John Kerry’s rant
© Francis Rivera

Aleppo, Syria. Once a thriving, bustling city. It boasted a population of over 2 million people and was one of the largest, most vibrant cities in the Levant. Today? It is a ghost town of what it once was. All one can see is rubble, charred buildings and mass graves. Human rights groups have recorded numerous examples of evidence of torture, mutilation and massacres. Perpetuated by the government of Bashir Assad, or the rebels or ISIS.

No one even knows an accurate toll of the Syrian fatalities. Our most recent account is 500,000 and almost 5 million refugees, which is creating instability throughout Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and much of Europe, and poses a real demographic time bomb for what is left of Western civilization in Europe.

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So emasculated has America’s role in the region been under the Obama administration that the Russians, Iranians and Turks had a peace conference earlier this month and totally omitted America from the table.

This is President Obama’s foreign policy legacy. His redline that was made with vanishing ink just underscores the late great Eli Wiesel’s words, “The opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference.”

On Obama’s watch, Russia has invaded and annexed Crimea. Ukrainians, with US assurances of protecting their borders had given up their nuclear arsenal, only to have the Russians invade them.  Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, in 2003, also gave up his nuclear arsenal only to be invaded and overthrown by the United States. Now, Libya is a simmering cauldron of rivalling Islamic factions.

Iran has become enriched, emboldened and empowered by the Obama nuclear deal which unlocked 150 billion dollars in frozen assets, and bequeathed them with at least an additional 1.7 billion dollars in ransom payments. Now, Iran has achieved an internationally legalized pathway for nuclear weapons, as the mullahs lead their people on chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

And Iran, with its newly enriched arsenal is sowing instability in Yemen, in Lebanon, in Saudi Arabia and in what’s left of Syria.

So what do John KerryJohn Forbes KerrySunday shows preview: Questions linger over Trump-Putin summit Kerry on Trump's Russia response: 'I don't buy his walk-back for one second' John Kerry: Trump 'surrendered lock, stock and barrel' to Putin's deceptions MORE and Barak Obama devote the waning days of their Administration to?

That’s right. Sticking it to Israel.

Totally forgotten from John Kerry’s Wednesday rant was the fact that the Palestinian Authority refused to even meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, even once, over the eight years of the Obama administration. Forgotten also were the incredibly generous offers made to Yassir Arafat under Prime Minister Ehud Barak in July of 2000, and even more generous ones to Mahmoud Abbas, with over 93% of the West Bank offered under Ehud Olmert. Both Palestinian leaders simply walked away from the table.

Totally ignored from Mr. Kerry’s rant is the evidence for the premise that Israel cannot be both “democratic” and a “Jewish” State has been proven fallacious by demographic experts. Yoram Ettinger, together with the demographer Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute, have been able to find that the Palestinian Authority has inflated the number of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria by at least 1 million Palestinians. The international community has been asleep at the wheel, and has taken the number of Palestinians counted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics at face value.  There is a 66% solid majority of Jews living in Judea and Samaria. This canard has been used by the left in Israel, and now, apparently in the United States to alarm people into making a precipitous withdrawal.

Totally misquoted by Secretary Kerry was the wording of UN Resolution 242, which was adopted in the Security Council in November 1967. Nowhere in that resolution does it say that Israel should go back to the pre-1967 borders.  The exact wording is “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” No where does it say, “All of the territories”. In fact, the case may be made that Israel has already fulfilled her obligations under 242 when they gave the Sinai to Egypt, or withdrew from Gaza.

In fact, after Resolution 242 was adopted, the British Foreign Secretary at the time, said 242 means that Israel will not withdraw from “all the territories.” And the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister complained, “There is certainly much leeway for different interpretations that retain for Israel the right to establish new boundaries and to withdraw its troops only so far as the lines it judges convenient.”

To say that every President used the pre-1967 lines as the ideal borders for a future Palestinian state is patently false.  In the aftermath of the Six Day War, President Lyndon Johnson said, “An immediate return to the situation as it was on June 4th [before the war]…is not a prescription for peace, but for renewed hostilities.”

President Nixon said to Henry Kissinger, “You and I both know they [the Israelis] can’t go back to the other borders.”

President Reagan said that, “In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely ten miles wide at its narrows point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.”

And before the Gaza withdrawal, on April 14, 2004, President George W Bush wrote to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949...”

And finally: not totally ignored by Mr. Kerry’s rant, but seriously under-emphasized is the fact that the Palestinians have done absolutely nothing in the last 23 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords to prepare their people for “two states living side by side in peace and democracy.”  Instead, the Palestinian Authority has used every opportunity to inebriate its population with a steady diet of incitement to hate and to kill Jews and to use the international arena of public opinion to litigate against Israel.

As President John F. Kennedy had said, “peace does not rest in charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people.”

If the final objective that Mr. Kerry really has in mind is a peace that can endure for generations and will last long after the ink on the paper is dry, how then could he ignore what has been planted in the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people?

Or does he actually want to reduce Israel to the rubble of Aleppo?

Sarah N. Stern is Founder and President of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, an unabashedly pro-Israel and pro-American think tank and policy institute in Washington, D.C.


The views expressed by authors are their own and not the views of The Hill.