Obama and Kerry Must Stop Playing Games Affecting Israel’s Future

September 9, 2015 by David Singer
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Attempting to secure the Congressional vote required to confirm President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran has necessitated Secretary for State John Kerry pledging Obama’s “rock solid” diplomatic support and increased military assistance for Israel – the bitterest opponent of Obama’s Iranian proposal…writes David Singer.

Speaking at the National Constitution Center on 2 September – Kerry said:

And diplomatically, our support for Israel also remains rock solid as we continue to oppose every effort to delegitimize the Jewish state, or to pass biased resolutions against it in international bodies.

Kerry continued:

I take a back seat to no one in my commitment to the security of Israel, a commitment I demonstrated through my 28-plus years in the Senate. And as Secretary of State, I am fully conscious of the existential nature of the choice Israel must make…

If Kerry is to be seriously believed then he must reassure Congress – irrespective of its vote on Iran – that the commitments made to Israel by President Bush in his letter dated 14 April 2004 supporting Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza will be scrupulously adhered to by the current Obama administration.

Kerry unequivocally supported those Presidential commitments when interviewed by Tim Russert on Meet the Press on 18 April 2004:

RUSSERT:  On Thursday, President Bush broke with the tradition and policy of six predecessors when he said that Israel can keep part of the land seized in the 1967 Middle East War and asserted the Palestinian refugees cannot go back to their particular homes.  Do you support President Bush?

KERRY:  Yes.

RUSSERT:  Completely?

KERRY:  Yes.

Those commitments included:

  1. Preventing any attempt to impose any plan other than President Bush’s Roadmap envisioned by him on 24 June 2002.
  2. Being strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state.
  3. Understanding that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.
  4. Accepting as part of a final peace settlement that Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.
  5. Acknowledging that in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,

Bush’s commitments were overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day (“the Bush/Congress Commitments”).

Obama attempted to water down these commitments in 2011 by suggesting possible Israeli land swaps be made for any territory Israel acquired in the West Bank.

Kerry piggybacked Obama in 2013 – inducing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel with this letter:

Dear Mr. President

In response to your question regarding our position on the issue of borders, this letter is to confirm that the position set forth by President Obama in his May 2011 speeches, that Palestine’s borders with Israel should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, still represents our position. As negotiations begin, I reiterate our commitment to this position. As you confirmed, this letter is and will remain private and confidential between you and me.”

Playing such furtive games with Abbas contrary to the Bush/Congress Commitments is now surely over following Kerry’s statement. Those commitments are set in concrete – binding all American administrations including Obama’s.

 

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network

 

Comments

5 Responses to “Obama and Kerry Must Stop Playing Games Affecting Israel’s Future”
  1. Cody Flecker says:

    Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry are two of the most anti semitic politicians ever to grace the White House or Congress. They both indeed love the State of Israel and the Jewish People. They both would love to see the State of Israel destroyed, through another Holocaust at the expense of the Iranians.

    I have no objection if the Iranians wish to develop a peaceful nuclear program, but with every word out of every Iranian politicians mouth, all they talk about is the destruction of both the State of Israel and the USA. Hardly words to take lightly.

    Mr. Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth. He cannot be trusted, as events have proven out during the last seven years. The damage that he and his Administration have done has taken all of the US Allies by complete surprise. Damage that will be felt for years to come.

  2. Gil Solomon says:

    I hate to be the one to tell you this David, but Obama and Kerry don’t have to “must” do anything. They have never been held accountable for their actions so why should they start now.

    They have had a dream run which includes trashing every set of unwritten and written understandings by former Presidents in respect to Israel and unfortunately there is a lot more damage they can do in the remaining time Obama is in office, that is provided that Marxist doesn’t make up some excuse or crisis and try by executive order to stay on after his 8 years are up. I would put nothing past him.

    • david singer says:

      Gil

      If Obama and Kerry do nothing – then let those Jews who remain silent in the face of the furtive games played by Obama and Kerry affecting Israel’s future – be condemned for their inaction and silence in failing to demand that the Bush/Congress Commitments be observed.

      When President Obama can flout a written commitment made to Israel by President Bush and the Congress and the Secretary of State can write a “wink and nudge letter” to Abbas as set out in my article – there are real problems in America’s current conduct of its foreign policy.

      • Paul Winter says:

        Perfectly right David. First and foremost to be condemned are Israeli “leaders”; they should long ago have told Barrack Hussein and his slow witted ex-fast boats sidekick where to get off. Bibi should have published the Levy Report and clearly restated Rabin’s vision: Arab autonomy and Israeli control of the Jordan Valley. The diaspora “leaders” should have denounced “he who must bow to the guardian of Mecca” and initiated impeachment actions against him for his lying dictatorial scheming to sidestep constitutional processes. And Jews should stop talking of Palestinians and the West Bank instead of Arabs and Judea and Samaria; you cannot get justice by subscribing to your enemy’s lies. It is tragic that it took so long for you to come around and that there are only two commentators – Gil and myself – who have been stating the obvious for years.

        • david singer says:

          Paul

          When did you first state or write an article or comment that Obama was trying to crawl out from under in seeking to avoid the written obligations made by President Bush to Israel and endorsed by the Congress in 2004?

          That is what my article is about.

          Sticking to the subject matter could help us have a constructive discussion.

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