Outside of the specter of U.S. pressure on Israel to release additional scores of terrorists, I confess to having had little interest in the latest futile American quest to resuscitate the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” Like most transnational progressive enterprises, this decades-old theater is all process and no peace—about what you’d expect from a venture in which the United States believes it must be an impartial “honest broker” between America’s friends and America’s enemies.
To make a long, long, long story short, there can be no acceptable peace between Israel and the Palestinians absent four non-negotiable conditions: (a) there must be a single authority capable of negotiating for the Palestinian side; (b) the Palestinians must unconditionally accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state; (c) the Palestinians must convincingly renounce terrorism; and (d) the Palestinians must abandon the absurd “right of return” demand. Islamic supremacists whine that this is a one-sided set of requirements, but it’s not. It is basic in any negotiation that each side acknowledge the other’s right to exist and basic sovereign prerogatives. Besides, we all know that there is almost no concession Israel would refrain from making for the sake of peace if these elementary understandings were in place. So my general attitude about the “peace process” is: Wake me up when the Palestinians agree to those conditions and, in the meantime, try not to do too much harm.
Nevertheless, it is worth reading Adam Kredo’s report in the Washington Free Beacon on the Obama administration’s underhanded efforts to scapegoat Israel for the inevitable failure of Secretary of State John Kerry’s farcical attempt to negotiate a final settlement without pressing the Palestinians to make the basic concessions everyone knows must be made. Adam writes:
The Obama administration has been waging a secret media war in capitals across two continents blaming Israel for the recent collapse of peace talks with the Palestinians, according to former Israeli diplomats and Washington, D.C. insiders familiar with the peace process.
Multiple sources told the Washington Free Beacon that top Obama administration officials have worked for the past several days to manufacture a crisis over the reissuing of housing permits in a Jerusalem neighborhood widely acknowledged as Israeli territory.
Senior State Department officials based in Israel have sought to lay the groundwork for Israel to take the blame for talks collapsing by peddling a narrative to the Israeli press claiming that the Palestinians were outraged over Israeli settlements, the Free Beacon has learned.
These administration officials have planted several stories in Israeli and U.S. newspapers blaming Israel for the collapse of peace talks and have additionally provided reporters with anonymous quotes slamming the Israeli government.
The primary source of these multiple reports has been identified as Middle East envoy Martin Indyk and his staff, according to these insiders, who said that the secret media campaign against Israel paved the way for Secretary of State John Kerry to go before Congress on Tuesday and publicly blame Israel for tanking the talks.
“The Palestinians didn’t even know they were supposed to be abandoning negotiations because of these housing permits, which are actually old, reissued permits for areas everyone assumes will end up on the Israelis’ side of the border anyway,” said one senior official at a U.S. based pro-Israel organization who asked to remain anonymous because the Obama administration has in the past retaliated against critics from inside the pro-Israel world….
So the Palestinians won’t concede that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state, and Hamas—which rules at least half the Palestinians and is not controlled by the Fatah faction Kerry is courting—continues to promise jihad until Israel is annihilated, and Obama wants you to think the problem is … housing permits in Jerusalem?
We have seen for over five years now that the Obama administration and its State Department (under both Hillary Clinton and Kerry) are sympathetic to the Islamic supremacist case against Israel—or, to try to put a more benign spin on it, are persuaded that appeasing Islamic supremacists is the best way to make them more accommodating. I happen to think that’s reckless, but wouldn’t it be refreshing if they’d just say what they really think rather than playing these stupid games?
And imagine being Israel about now, with President Obama saying, “Hey, don’t worry about what might be going on in my Iran negotiations. You know I’ve got your back.” Gives you lots of confidence, no?