Friday, December 30, 2016

Was John Kerry’s Speech a Swan Song to Israel — or a Last Gasp Peace Push? - Opinion –

J.J. Goldberg, former EIC of The Forward, offers a characteristically sober assessment of John Kerry's speech (with links to key documents).  He suggests that Kerry aimed at  the upcoming January 15 Paris conference on Palestinian- Israeli relations.
The thrust of Kerry's talk was, of course, our ally's obstructions of efforts to achieve the two-state settlement all claim to seek.
The key message of the recent Security Council resolution is the international unanimity that Israeli West Bank settlements are illegal. 

There is no reason for Palestinians to acquiesce in the continued seizure of their land.  Nor in the continued occupation.   No matter what compromises Israel has or may offer (we'll give you some of our land for the land we took from you) the basic fact is that the burden is principally on the conqueror to withdraw, rather than expand the takings. - gwc
Was John Kerry’s Speech a Swan Song to Israel — or a Last Gasp Peace Push? - Opinion –
by J.J. Goldberg

Israel Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog said the speech “expresses a genuine concern for Israel’s security and future.” Americans for Peace Now called it “powerful, wise and compassionate,” and urged Congress and the incoming Trump administration to “take heed” of it. Still, even the most sympathetic observers couldn’t explain how Kerry’s words might become reality. For the most part the sympathizers seemed, like the secretary himself, to be venting.
There is, however, another interpretation: that Kerry is up to something and the speech was an opening salvo. Sources in Jerusalem say Netanyahu government officials are worried about an upcoming international conference on Israeli-Palestinian peace that’s due to convene in Paris with 70 nations in attendance on January 15, at the invitation of the French government.

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