[See Update at end] Yesterday John Kerry gave a seventy-two minute speech in an attempt to explain the disgraceful actions of the State Department that I discussed in Obama Gives The Wailing Wall To The Muslims. In it he laid out his genius six-point plan for Mideast peace … I call it the Late John Kerry plan because he’s very late in revealing it, three weeks before he’s history. I may discuss that plan at some later date, but today I wanted to give you the Early John Kerry Plan, from about a decade ago. These are the views and promises of John Kerry as stated in his 2004 official Presidential Platform on Israel. First, there is the general statement of his beliefs.
John Kerry has been at the forefront of the fight for Israel’s security during his nineteen years in the US Senate. His pro-Israel voting record is second to none.
John Kerry did not wait until he was running for president of the United States to visit Israel – he has been there on numerous occasions throughout his public life. Through his meetings with Israeli political and military leaders – and especially his interaction with ordinary Israelis – he has experienced the everyday security threat that Israelis face and this has deepened his understanding of Israel’s security needs. In short, John Kerry will never do anything to compromise that security.
John Kerry believes that particularly in uncertain times like these we must reaffirm and indeed strengthen our special relationship with Israel, our most steadfast friend and ally in the region. His commitment to a safe, secure, democratic Jewish state of Israel is unwavering. It comes from a personal belief that Israel’s cause must be America’s cause.
John Kerry understands that anti-Semitism masked in anti-Israel rhetoric is a dangerous trend threatening both Israel and Jewish communities around the world. John Kerry has always fought against anti-Semitism and as president, he will take governments around the world to task for failing to address this escalating threat.
OK, pretty generic … but then his Presidential Platform Regarding Israel gets specific. I’ll comment on some of these items.
Israel’s Right to Respond to Terrorism: Kerry supports Israel’s right of self defense to eliminate threats to its citizens, including actions taken by Israel against Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups in Gaza. In spring 2002, when Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield to root out Palestinian terrorists and dismantle the Palestinian infrastructure, Kerry co-sponsored a resolution expressing solidarity with Israel and called for continued assistance in strengthening Israel’s homeland defenses.
Supporting Israel’s Plan to Withdraw from Gaza: John Kerry expressed support for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unprecedented plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. He recognizes that in any final settlement for Israel to remain a Jewish State, Palestinians must settle in a future Palestinian State rather than in Israel, and that in light of demographic realities, a number of settlement blocks will likely become a part of Israel.
Remember that the deal from day one has been “land for peace”. Ariel Sharon decided to put it to the test with Gaza. He pulled out all of the settlements that Kerry is sure are the real Mideast problem. Ripped them out entirely and gave Gaza to the Muslims. Took a chance to do it. And I certainly agree with Kerry’s 2004 support of Sharon in this test of whether the “land for peace” deal would work.
Unfortunately, instead of getting peace in exchange for land, they got over ten thousand rockets fired from Gaze at civilian targets in Israel, and a Palestinian citizenry who freely elected Hamas, a known terrorist organization, as their government …
Fighting Against Saudi Government Anti-Semitism: John Kerry has forcefully spoken out against anti-Semitic statements by Saudi government officials, saying it calls into question their commitment to combating terrorism and pledging that as president, he will never permit these kinds of attacks to go unanswered.
I don’t recall Kerry saying anything about this, but he is Secretary of State and not President.
Israel’s Security Fence Is A Legitimate Right of Self Defense: John Kerry supports the construction of Israel’s security fence to stop terrorists from entering Israel. The security fence is a legitimate act of self defense erected in response to the wave of terror attacks against Israeli citizens. He believes the security fence is not a matter for the International Court of Justice.
The Socialist Workers Party took huge exception to this and other of Kerry’s positions at the time, writing:
Briefly summarized, Kerry’s position is: full support for Israeli aggression and expansionism, including its reoccupation of the West and Gaza in 2002 and permanent Israeli annexation of several West Bank settlements. Kerry supports the apartheid Wall which Israel is building to grab yet more West Bank land. Kerry opposes the Palestinian people’s right to return to their homeland and openly declares that he has the right to pick the government and leaders of the Palestinian people.
Clearly they’re not fans of the Early John Kerry Plan … the 2004 Kerry Presidential Platform Regarding Israel continues:
New Palestinian Leadership: John Kerry believes that Yasser Arafat is a failed leader and unfit partner for peace and therefore has supported his total isolation. He has demanded a new, responsible Palestinian leadership, committed to ending the violence and fighting terror – in word and in deed – and will work tirelessly to ensure that this new leadership emerges.
Lots of folks have called for responsible Palestinian leaders … still not there …
Foreign Aid to Israel: John Kerry has always voted to maintain critical foreign aid to our ally Israel, resisting any attempts to cut it over his years in the Senate. In the early 1990s, he fought President Bush when his administration restricted aid to Israel through the loan guarantees program.
On this one I give Obama and Kerry full marks. They have sustained and even increased US aid to Israel … which makes their UN actions even less understandable. And speaking of the UN, the Platform goes on to say:
The UN and other International Organizations: John Kerry has always believed the US must stand solidly behind Israel at the UN and other international organizations. He recognizes the UN must establish more credibility on Arab-Israeli matters and would never hesitate to wield a US veto on the Security Council in the face of anti-Israel/Anti-Zionist resolutions.
See, this is why people don’t trust politicians. Despite all of those promises of friendship and support for Israel, including a specific pledge to wield a US veto on the Security Council if there is an “anti-Israel resolution”, we find out that he’s just another liar. And people wonder why folks voted for Trump?
Fighting to Move the American Embassy to Jerusalem: John Kerry has long advocated moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s indisputable capital. In 1999, he signed a letter taking President Clinton to task for not moving the embassy.
This one is hilarious. Trump has been taking nothing but heat and scorn from the Democrats for saying he’ll move the American Embassy to Jerusalem … and now we see this. Hypocrites, much?
Maintaining Israel’s Military Superiority: John Kerry understands that America must guarantee Israel’s military superiority and supports carefully restricting arms sales to Arab countries in the region. He opposed the sale of Maverick missiles and F-15 fighter planes to Saudi Arabia.
Mmmm … from Salon magazine:
Israel has for decades been the largest recipient of U.S. military aid. It averages more than $3 billion a year, although this figure may soon increase. Egypt comes in second, with $1.5 billion. In 2014, these two countries received about three-fourths of U.S. foreign military aid.
In the past few years, however, one of the most repressive countries in the world has become a key customer for U.S. weapons: Saudi Arabia.
Since President Obama took office, the U.S. government has done a staggering $110 billion in arms sales with the Saudi monarchy — amounting to an unprecedented increase. Like Israel and Egypt, Saudi Arabia has long been a close U.S. ally, but the U.S.-Saudi military alliance has grown dramatically since 2009.
Throughout the past year U.S. weapons have kept flowing to Saudi Arabia, even while the United Nations and human rights groups have documented a slew of Saudi war crimes in Yemen.
Again I point out that Kerry is not the President. I suspect that these deals are more on Obama’s desk than on Kerry’s … but like they say, if you lie down with dawgs, you get up with fleas …
Financing Terror: Kerry will demand accountability and action from Arab and European countries to eliminate sources of funds that flow freely to terrorist organizations. Kerry strongly believes the US must “end the sweetheart relationship with a bunch of Arab countries that still allow money to move to Hamas and Hezbollah and Al Aqsa Brigade.”
At least in 2004, Kerry had the albondigas to call Hamas and Hezbollah “terrorist organizations”. Unfortunately, his time working for Obama appears to have caponized him. In his speech yesterday, he devoted one stinkin’ paragraph in a 72-minute speech to Palestinian support of terror. Not only that, he called Hamas a “militant” organization.
A “militant” organization?!? His own State Department lists it as a “terrorist organization”, his 2004 Platform calls it a “terrorist organization” not once but twice, he spends seventy-one of seventy-two minutes of his speech lambasting the Israelis, and to top it off he calls Hamas a “militant organization”? Miss the point much?
Isolating and Punishing Regimes of Terror: Kerry co-sponsored the Syria Accountability Act, which includes a ban on the export of military and dual use items to Syria. He believes that “we must ensure that Syria does not acquire and distribute additional weapons thereby exasperating tensions in the Middle East, raising potential threats to Israel, and undermining arms control.”
By his UN actions, he is “isolating and punishing” Israel, and meanwhile the Administration drew a red line in Syria and walked away from it. Talk about having your head on backwards …
Preventing a Nuclear Armed Iran: John Kerry understands that a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable. He believes the failure of the Bush Administration to thwart Iran’s efforts to amass nuclear weapons poses a real threat to the safety and security of Israel, the US and the rest of the free world.
I am certain that Kerry thinks the US-Iran nuclear deal has done this … others beg to differ. Please, this is not the thread to re-fight that one.
Finally, we get to Kerry’s “Guiding Principles”, viz:
Guiding Principles for John Kerry on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:
• As President, John Kerry will never force Israel to make concessions that compromise its security.
• As President, John Kerry would not expect Israel to negotiate without a credible Palestinian partner for peace – something that unfortunately does not exist today.
This one is tragic. Everyone agrees that there is currently no credible Palestinian partner. Six years ago Obama brokered a deal where the Israelis halted construction of new settlements, in response to the usual Palestinian claim that they’d negotiate if the Israelis stopped the settlements.
They lied. They never came to the negotiating table. After ten months the Israelis gave up. And of course, Hamas still denies Israel’s right to exist, so they are not a credible negotiator for peace. Their idea of peace is when every Jew is dead.
But despite a very specific promise to not expect Israel to negotiate without a credible Palestinian partner for peace, Kerry has done exactly that.
I could go on, but from there his Guiding Principles descend into fluff.
Conclusions? Only sad ones. Sometime after 2004, John Kerry drank the koolaid, jettisoned his promises, morals, and manhood overboard, and morphed into an anti-Israel activist who thinks he is qualified to not only lecture the Israelis on what is good for them, but to take actions that actively damage the Israelis and claim it’s for their own good. I have no words for that kind of vile paternalistic backstabbing.
Sadly, it’s the usual Democratic elitist idea that patricians with college educations and expensive wardrobes are qualified to tell their inferiors how to live their lives. Kerry is so clueless he still thinks the settlements are the problem, even after the Gaza experiment plus the ten-month settlement stoppage conclusively proved that the problem was not settlements. The man is obsessive on the subject of settlements.
On the other hand, here’s how the Israelis see the problem, from the closing of Netanyahu’s speech in response to Kerry (emphasis mine):
I ask you-how can you make peace with someone who rejects your very existence? This conflict is not about houses or communities in the West Bank, Judea Samaria, the Gaza district or anywhere else.
This conflict is and has always been about Israel’s right to exist.
That’s why my hundreds of calls to sit with President Abbas for peace talks have gone unanswered.
That’s why my invitation to him to come to the Knesset was never answered.
That’s why the Palestinian Government continues to pay anyone who murders Israelis a monthly salary.
The persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state remains the core of the conflict. And its removal is the key to peace.
Palestinian rejection of Israel and support for terror are what the nations of the world should focus on if they truly want to advance peace.
And I can only express regret, and say that it is a shame, that Secretary Kerry does not see this simple truth.
Makes sense to me …
Best of the morning to all, I am off to the garden to shovel and wheelbarrow in the sunshine …
PS—Misunderstandings are the bane of the internet. Please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING so we can all be clear about your subject.
[UPDATE] Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate Minority leader, said of the UN vote:
The Administrations actions [at the UN] have embodened extremists on both sides.
I agree entirely with him and I salute his willingness to stick by his principles and tell the truth.
Today, a State Department official replied to Senator Schumer, saying:
Stating uncomfortable facts doesn’t embolden extremists, dangerous steps on the ground by both sides do that.
See what the Obama Administration did there? They pretended that Schumer was referring to Kerry’s speech, and not to the Administration’s disgraceful and highly dangerous step of the UN abstention on the ground where it counted heavily and clearly will embolden all extremists.
Pathetic, but dangerous nonetheless.