In reporting the apparent death of Middle East peace talks, Secretary of State John Kerry told members of a Senate committee that, â€œ700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem, and â€˜poof,â€™ that was sort of the moment.â€
Contrary to the Obama administrationâ€™s delusional, â€œhead in the sandâ€ Middle East policies,Â Americans must stand with Israel.
Secretary of State John Kerry has once again put his foot in his mouth in blaming actions by the Israeli leadership for the breakdown of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
As everyone on the planet knows, there is a tremendous amount of distrust between the Israelis and the Palestinians. There appears to be an equal amount of doubt that the Obama administration has the capability to broker a deal when both principle parties disagree on the starting point of negotiations.
Israelis are demanding that Palestinians acknowledge their statehood and right to exist as a starting point, which the Palestinians refuse to do.
According to the newspaperÂ Israel Hayom,Â an Israeli Strategic and Intelligence Minister addressed the unraveling peace talks by telling a group at Tel Aviv University:
â€œAbout a month ago we listened to PA President Mahmoud Abbas say he has no intention of recognizing the right of the Jewish people to a sovereign state. There are situations where one must stand firm and present this as a basic demand â€“ full recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people. We cannot come to terms with anything else from Abbas.â€
For their part, the Palestinians demand that established borders be restored to pre-1967 boundaries, which includes a divided Jerusalem, a demand the Israelis categorically refuse.
Israeli leadership recently announced the approval of 700 new settlements to be built in East Jerusalem, in an area the Palestinians assert belongs to them.
These settlements were approved for Jerusalem, Israelâ€™s capital, not the West Bank or other areas considered by the Palestinians to be â€œoccupied territories.â€
In response to Kerryâ€™s allegations that Israel was largely to blame for the recent breakdown by approving those settlements, an unnamed official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuâ€™s office said:
â€œIn the understandings reached prior to the talks, Israel did not commit to any limitation on construction. Therefore, the Palestinian claim that building in Jerusalem, Israelâ€™s capital, was a violation of the understandings is contrary to the facts.
Both the American negotiating team and the Palestinians know full well that Israel made no such commitment.â€
Prime Minister Netanyahu has thus far refrained from directly commenting on Kerryâ€™s position, but said, â€œWe are standing up for ourselves with determination and wisdom.â€
Israel, under Benjamin Netanyahuâ€™s leadership, will certainly stand for itself. Â But the United States under President Obamaâ€™s double-speak foreign policies must not be among the nations throwing Israel under the bus.
Our open letter declaring thatÂ We Stand With IsraelÂ will again be delivered to the offices of Secretary of State Kerry, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and seven key American congressional leaders. (Click here to read and add your name to the open letter.)
The reaction to John Kerryâ€™s misstatements to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was swift and strong.
Jonathan Tobin, senior editor of the conservative Commentary Magazine, took strong issue with Kerryâ€™s â€œpoofâ€ comment: â€œâ€˜Poof?â€™ To say that this evaluation of the situation is disingenuous would be the understatement of the century,â€ wrote Tobin.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)Â said at the hearing, â€œThe Israeli-Palestinian talks, even though you may drag them out for a while, are finished.â€
Fox News has even asked, â€œIs John Kerry a Failed Secretary of State?â€
â€œSen. John McCain brutally criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for a failure to â€œrecognize realityâ€ in a slew of foreign policy missteps by the Obama administration.â€
Senator Marco Rubio said McCain was â€œright on point.â€ He went on to say, â€œOn the issues of national security around the world, we are less safe today than we were when President Obama took office. Weâ€™re in a dreadful spot, because if you understand the Obama administrationâ€™s approach to foreign policy, itâ€™s not based on truth, itâ€™s based on wishful thinking.â€
Further, a Washington Post columnist called Kerryâ€™s foreign policy â€œdelusional.â€
I view Secretary of State John Kerryâ€™s most recent blunder to be yet another example of the fact that under President Obama, apples donâ€™t fall far from the tree. Weâ€™ve been calling the Obama administrationâ€™s foreign policies misguided, ill conceived, and incomprehensible for over five years.
Liberty Counsel supports Israel for biblical and national security reasons. Israel is a Middle East bastion of democracy and individual freedom and is the birthplace of the Judeo-Christian concept of the rule of law â€“ which, in turn, became the foundation of America and Western Civilization.
As I was privileged to discuss with Prime Minister Netanyahu several months ago, the United States and Israel are the modern day pillars of Western Civilization and our nationsâ€™ fates are inextricably linked.Â We MUST stand with Israel!