Sunday, July 27, 2014

Why has Israel rejected Kerry's proposal - or why has Kerry rejected Israel's self-defense?

I have wondered about Secretary of State John Kerry's proposal for a cessation of hostilities between Hamas and Israel. (7/27/2014)

Why has Israel rejected Kerry's proposal? Why has the Palestinian Authority rejected it?

After reading media reports, my opinion is that I am asking the wrong question, and that the more appropriate question is, why has Kerry rejected Israel's self-defense? Why has Kerry challenged and even rejected the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority?

The essentially points are summed up by Barak Ravid of Haaretz, an Israeli leftwing newspaper. He calls  Kerry’s proposals “embarrassing” and an "apparent dishonesty in the negotiations."
Some quotes from Barry Ravid in Haaratz and other Israeli media:
"The draft Kerry passed to Israel on Friday shocked the cabinet ministers not only because it was the opposite of what Kerry told them less than 24 hours earlier, but mostly because it might as well have been penned by Khaled Meshal. It was everything Hamas could have hoped for.
The document recognized Hamas’ position in the Gaza Strip, promised the organization billions in donation funds and demanded no dismantling of rockets, tunnels or other heavy weaponry at Hamas’ disposal. The document placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel."
"The secretary of state’s draft empowered the most radical and problematic elements in the region – Qatar, Turkey, and Hamas – and was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry’s draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant."
"Kerry isn’t anti-Israeli; on the contrary, he’s a true friend to Israel. But his conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It’s as if he isn’t the foreign minister of the world’s most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast. For a few moments Friday one could not avoid recalling the things Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said about Kerry, and admit that despite the fact that it wasn’t appropriate, he may have had a point.
If Kerry did anything on Friday it was to thwart the possibility of reaching a cease-fire in Gaza. Instead of promoting a cease-fire, Kerry pushed it away. If this failed diplomatic attempt leads Israel to escalate its operation in Gaza, the American secretary of state will be one of those responsible for every additional drop of blood that is spilled."

My opinion is close to Barry Ravid's opinion. If you want to explore this further, feel free to check the Israeli media on these matters.

Also see:

PS. Subsequent to my post, I have been sent the following reports regarding the Palestinian Authority:

"The Palestinian Authority is fuming at US Secretary of State John Kerry, accusing him of trying to undermine the Egyptian ceasefire initiative endorsed by Israel and the PA last week and rejected by Hamas, an Arab daily reported on Sunday."

“Kerry tried, through his latest plan, to destroy the Egyptian bid and the Palestinian remarks on it (the Abbas plan). His initiative is an alternative to ours,” an unnamed Palestinian official told A-Sharq Al-Awsat. “Kerry was in fact trying to create an alternative framework to the Egyptian initiative and our understanding of it, in a way that placates the Qataris and the Turks.”

and also:

"PA slams Kerry for convening ‘friends of Hamas’ summit

The PA leadership issues a strongly worded statement against Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal, saying it “crosses all red lines,” according to Channel 2.
The Paris meeting on Saturday between the US, Turkey, and Qatar representatives was tantamount to an international gathering of “the friends of Hamas,” it says.
The PA is the only representative of the Palestinian people, it says.
Kerry has been castigated in Israel and the PA for drafting a ceasefire proposal deemed to undermine the Egyptian proposal, and to represent a capitulation to Hamas. Israel rejected the Kerry proposal on Friday. Kerry then flew to Paris and met with leaders from Qatar and Turkey for more consultations, and not with Israeli, PA, or Egyptian representatives.
Israel made clear Sunday that the Egyptian proposal, for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire, is the only offer on the table."