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July 8, 2013 11:43 am

Washington Post: Kerry’s ‘Intense Focus’ on Peace Process Provokes ‘Head-Scratching Among Diplomats’

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Screen shot of John Kerry in Israel. Photo: Israel Hayom.

In an editorial published by the Washington Post Sunday, the paper attempted to deconstruct U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s “intense focus” on reaching a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that, it said, “provokes more than a little head-scratching among diplomats from the Middle East” who ask why the secretary of state isn’t more focused on Syria and Egypt.

The Post first attempts to answer the criticism in a “logical–if narrow” fashion, explaining that U.S. President Barack Obama has thwarted any possibility of Kerry becoming involved in Syria, and that the Pentagon, due to its close relationship with the Egyptian military— is best equipped to handle Egypt.

While offering kudos to Kerry for his efforts, the editorial reserves its criticism for the actual peace talks, as opposed to discussion about the resumption.

“But what happens when and if negotiations start? That is where the real trouble lies for Mr. Kerry: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have demonstrated repeatedly over the past two decades that they are unwilling to make the sort of compromises a two-state peace deal would require,” The Post writes.

In an attempt at unambiguous practicality, the editorial offers solutions apart from an all-out peace settlement, which it dismisses from the outset.

“We’d like to believe that he recognizes that a peace deal is not feasible now and is aiming at useful interim steps, such as the economic development plan for the West Bank he has suggested or Israel scaling back settlement construction and yielding control of more West Bank territory,” the editorial notes, adding “Those would be achievements worth an investment of time, assuming one has written off the possibility of American leadership beyond Jerusalem and Ramallah.”

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  • Lynne T

    You’d think with the surrounding maelstrom, which is the legacy of sectarian police states in the region, that the notion that the absence of a full fledged independent state of Palestine is the cause of all evil in the Middle East would finally be dispelled.

  • John W. Rosen.

    Why does Israel not tell the Americans that Israel has been the only party that has approached the 2-state problem, willing to accommodate the Palestinian’s desire for a state of their own.
    Israel has been the country which has offered up to 90% of the West Bank, parts of Jerusalem and many other concessions, which have all been rejected. Israel now claims that they are willing to sit down and negotiate without any conditions, only to have the Palestinians reject these proposals as well.
    It is patently obvious that the Palestinians are not interested in having a state of their own. They do not recognize Israel, nor the fact that Israel is a national state of the Jewish people, and that Jews have no right to be in the State of Israel. Israel should cease to be an independent entity, and should revert to Palestinian rule.
    This proves that the Palestinians are not interested in negotiating with Israel. When the Palestinian people tire of the lies of their leaders, and think for themselves, they should then petition Israel to negotiate a state of their own.
    Israel should not be bullied by the US, the EU, nor the UK, into negotiating away their land, nor their right to a secure border with their mortal enemies.

  • M. Otero

    Conspiracy! Conspiracy! Is there any other explanation for Israel’s failing to use the related issue of the Jewish refugees from Arab Lands? They are genuine UN acknowledged refugees. They didn’t leave by choice; they were expelled!Their vast assets acquired over 2600 years deserve reparations. They were far more numerous than the Palestinian Arabs. They have shown no rage or revenge. They have expressed no hatred nor wild threats or accusations before the world community. Using the expulsion and theft of lands five times the size of Israel should be an easy bargaining chip for the negotiators. Conspiracy of silence! Why?

  • Bernard Ross

    america should stay out and let them solve it themselves

  • Mel

    Kerry is a sphincter that would have floated off into the breeze were it not for the too-convenient death of PA Sen. John Heinz and Kerry immediately marrying his widow and his fortune.