Why Kerry Will Fail in Israel-Palestine

John Glaser, July 19, 2013


Secretary of State John Kerry has now gone to Israel-Palestine six times in five months in an attempt to restart negotiations between the two parties. One wonders what in the world he is saying in these private, one-on-one meetings.

As Kerry shuttles back and forth, so far unable to get the parties to agree to meet, a great misconception about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is bolstered. Many Americans don’t have a clue about the details of the situation (a poll last year found that up to 58 percent “are unsure or have no opinion on most issues” having to do with the conflict) and many can’t even accurately describe the broad outlines of the matter.

In this ignorance, the apparent inability to resolve the longstanding conflict has led many Americans to believe it is just so complicated it can’t be solved equitably. But it isn’t complicated, and even if it were, that isn’t what has impeded progress. Really, it has been America’s one-sided support for Israel that has blocked a political settlement for all these years.

Large majorities of Palestinians support a two state solution based on the 1967 borders. The problem is that successive Israeli governments have rejected such a resolution in favor of continued military occupation of the West Bank (and Gaza until 2005, and since in the form of an economic blockade and frequent bombing campaigns) and continued building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, in a process of systematic dispossession of their land which the whole world agrees is criminal under international law.

Indeed, the European Union just this week barred any funding of Israeli settlement projects through any of its agencies, to the dissatisfaction of Israel, who expects to continue receiving foreign aid no matter how cruel and illegal its policies are.

In the meantime, Jewish settlers in the West Bank systematically harass and attack the Palestinian population in a phenomenon described by the speaker of the Israeli Knesset as “Jewish terrorism.” Property vandalism, rock throwing, and destruction of Palestinian crops and olive groves (their only livelihood) are most common.

recent report from the European Union warned that, “if current trends are not stopped and reversed, the establishment of a viable Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders seem more remote than ever.”

The EU report explained how “a combination of house and farm building demolitions; a prohibitive planning regime; relentless settlement expansion; the military’s separation barrier; obstacles to free movement; and denial of access to vital natural resources, including land and water, is eroding Palestinian tenure of the large tract of the West Bank on which hopes of a contiguous Palestinian state depend.”

There is no reason for the settlements except expansion of Israeli state territory. The charter of the current political party in power in Israel states explicitly that Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza is “the realization of Zionist values” and describes the whole of the West Bank and Jerusalem as belonging to Israel.

Israeli occupation policy hasn’t changed very much since Israeli military leader and politician Moshhe Dayan said after the Six Day War: “We don’t have a solution, and you will continue living like dogs, and whoever wants will go, and will see how this procedure will work out.” Or, perhaps more accurately, it follows what Lara Friedman and Daniel Seidemann in Foreign Policy called the “everybody knows fallacy,” namely that Israel’s gradual and continuous expansion onto Palestinian land is premised “on the grounds that ‘everybody knows’ these areas will always be part of Israel.”

As such, Israeli policy opposes a settlement. Kerry can go back and forth all he wants. But unless America stops supporting Israeli expansion and, thus, the dissolution of Palestine, no settlement is possible.

  • Allah SWT Khalifah

    There will be one Abu_Baker Quranic UE State in falsteenjorhijazyemen(israeleez must go back to their Mossad NJ grave).

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  • Chris Condon

    It is difficult to see how there could be a Palestinian state on the West Bank. Even if the Israeli Government agreed to such a proposal, there are already hundreds of thousands of Israelis living there now that might object. What if they refused to leave? Or would they be amenable to staying put and living under Palestinian jurisdiction?

    • Walter Cole

      If the settlers refused to leave then you do to them what was done to the Palestinians when their land was taken away.

    • nomange

      Chris- That was and is the whole point of establishing the settlements in the first place- to change the facts on the ground so much that they would be irreversible. That was Jabotinsky's policy, that was Ben Gurion's policy, that is Netanyahu's policy and the policy of many of his successors to be, except that, this could be reversed if the U.S. demanded and took steps to force Israel to comply with the UN resolutions and international law. Instead, we continue to enable the Israelis in the implementation of "manifest destiny".

  • Down with puppets

    Kerry like Obama is fraud. Both are petty servant of zionist bankers.

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  • AWN

    The situation is actually worse because although Palestinians have always been willing to compromise their rights for some semblance of a state most don't feel that they now have to negotiate their rights away.
    1. US will eventually have other priorities over Israel. Especially as it looses influence in Middle East.
    2. Demographics. Palestinians will be more than Israelis within the next 20 years.
    3. Resources. They are not only stealing land, they are stealing the very essence of life, i.e. water.
    4. Arab Spring. Its not over yet. It will encompass the Gulf and all American puppets will be in dust bin of history.

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  • Vaughn

    The Jewish state is doomed. Israel must become Israel/Palestine, where all religions are treated with equal respect. The fanatics, with their greed and lust for other peoples' land, have written Zionism's epitaph.

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  • Teri

    The USA has allowed this cancer called israel to spread and metasticize on Palestinian land.
    The infection is so severe and so repugnant that it's become totally "obscene" in the eyes of
    any decent human being. What the hell has this world come to??

  • Derom

    Israel is the most source of gigantic problem of the world. Ask americans how they feel sad when they know the Israelis occupy their USA sistematically and destroy their supreme values.

  • Einstein Hubert

    The limit of Israeli policy is there are no fear anymore in the heart of Palestinians and of the victims of that policy's side effect (which spread out globally). They can not fix and cheat the world every minutes. People grown smarter minute by minute. Oceanic move of global human conscience.

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