John Kerry: It’s time to challenge the mad man in Tel Aviv on the settlement issue

Kerry seems to be saying that the US has been baby-sitting Netanyahu for far too long. He needs to grow up.

…by Jonas E. Alexis


John Kerry has recently marshalled a devastating critique on the Israeli settlements, which obviously drove Benjamin Netanyahu mad. If Israel continues to grab lands and kick the Palestinians out, says Kerry, “it won’t ever live in peace.”[1]

“Kerry presented the principles of a future final status agreement: An Israeli and a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines; full rights to all citizens; a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue; Jerusalem as the capital of both states; an end to the occupation, while satisfying Israel’s security needs, with a demilitarized Palestinian state; an end to all claims by both sides.”[2]

“Israel,” Kerry said, “has increasingly consolidated control over much of the West Bank for its own purposes – effectively reversing the transition to greater Palestinian civil authority called for by the Oslo accords. I don’t think most people in Israel – and certainly in the world – have any idea how broad and systematic this process has become. The facts speak for themselves. The number of settlers in the roughly 130 Israeli settlements east of the 1967 lines has steadily grown.”[3]

Kerry was just warming up:

“The settler population in the West Bank alone – not including East Jerusalem – has increased by nearly 270,000 since Oslo, including 100,000 just since 2009 when President Obama’s term began.

“And there is no point pretending they’re just in large settlement blocs: nearly 90,000 settlers are living east of the separation barrier that was created by Israel itself, in the middle of what by any reasonable definition would be the future Palestinian state.

“And the population of these distant settlements has grown by 20,000 just since 2009. In fact, just recently the government approved a significant new settlement well east of the barrier – closer to Jordan than Israel.”[4]

There is a term for this “settlement” business. Many Israeli historians would call this ethnic cleansing, and it’s been going on since 1948.[5]

Obviously Netanyahu doesn’t like Kerry’s devastating critique because he doesn’t want to be told what to do. He is a mad man, and as such, he would rather believe his own delusion fabrication than to live by moral and political principles. Keep in mind that it was Netanyahu to postulated in his 1995 book Fighting Terrorism that Iran would have a nuclear book within three or four years.[6]

We are nearing the end of 2016, and Iran still doesn’t have the bomb. Obviously Netanyahu lied then. But that didn’t stop him from producing and reproducing more lies in the media. And that didn’t stop Christian Zionists from embracing those lies. “Because Barack Obama has cursed Israel at the United Nations,” Christian Zionist Michael Snyder tells us, “America is now under a curse.”[7]

Snyder is basing his premise on the idea that those who blessed Israel will be blessed and those who “cursed” Israel will be cursed. This idea has been one of the foundational principles of Christian Zionism, and this has been proven wrong over and over.[8]

In any event, Kerry is to be applauded for challenging the mad man in Tel Aviv here. Kerry has been under Israel’s spell in Syria for years, but it seems that he could no longer stand the Israeli settlements anymore. Kerry:

“Today, the 60% of the West Bank known as Area C – much of which was supposed to be transferred to Palestinian control long ago under the Oslo accords – is effectively off limits to Palestinian development.

“Most has essentially been taken for exclusive Israeli use by unilaterally designating it as ‘state land’ or including it within the jurisdiction of regional settlement councils. Israeli farms flourish in the Jordan River Valley and Israeli resorts line the shores of the Dead Sea – where Palestinian development is not allowed.

“In fact, almost no private Palestinian building is approved in Area C at all – only one permit was issued by Israel in all of 2014 and 2015, while approvals for hundreds of settlement units were advanced during that same period. Moreover, Palestinian structures in Area C that do not have a permit from the Israeli military are potentially subject to demolition.

“And they are currently being demolished at historically high rates: over 1,300 Palestinians, including over 600 children, have been displaced in 2016 alone — more than any previous year. So the settler agenda is defining the future in Israel.”

Kerry asked, “Nobody can explain how that works. Would an Israeli accept living that way? Would an American? Will the world accept it?”[9]

The answers to those questions are no, no, and no. Why? Because Netanyahu and his comrades have chosen to operate outside the moral and political order. They obviously think that they are above the law. Kerry figured that out as well. He said:

“How would Israel respond to a growing civil rights movement from Palestinians demanding a right to vote, or widespread protests and unrest across the West Bank? How does Israel reconcile a permanent occupation with its democratic ideals? How does the U.S. continue to defend that and still live up to our own democratic ideals? Nobody has ever provided good answers to those questions because there aren’t any.”

Absolutely true. No one has ever framed the Israeli narrative in a logical manner–not Netanyahu, not the Neocons, and not the Christian Zionists. Kerry, to his credit, has actually deconstructed the Israeli narrative in one speech.

But soon or later the Israeli regime will learn that you don’t really break the moral law; the moral law will inexorably break you. In other words, you either submit your will to the moral law, or the moral law will bring you down.

Take your pick. Netanyahu has already chosen side. Shortly after Kerry delivered his stunning speech, the mad man in Tel Aviv went to the political platform and told the entire world: “We do not need to be lectured.”

[1] “FULL TRANSCRIPT: Kerry Blasts Israeli Government, Presents Six Points of Future Peace Deal,” Haaretz, December 28, 2016.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] See Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: One World, 2007); see also Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

[6] Benjamin Netanyahu, Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorists (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1995), 121-122.

[7] Michael Snyder, “10 Times That God Has Hit America With A Major Disaster After The U.S. Attempted To Divide The Land Of Israel,” American Dream, December 25, 2016.

[8] We have addressed this issue in the past and numerous scholarly studies have been written on this key issue. For a recent article on this, see Robert Sungenis, “Are the Jews Entitled to the Land of Palestine?,” Culture Wars, December 2016.

[9] “FULL TRANSCRIPT: Kerry Blasts Israeli Government, Presents Six Points of Future Peace Deal,” Haaretz, December 28, 2016.


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