The Israel-Arab Conflict Should be the Last Item on John Kerry’s To-Do-List

July 5, 2013 11:33 am 6 comments

John Kerry speaks on his latest trip to Israel. Photo: Israel Hayom video.

This week the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister blamed mass protests in his country on the ‘Jewish Diaspora.’ Millions of Egyptians took to the streets demanding the ousting of President Morsi who was subsequently removed from power by the Egyptian military. Jordan blocked 254 news websites and Iran was discovered to be importing missile-grade ore from Germany and France. The world was also reminded of the savagery that is Syria’s civil war when a video of rebels decapitating a Catholic priest with a kitchen knife went viral.

And John Kerry visited Israel. Again.

Just about everyone is wondering why.

His fifth time in the last three months, Kerry was on an Israel-PA ‘peace process’ shuttle diplomacy bender that included an all-night session with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, and a press conference at the end that was optimistic in tone, but nothing else.

“What’s John Kerry doing here?” asked Ben Sales in a JTA column. “John Kerry’s bid for Mideast peace is doomed,” declared veteran commentator Jeffrey Goldberg writing for Bloomberg. “Chaos in Middle East grows as the U.S. focuses on Israel,” ran a New York Times headline, and more subtlely a Chicago Sun Times article announced that “Kerry’s admirable Mideast push faces daunting obstacles.”

Citing “former administration officials,” The New York Times tried its hand at an explanation, suggesting that Kerry is focusing on Israel and the Palestinian Authority because it is the only place in the region where the United States can still exert influence. No doubt hard to believe, and considerably worrying if true. Another explanation The Times cites, that strikes me as just strange, is that it is really all about Jordan. “Resuscitating the peace process is also vital to Jordan,” former State Department official Dennis Ross told the paper, “which is reeling from the wave of refugees from Syria and can ill afford a new wave of Palestinian unrest in the neighboring West Bank.”

More likely, the reason Kerry is focused on Israel and the Palestinian Authority is because Arab states and their friends and backers continue to push the issue to the fore, mostly to distract from their own internal failings. The ‘linkage’ ideology is alive and well in the Arab world, not because it is true but because blaming Israel serves the interests of most Arab despots.

Since the beginning of the year Kerry has visited numerous Muslim countries including Afghanistan, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Brunei, some of them multiple times. It is likely that at each stop he has been greeted with the same advice; solve the “Israeli problem” first.

But if there is one thing that the escalating events in the Middle East have made abundantly clear to the Israelis, it is that there is no long term stability without real democracy, and there can be no sustainable peace without stability.

Events in Egypt, Turkey, Syria and beyond have shown that an agreement with any autocrat whose time in power is likely to be short-lived would not be sustainable. PA Chairman Abbas is an autocrat and therefore can’t be propped up in any sustainable way with all the will in the world.

George W. Bush was right. If America wishes to export peace, it must first export democracy. And if it is progress that Kerry seeks, this is where he must begin.

The situation in Egypt provides a prime opportunity to start with. U.S. support for either side should be made conditional on the establishment of a true democratic system of government. Elections alone are not enough, as Natan Sharansky writes in The Case for Democracy, “A society that is not free but in which elections are held, should never be considered democratic.” The ‘linkage’ that actually works is the linkage of Ronald Reagan and ‘Scoop’ Jackson, whereby the United States establishes its relationships based on how said country treats its own citizens.

In the meantime, John Kerry is trying to place a cherry on a cake that has yet to be baked. If Kerry wants peace in the region he must introduce the region to the ways of peace, to democracy, first.

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

6 Comments

  • RIGHT ON!

  • By his very declarations, intelectually, Kerry has nothing to owe to Wimpy (Popeye´s friend), or vice-versa.

  • George Seravola

    I got it! Thanks a lot! Looks like everything is well planned. It is why we lost a diplomat in Libya, their is connection with the Norwegian government which did cooperate with Gaddafi for many years.
    Thanks again for the information.

  • Gerard De-Lamar

    If men see the connections links of what is happening at this moment is all connected to the Nobel Prize. Egypt did get the Nobel P! USA did get the Nobel Prize! EU did get the Nobel P. China did get the Nobel Prize. Egypt is in chaos! Edward Snowden – is Snow – North – Norway. E. Snowden involves USA, EU and China. All that is for Norway to keep the oil prices up! You get it!

  • E.S.Lombard

    Beautifully put! I hope it gets wider circulation. And at best, the U.S. has a representative republic. With the newer media, we ought to be able to use the best of the New England town hall as a model of shared democratic thought as a process. (With bombs and guns left at the door). Thanks!

  • It Matters not what is going on in the muslim regions, the middle east, or any of those places. if this country wanted to do something for Israel the would replace the man in the white house and every liberal in Washington. Demon crats are destroying all our sons and daughters and ancestors have fought for. When is America going to wake up and stand up and fight for the right the good and the law. Not these so call baby killing older people killing laws they are passing. But the constitution that Our country Fathers fought and gave all they had to give for the freedom and truth. Now there are nothing but lies coming from Washington. The man in the white house is a muslim and he wants this country destroyed and so does the demon crats that is in the governmemt. One day and soon the Lord is coming and every knee will bow to their maker and judge. They will believe or they will go to hell. Then all these vile men that believe in other gods will die. But they will not really die. Just go to sleep in this life and find themselves in hell when they know again Pray People Pray you will find grace with the Lord. Praying for the world but waiting to go to heaven.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Sports World FIFA President Sepp Blatter Announces Resignation on Heels of Corruption Scandal

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter Announces Resignation on Heels of Corruption Scandal

    Sepp Blatter, who led world soccer’s governing body for 17 years and who was regarded as one of the most powerful people in global sports, said Tuesday that he would resign his position. He made his announcement in Zurich as law enforcement officials in the United States confirmed that he was a focus of a federal corruption investigation. Mr. Blatter had for days tried to distance himself from the controversy, but several United States officials, speaking on the condition of […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Music Jewish Violinist Finishes Brahms Concert 82 Years After Nazis Interrupted His Father

    Jewish Violinist Finishes Brahms Concert 82 Years After Nazis Interrupted His Father

    A Jewish violinist played in Israel on Sunday the complete Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major, 82 years after Nazis interrupted his father mid-performance and escorted him offstage, The Week Magazine reported. Jewish-German violinist Ernest Drucker played only the first movement of the Brahms concerto in in Cologne, Germany, in 1933 before he was taken off stage by Nazi officials, who objected to Jewish musicians playing before non-Jewish audiences. Drucker’s son, Eugene Drucker, finished what his father started and played the […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Report: ‘Minyan’ Prayer Quorum Gathers at New York Rangers Games

    Report: ‘Minyan’ Prayer Quorum Gathers at New York Rangers Games

    A prayer quorum of at least 10 Jewish men, known as a minyan, gathers at every New York Rangers game played in the evening at Madison Square Garden, Jewish Insider reported on Monday citing commentator and former Mitt Romney adviser Dan Senor. “Another reason to love NYC: Just learned there’s a Minyan at every @NYRangers eve game b/w 2nd & 3rd periods at same designated spot at MSG,” tweeted Senor, who also co-authored Start Up Nation, a bestseller which documents […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Sports World Palestinian Soccer League Withdraws Bid to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Palestinian Soccer League Withdraws Bid to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    The head of Israel’s soccer association called on his Palestinian counterpart to “join forces,” as the Palestinian Football Association withdrew its bid on Friday to have Israel suspended from FIFA. “Let’s leave it to the politicians to do politics,” said Israel Football Association chief Ofer Eini, moments after PFA Chairman Jibril Rajoub announced that his group had withdrawn the proposal. After his remarks, Eini shook hands with the Palestinian soccer chief. Rajoub thanked “those” who convinced him to drop the […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Israeli-American Group Congratulates Cavaliers’ Blatt on Reaching NBA Finals

    Israeli-American Group Congratulates Cavaliers’ Blatt on Reaching NBA Finals

    JNS.org – An organization whose work focuses on the estimated population of 500,000-800,000 Israeli Americans congratulated David Blatt, the Jewish head coach of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Cleveland Cavaliers and a longtime Israel-based coach, for clinching an appearance in the NBA Finals. The Israeli-American Council (IAC), whose stated mission is “to build an active and giving Israeli-American community throughout the United States in order to strengthen the State of Israel, our next generation, and to provide a bridge to […]

    Read more →
  • Food US & Canada Bacon Flavor Ben & Jerry’s ‘Not Gonna Happen’ Because it Wouldn’t be Kosher

    Bacon Flavor Ben & Jerry’s ‘Not Gonna Happen’ Because it Wouldn’t be Kosher

    Famed ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s will not be introducing a Bacon flavored product to its offerings because the company intends to keep its entire line kosher, Marketing Director Alison Gilbert told AOL’s morning show Rise recently. “It’s kind of funny, a lot of people look for bacon in our ice cream, which is probably not gonna happen because all of our ice cream is kosher,” she said, referring to Jewish dietary restrictions that proscribe the consumption of pig […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Judo Team Faces Antisemitic Harassment in Morocco: ‘We Will Murder You’

    Israeli Judo Team Faces Antisemitic Harassment in Morocco: ‘We Will Murder You’

    Israeli athletes at a world Judo championship in Morocco reportedly faced antisemitic slurs during the competition, news site WorldNetDaily reported on Monday. “We will murder you,” and “you’re not wanted here, go home,” were among the vituperative attacks directed at the Israeli Judo Association team, which was in Morocco last week for the World Masters Judo Tournament. According to Haaretz, each Israeli teammate was met with boos and jeers upon entering a fight. Additionally, no Israeli flags were present at […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Pop superstar Lady Gaga on Thursday accepted an award from Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation, which strives to combat bullying among young people. “Your philosophies are so in line with ours,” she said of the ADL upon accepting the Making a Difference Award in a videotaped message, which was shown at a ceremony in New York City. “We want to help young people know that their feelings and who they are on […]

    Read more →