Last week, John Kerry spoke at a State Department Eid (Islamic holiday) celebration. During his speech, he linked the rise of ISIS to the failure of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, a statement I characterized at the time as “dopey“. Others were even harsher saying that Kerry had “blamed the Jews for the rise of ISIS”. At first glance, I thought that was a bit over-inflated. But here is the statement that got everybody upset, both here in the US and in Israel:
“There wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation,” Kerry said. “People need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with the humiliation and denial and absence of dignity.”
To be fair, I would like to see the entire videotape. Perhaps he meant to refer to ISIS and the Israel-Palestinian issue separately, but I do note that the word, “recruitment” is there in direct connection with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Of course, Deputy State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf was quick to deny the connection. Perhaps, but Kerry’s words about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict being a cause for recruitment also contain a reference to “humiliation, denial and absence of dignity”. Who is he referring to there?
One thing that stands out to me is that Kerry has little sympathy for the Israeli point of view, which reflects the views of his boss, the President. Never mind the obvious point ably brought out by the writers linked above (Gatestone Institute) that ISIS has no desire for a two-state peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. That idea is so absurd as to be laughable. ISIS wants the destruction of Israel, and if they consolidate their Islamic State as it is, they will eventually turn their sites on the hated Jewish state. Similarly, the myriad of ills inflicting Arab nations have nothing to do with Israel. They are a result of their own dysfunction, corruption, despotism, and age-old hatreds. Churches are not being burned in Egypt because of Israel. Christians in Syria and Iraq are not being hunted down and beheaded because of Israel.
Two things stand out here: First of all, John Kerry is a naive fool when it comes to the Middle East. Secondly, his sympathies lie with the Palestinians because he and the administration he represents are cravenly determined to pander to the Arabs either out of the need for Arab oil, a hostility toward Israel, the recognition that Arabs are quick to pick up the sword for any reason, or a combination of all three.
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