel has not fallen apart in the face of enemies whose primary interest is destroying the State and her people—and using that as an excuse for the ill-treatment of their own people. A bit of “razzle-dazzle” and diverting of attention.

    Abbas and his friends and supporters have been unwilling to take a scintilla of responsibility for the state of things and ignore mistreatment of his people by their burnoose-clad (sometimes disguised in suits) “sponsors.”

    Were Sec Kerry to be honest he would stop pretending to lean over backward in favor of Abbas and his friends to get what everyone knows would be a condition merely called “peace.”

  • Let’s hope that the American Jewish Community doesn’t continue voting for the misguided and anti-Israel leftist ideology which continuously puts the ‘religion’ of liberalism before Judaism and the survival of the Jewish State.

  • Kerry and his boss are grave-diggers like Chamberlain and Daladier, who signed the Munich Agreement on September 29, 1938 with Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano, permitting Germany’s annexation of Czechoslovakia’s areas!
    John Kerry is a perfect ignorant of WWII and of the Jewish Martyrdom.

  • Give back what land? It’s not Israel’s to give away.

  • America professes to be a God fearing country,yet it continues to pressure Israel into a peace deal that would bring about the division of Jerusalem. They are out of step with God and would do better to support Israel and acknowledge that the God of Israel gathered them back into that land, a division of Jerusalem will lead to world conflict with all nations that trouble themselves with Israel cut to pieces. America may loose support from the counties that wood destroy Israel, but they would find favour and merciful kindness from God, and perhaps less Tornadoes at home.

  • Time is also running out for the Palestinians. Their recalcitrance is helping to keep Israel united. The other Arabs may eventually lose interest in the situation if they are pre-occupied with Shiite/Sunni conflicts.

  • Anatoly Tsaliovich

    Our answer to Mr. Kerry

    Land for Sex
    A Brave New Solution to the Most
    Important Problem of Our Times
    By Anatoly Tsaliovich

    Vast unemployment, poor food stamps, harsh welfare,
    Social problems, steep crime, stingy health care –
    Someone will say: “It’s economy, stupid!”
    We dare to differ on where it is rooted.
    We say, it’s wrong, it’s a major deception:
    Who cares for jobs, when we need contraception?
    We are entitled to sexual wealth,
    Sexual pleasure, and sexual health.
    We want as much of it as we can get,
    And make it free – we don’t need no debt! (sic)

    Hardship with sex is an abomination
    That must be fixed if we want save the nation.
    Read Constitution – sex IS in the book:
    Give it for free to the poor and Ms. Fluke!
    Luckily, give away paybacks are ample:
    Here is, for instance, Israeli example
    Where ‘Land for Peace’ was tremendous success
    (Sure, they gave more but got back much less!)
    Then, why not trade land for sperm isolation
    Limiting growth of the wrong population?

    Count our states: Carolina, Dakota,
    Kansas, New York, Oregon, Minnesota –
    Just do the math, use your feet for more fingers
    (President had fifty seven surveyed).
    Comrades-in-purpose, proclaim free sex zingers:
    Who needs this obsolete Roe vs. Wade?
    But wait, here’s a way even more impressive,
    Novel and better idea to use:
    We can have sex – all while keeping progressive –
    Then have abortions … and punish the Jews!

    Let us, like card dealers, use change of hand
    And waste not ours, but Israel’s land:
    Golan – for pills, Tel Aviv – for abortion,
    What else they have behind ‘forty nine’ lines?
    Jewish Jerusalem?
    What a distortion:
    Jews never lived there nor built their shrines.
    But we are ready to give you AlQuds
    And die for this Paradise brought to perfection,
    Just to see seventy two virgin nudes:
    Long live abortion and free contraception!

  • Kerry is no Kissinger! Simple.

  • Peace in the middle east is an oxymoron

  • Kerry is another Obama flunky…

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that a more correct translation of “Mah nishtana…” would be: “what differentiates…. not “why…?”

  • Anthony Dayton

    Why are the demands always only unilateral: Abbas wants a settlement freeze and the release of Palestinian prisoners, as a non-precondition condition, so to speak.

    Okay then, Why does Israel never provide two if its own, non-precondition conditions. Maybe that all released Palestinian prisoners be jailed in the Palestinian territories for a minimum of ten years, and that Abbas agree to give up the right of return. And then there would be a level playing field. I would think that John Kerry would see this as a positive step forward on the part of Israel, showing they are indeed willing to negotiate.

    • Markus E Brajtman

      Imagine if Abbas agrees to your suggestion of releasing PA prisones, to be held in PA jails for a minmimum of 10 years.

      Do you really believe that this terrorist leader, liar, would adhere to any witten agreement?
      No PA politian has ever honoured any signed agreement.
      Abbas would let loose every murdering bastard, to continue his aim to murder more Jews and to try to destroy Israel.
      Good suggestion, but it will never work

    • Israel’s preconditions are “no preconditions” with it understood by Israel and the Quartet that the “right of return” that Abbas says no Palestinian would agree to relinquish (including himself no doubt) is a non-starter.

  • While I agree with your analysis of Israel’s current dilemma, I think you make some unproductive leaps beginning with your statement, “Quick,” Kerry appears to be saying, “give them what they want, lest they take it by force.”

    I don’t hear that. I hear a simple – and obviously true – acknowledgement that time is running out for a relatively sane conversation with the Palestinians. I don’t equate that with a suggestion that Israel give away the store, and so I don’t have to follow that leap with another – to the conclusion that Kerry, too, holds Israel responsible. I suggest that we give our new Secretary of State the benefit of the doubt, and work hard to ensure that he has a clear picture of Israel’s reality.

    And I suggest that American Jews worry less about Kerry pressuring Israel, and more about how to influence President Obama’s and Senator Kerry’s European counterparts to acknowledge the reality of Israel’s situation. As long as the Palestinians feel they have the support of the larger world, they will be emboldened to make outrageous demands.

    • Dror Harari

      >> I hear a simple – and obviously true – acknowledgement
      >> that time is running out for a relatively sane
      >> conversation with the Palestinians.

      Not simple and obviously not true — there is and never been a sane conversation with the Palestinians. Time goes by, it never runs out. For the Palestinians, they refusal since 1948 to recognize Israel and live in peace with it has resulted in a never ending decline of their situation. Still, even today, if one bothers to read their Arabic papers and see their TV there’s nothing there that indicates any reconsideration of the basic problem. Therefore time is not running out but every bit of delay on the Palestinians side just makes the their situation worse. Tragically for them, this has never made them give a sane consideration to reality.

      If you are looking for a smart and beneficial idea look no further than here: http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/06/05/rearranging-the-middle-east/

  • We keep hearing we are running out of time and “Israel” must act quickly. Listen John, Israel has continue to act responsibly, why don’t you focus on the issue-the Arab desire to destroy Israel, John everything else is BS

  • Well said Dovid!

    • Sonia Willats

      I so agree. So well said, Editor.

      Giving more land would be like the other cited story- taking in fighters from Syria to the hospital in Tsfat. The enemy is simply brought closer, and whilst Israel does what appears to be right, the explosions go off right under her nose this time.

      Fundamentally, it is Israel’s existence that is opposed, and behind that, the G-d of Israel.

      Muslim extremism is little different to the crusaders of old. All is ‘justifiable’

      The EU doesn’t see this; no doubt the UK doesn’t either.

  • Lillian Freedman

    bravo!!! well said!

  • Your future: Europe will fall to Islam and large parts of East and North Africa. America is losing right now but we don’t know how that will go. It is possible that a new president will make a positive difference. If America should fall the possibility of a new Dark Ages is Real. It will depend on the America people if they should wake up and see the danger that will make all the difference.

    The next war will not be like WW 11; it will be more like an Enlarged Terrorist War.

    In The Coming Possible Dark Ages Of Muslim Domination Israel and Canada Will Be A Light Unto The Nations.

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