Don't believe Kerry
by Jonathan Rosenblum
November 1, 2004
Chareles Krauthamer offered a frightening insight in last week’s Washington Post. John Kerry has made wooing the Europeans the centerpiece of his foreign policy proposals. But, as Krauthamer points out, the only currency with which he can pay them is to adopt their position on Israel.
The former Clinton administration officials advising Kerry would be only too happy to do so. In a manifesto to Kerry, Clinton’s national security advisor Sandy Berger writes, "As part of a new bargain with our allies, the United States must re-engage in . . . ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
In that same vein, Kerry says he’ll appoint a special envoy to the region. Kerry’s mouth piece, the New York Times, urges a more even-handed American approach that would, among other things, recognize the "Palestinian drift towards lawlessness and terror" is the result of America’s failure to enforce a total settlement freeze.
The old Oslo hands yearn for a return to the halcyon days of Camp David without having figured out why the most intensive American involvement in Middle East peacemaking triggered the most sustained and intense Palestinian violence: The Palestinians were convinced that they would never be called to account.
Israel was repeatedly urged to overlook Arafat’s broken commitments on the grounds that the Palestinian street was not ready for peace. Somehow by showing sensitivity to the Palestinian resistance to peace we were to arrive magically at peace. Instead we entered a four-year war.
For the Europeans, whose approval Kerry courts, the sole goal of the "peace process" is the creation of a Palestinian state. In the current European mindset, every human conflict can be solved by rational bureaucrats sitting around a conference table. The Europeans have looked at their maps and determined that the "fair" solution runs along the 1949 armistice lines. If they had the power to do so, the European bureaucrats would impose their solution themselves. Lacking that power, they look to the United States to do so.
Just as the Europeans (and Americans) showed little concern with Palestinian compliance during the course of Oslo, the likelihood of a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel is of little concern to them today. Only the written agreement counts.
The chasm between the European approach and that of President Bush could not be greater. He rejects the European’s tired refrain that Arab-Israel conflict -- not the complete failure of Moslem societies around the globe -- underlies every threat to world stability.
For Bush, peace involves more than drawing lines on a map; it requires a Palestinian decision to live in peace. Without that decision, there is nothing to talk about, no reason to send envoys or convene conferences.
The raising of an entire generation of Palestinian children to view their greatest possible glory in martyrdom and killing as many Jews as possible and the failure to act against terrorism cannot be reconciled with the desire to live in peace. Nor can the assertion of a "right to return," which would spell the demographic doom of Israel, or the claim, advanced daily in Palestinian textbooks and media, that all the land from the sea to the river is Palestine.
President Bush has placed the ball squarely in the Palestinian court by making clear that a Palestinian state must be earned, not viewed, as the Europeans do, as an automatic prize to be received by a certain date. No longer will every concession be demanded of Israel as the stronger party to the conflict.
The President has called upon the Palestinians to prove themselves capable of statehood by creating the institutions of a democratic society. As long as the PA remains a corrupt dictatorship, he recognizes, it will always require an external enemy to demonize. And that enemy will be Israel.
John Kerry claims that there will be no difference between him and President Bush in terms of policy towards Israel. Don’t believe it.
Related Topics: American Jewry & Continuity, Peace Process
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