Kerry Offers Netanyahu a Peace Deal ‘He Can’t Refuse’
In the ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, moments of truth appear to be fast arriving. If Prime Minister Netanyahu stands by his promise to take decisions about ceding territory to a national referendum, millions of Israelis will personally be called on to decide how the Jewish state’s borders will look for their children and grandchildren.
Listening to John Kerry make the case for Israeli territorial concessions, one thing strikes me in particular. The specific incentives he articulates for Israel are mostly “sticks.” Absent are any “carrots” of substance.
Kerry makes no distinction between “peace”, and the specific “peace process” that he is promoting. He speaks of the virtues of peace, but who doesn’t want peace? It is his specific formula for reaching that hallowed destination that remains suspect.
The case against the current “peace process” is simple. The Palestinian Arabs have given Israel every reason to believe that territorial concessions will not bring peace at all. Their education system, constitutional mandates, media incitement, public monuments, multiple statements from senior officials, and Israel’s experiences with previous withdrawals all indicate that to the Palestinian Arab mind, the peace process is viewed mostly as a means to achieve the ultimate goal of Israel’s demise.
Yet Kerry has done little concrete to address these concerns and allay Israel’s fundamental fears. On Monday, the State Department declined to publicly address the issue of PA incitement and anti-Semitism, saying, “we make those discussions private.”
According to Kerry, the reasons for Israel to participate in its own dismembering, include the threats of international isolation, boycotts, a third Intifada, and the supposed “demographic threat.“ The Godfather’s “offer he can’t refuse,” immediately comes to mind.
“Force cannot defeat or defuse the demographic time bomb. The only way to secure Israel’s long term future is through negotiations,” Kerry said last month at the Saban Forum.
Kerry’s harshest threats came in an interview in early November on Israel’s Channel 2.
“The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos,” Kerry said. “I mean, does Israel want a third Intifada?” he asked. “Israel says, ‘Oh we feel safe today, we have the wall. We’re not in a day to day conflict’,” Kerry continued. “I’ve got news for you. Today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s…” Israel’s neighbors, he warned, will “begin to push in a different way.”
“If we do not resolve the issues between Palestinians and Israelis, if we do not find a way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel, there will be an increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel that’s been taking place on an international basis,” he stated.
According to a Washington Free Beacon report on a recent American Jewish Committee conference, “Secretary of State John Kerry claimed… that Israel’s failure to foster peace with the Palestinians fuels extremism and terrorism across the world.”
On Tuesday the Times of Israel reported that according to Israeli diplomatic sources, “John Kerry is behind the recent wave of European threats to boycott settlement products, and intends to use these threats against Israel should the current series of peace talks fail.”
Talk of peace comes in the form of broad unspecific platitudes, but Kerry’s warnings – should his “peace process” fail – are detailed, public, and precise. Absent a positive case for Israeli concessions, Kerry’s strategy is to artificially orchestrate a political pincer movement, and scare Israelis into accepting his proposals.
Viewed in this light and in the context of Israeli history, the choice for Israel’s citizens should be easy. The danger posed by the establishment of a hostile Palestinian Arab state in the heart of Israel by far surpasses all others. For the sake of their future generations, Israelis must simply refuse Kerry’s offer.