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July 22, 2014 10:52 am

Hot Mic, Cold Shoulder

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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John Kerry on Fox News. Photo: Screenshot.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is coming to Israel on Tuesday, following a visit to “ŽCairo to meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and U.N. Secretary-General “ŽBan Ki-moon. The purpose of both trips is to try and secure a cease-fire in Gaza.”Ž

It’s been a while since Kerry has graced the region with his presence. This is just as well. “ŽIf it hadn’t been for the secretary of state’s flying back and forth between Jerusalem and “ŽRamallah for months on end to “assist” in the establishment of a Palestinian state, there “Žwould not be a war going on in Gaza right now.”Ž

As is always the case when Israel engages in “two-state-solution” talks with the “ŽPalestinian Authority, terrorism against the Jewish state ensues. Buoyed by what they “Žperceive as a crack in Israeli armor, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas up the ante on “Ždemands already met — such as the release of massive numbers of terrorists held in Israeli “Žprisons — and then launch operations against the Israeli homefront.”Ž

The present war in Gaza, thus, has Kerry’s fingerprints all over it.”Ž

But Washington is in a bit of a bind. On one hand, the White House and State “ŽDepartment are hostile to the national camp in Israel, which they see as represented by “ŽPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They feel much more comfortable with figures like “Žoutgoing President Shimon Peres and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who parrot their own “Ždelusions about the way to achieve peace.”Ž

On the other, even the doves in America are hard put to denounce such a clear-cut case of “Ža “war of no choice” as the one that Israel is being forced to engage in right now.”Ž

This is why Kerry and U.S. President Barack Obama keep making statements about Israel’s “Žright to defend itself out of one side of their mouths, while urging restraint out of the “Žother.”Ž

It also explains the dripping sarcasm, caught on a hot mic at Fox News on Sunday, which “ŽKerry expressed about Israel’s assertion that it has been taking every step to avoid killing “Žinnocent Gazans. Talking on his cellphone to his deputy chief of staff, Kerry said, “It is a “Žhell of a pinpoint operation. … We’ve got to get over there.””Ž

Later, when asked by Fox about his tone, he said he had “reacted obviously in a way that, “Žyou know, anybody does with respect to, you know, young children and civilians.” What “Žhe did not explain was why his disdain on this score was not reserved for, you know, “ŽHamas, the organization wholly responsible for the deaths of “young children and “Žcivilians” — you know, both in Israel and in Gaza.”Ž

This does not mean he is unaware that Hamas is to blame. It merely reflects his wish that “ŽNetanyahu would not end up having the high moral high ground all the time. And what “Žcan he say about the fact that Hamas has received two “humanitarian cease-fires” so far, “Žto enable the evacuation of the dead and wounded (you know, to places like the Israeli “Žfield hospital at the Erez Crossing), both of which it violated by firing missiles into Israeli “Žcities?”Ž

It must have been comforting for him to meet with Ban the minute he arrived in Egypt on “ŽMonday, on the heels of the secretary-general’s statement that placed the blame on Israel “Žfor the civilian deaths incurred during Sunday’s strikes in the Shujaiyya section of Gaza “Ž”Ž — a hotbed of terrorist operations and infrastructure.”Ž

“Ž”I condemn this atrocious action,” he said. “Israel must exercise maximum restraint and “Ždo far more to protect civilians.””Ž

It is no surprise, then, that Kerry’s first order of business with Ban was to announce that “Žthe U.S. will be sending $47 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza. Nor will it help to point “Žout that these millions, as all the billions that have been poured into Gaza over the years, “Žwill promptly be spent on rebuilding the rocket launchers and terrorist tunnels that Israel “Žhas been targeting and attempting to destroy during this war.”Ž

Nevertheless, a group is organizing in Israel to demonstrate across from the David Citadel “ŽHotel in Jerusalem, where Kerry will be staying in the coming days, to tell him to go “Žhome.”Ž

What the protestors should keep in mind, however, is that Kerry’s hot mic moment, like “Žhis general cold shoulder to Netanyahu, is in keeping with his administration’s overall “Žideology in relation to the West and its enemies. Hamas is small fry compared to its “Žbackers in Tehran; and Kerry behaves no differently towards the mullahs of the Islamic “Žrepublic than he does to their proxies in Gaza.”Ž

Sunday was the deadline spelled out in the Joint Plan of Action, signed in January, for “Žthe nuclear talks between the P5+1 countries and Iran to culminate in a deal. Naturally, “Žthe Iranians have been using the time to continue working on their nuclear weapons “Žcapability. Yet now being given an extension until November 24.”Ž

“Diplomacy takes time,” Kerry said in a statement on Sunday. “[A]nd persistence is “Žneeded to determine whether we can achieve our objectives peacefully. To turn our back “Žprematurely on diplomatic efforts when significant progress has been made would deny “Žourselves the ability to achieve our objectives peacefully, and to maintain the international “Žunity that we have built. … [This extension] will give us a short amount of additional time “Žto continue working to conclude a comprehensive agreement, which we believe is “Žwarranted by the progress we’ve made and the path forward we can envision.””Ž

It is for this reason that Israel is in existential danger, no matter what Kerry says about “ŽIsrael or how the war in Gaza ends.”Ž

Ruthie Blum is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab “ŽSpring.'””Ž This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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  • BH in Iowa

    Hanoi John calls the IDF “Baby Killers” in 3…. 2….

  • Beatrix

    Israel needs America and given our liberal administration’s hostility to Israel and Israel’s conservative leader, Netanyahu’s government is always walking on eggs. Netanyahu doesn’t want to be responsible for destroying our ongoing relationship, and so far neither does Obama. At least Obama is not advocating that publicly. (Obama knows when its safe to act). The majority of America’s conservatives supposedly support Israel, but are kind of wishy washy in their support. And Rand Paul can barely say the right things about Israel even though he might run for president some day. A country that could chose Obama might just as easily chose Paul.

    • Emanuel

      Netanyahu is not capable of destroying our ongoing relationship, nothing is, and you can’t stop American Jews from loving Palestinians or Egyptians either, that’s right WE LOVE THE USA and we take good care of it. All of America supports Israel except for Leftist Scum and Jew Haters. Rand Paul is a joke, Paul Ryan makes Rand Paul look like Mary Poppins.

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