News & Politics

Did John Kerry Just Exploit Memorial Day to Back Out of France's Anti-Israel Peace Conference?

Perhaps the Carter administration was comparably hostile to Israel, but the passive-aggressive, honor-deficient Obama administration has both caused and acceded to greater danger to the Jewish State than any other U.S. administration since 1948.

Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that he would not be attending the Mideast conference to be held in Paris on May 30, which was organized by France’s socialist President Francois Hollande.

According to State, Kerry is simply too busy.

As a result, Hollande has postponed the conference and no alternative date has been set.

Eager to force Israel towards negotiations with the bifurcated, terror-supporting Palestinian leadership, Hollande had planned to hold this conference without inviting either Israel or the Palestinian Authority. Though Hollande presented this idea to the international community as progressive diplomatic ingenuity, Israel correctly understood the conference for what Hollande intended it to be: PR-massaged spite of the Netanyahu administration.

For Hollande had invited the Mideast Quartet, the Arab League, and 20 others — none of whom would arrive presenting a pro-Israel voice.

Despite having notification of the intended conference for months, the Obama administration waited until the last moment to express an opinion on the event. Today they punted, concluding that an expression of support for Israel was too great of a risk:

A conference on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, due to be held on May 30 in Paris, has been postponed, French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday.

“(U.S. Secretary of State) John Kerry cannot come on May 30 so it has been delayed. It will take place in the summer,” he told French radio.

Hollande said it was vital for France to take “a strong initiative” in the dispute.

“If not … what will happen? Settlement building, attacks,” he said.

The original date for the conference falls on the U.S. Memorial Day holiday honouring members of the armed forces who died in combat.

Perhaps only the hopelessly cynical would crouch deep enough to assume the Obama administration could basely exploit Memorial Day for a creative RSVP lie.

Yet one could only assign such judgment on the a) hopelessly cynical who b) share Venn diagram real estate with “those who didn’t witness that State Department daily press briefing three weeks ago“:

U.S. Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at his daily briefing in Washington … that Secretary of State John Kerry has not decided yet whether he will attend the foreign ministers’ conference. The U.S. government is still examining the French proposal, Kirby said, and consulting with other administrations around the world.

 In late April, John Kerry was decidin’, examinin’, and consultin’.

In late May? Eh … he’ll be jammin’:

“We’re in discussions right now with the French about any possible alternative date that might better work for the secretary,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said Monday, though he added that Kerry’s agenda was currently “jammed.”

John Kerry could have — and prior U.S. administrations would have — condemned such a conference conceptually as being an intentional affront to Israel’s attempts to secure its continued safety. But he didn’t do that months ago when the conference’s intentions became known, and he didn’t do that weeks ago when State revealed Kerry would not only refrain from rebuking Hollande, but was actually intensely involved in the conference’s preparation.

Today, State wants you to forget that the “peace process”-obsessed Kerry ever had any interest in the conference, that he was ever consulting with foreign entities on the conference, and that they never before expressed concern about it simply not fitting into his schedule when he had plenty of warning that the conference happens to fall on Memorial Day.

Consider: After months of planning, Hollande immediately postponed the conference upon hearing — a mere two weeks out — that Kerry would not attend. No Kerry, he shuts the whole thing down after he’s already booked the caterers.

If you’re buying State’s “jammed Memorial Day” excuse, I’ve got a Ben Rhodes hearing for you to watch.