Sunday, December 29, 2013
John Kerry's Stupid,Futile 'Peace Process' Gambit
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is headed back to the Middle East to try and push through a 'grand bargain' between the Israelis and Palestinians that is more than 99% certain not to to succeed, and will lead to war and bloodshed in the unlikely event that it does.
The Obama Administration's policy thus far has been simply to cajole/threaten the Israelis for more and more concessions, while trying to get the Palestinians to make any concessions whatsoever. That sort of thing has its limits, and they've been reached.
The latest big idea has to do with Israeli control of the Jordan Valley, something that is absolutely vital for the small country's security.And an area, by the way, mainly settled and populated by Israel's Jews.
Originally, Kerry's big idea was a UN force like the farcical UNFIL, which sat back and watched while Hezbollah rearmed, moved back into its bases in South Lebanon and refreshed its missile arsenal, all in violation on UN Resolution 1701. The Israelis wisely refused to even consider that suicidal notion. Kerry's next plan involved a gradually diminished IDF presence for ten years, something again that the Israelis were reluctant to consider even after Obama's special envoy Martin Indyk hectored senior IDF generals to ignore their security concerns and persuade a skeptical Israeli public to accept Kerry's plans.
Neither Israel or Jordan want Abbas and the PA to have control of the strategic area, because it will simply become a conduit for terrorists and heavy weapons.So the meeting did not go well, with one Israeli general who attended saying, replace 10 years with 50 years, minimum, and a UN force with the IDF:
The Palestinian Authority is unwilling to consider it either. Mahmoud Abbas has been adamant that not a single Jew will be allowed in his new Palestinian state, let along Israeli soldiers. Since the Arab League has now endorsed that position as well, it's hard to see exactly who Kerry figures he's going to sell this to.
Abbas, to his credit has been clear about his positions from the start, which is that he's unwilling to make any concession to Israel and simply wants all his demands met. He will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, will not allow his 'Palestine' to be demilitarized, will not consider any solution that does not include all of east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state as well as all of Judea and Samaria, of course including the Jordan Valley. He likewise insists on all of the convicted terrorist murderers Israel is holding in its jails be released forthwith.
These conditions are not a recipe for peace, but simply some gains Abbas hopes to pocket to improve his position before continuing the War Against The Jews.That's especially evident now that Abbas and Hamas have once again agreed to join forces.
In response to this, the Israelis are talking seriously about simply annexing the Jordan Valley and taking it off the table, the smartest thing they could do in my opinion.
Kerry has also reduced his leverage with the Israelis by insisting on the release of 106 convicted terrorists to the Palestinians. A lot of Israelis are making the connection between the recent upswing in terrorist attacks on Israel and the release of imprisoned terrorists and they're livid about it. Looking at some of the next batch of killers to be released will give you an idea of the political price Netanyahu has already paid for going along with this.
Kamil Awad Ali Ahmad, who murdered 16 Israelis is tops on the list. He's joined by Yakoub Muhammad Ouda Ramadan and Afana Mustafa Ahmad Muhammad, who stabbed to death 38-year-old Sara Sharon(Hy"D), a mother of seven, in Netanya in January of 1993, Abu al Rub Mustafa Mahmoud Faisal, a PA Tanzim terrorist who murdered Yoram Cohen(Hy"D) in Jenin in September of 1991. There's also Damara Ibrahim Mustafa Bilal, one of the team of murderers who kidnapped and stabbed Steven Frederick Rosenfeld,(Hy"D) an American citizen to death in 1989 as he went hiking near the city of Ariel.And Abu Mohsin Khaled Ibrahim Jamal, who murdered 76-year-old Shlomo Yahya(Hy"D) in September of 1991 in Moshav Kadima as he came out to work in his garden.
No civilized society would want men like these released, except to act as role models and trainers for the next generation of jihadis. You can imagine how the families of the victims feel.
Oh, as an aside, U.S. Law requires the FBI to investigate any instance in which an American citizen is murdered outside of the US.At this time, there has never been a case in which the US has prosecuted the murderer of an American citizen in Israel, and there have been quite a few of them.
Apparently there are special rules about applying that law when it comes to Jews and Israel.
According to one of my sources inside the PA, Abbas plans to stick to his hardline positions, because he has nothing lose, thanks to the way Kerry and Obama's team have handled things. When the talks collapse in April, he will simply blame Israel, go the the UN, demand Palestinian Statehood along the pre-67 lines and wait to see if President Obama vetoes it. I'm personally guessing he won't, and will probably have the U.S. abstain at best.
The Israelis could simply head this off by delineating their own borders, annexing all of Area C, the parts of Area B they feel they need and moving any non-Israeli citizens to the other side of that line, but the political realities of dealing with the Obama Administration seem to mandate that this game will continue, and that the ending will be a lot bloodier than it otherwise would have been.
Just as a coincidence, the Palestinian 'elections' with Hamas participating as part of a new Palestinian unity government take place in March or so, right before the deadline. It will be intereesting to see how this plays out.