U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to arrive in the Middle East at the end of this week to engage in another round of shuttle diplomacy. It is possible that his trip will be cancelled, however, as his wife suddenly fell ill a few days ago.
Well, he would do far better to stay by her side — where his presence might actually have a beneficial effect — than to honor his commitment to arrive for what will have been his sixth endeavor at peace-brokering since March.
It is true that Egypt is now on the brink of a bloody civil war; Syria’s population is still being slaughtered; Turkish strife is escalating; and Iran’s race for nuclear weapons is becoming a sprint, rather than a marathon.
It is also clear that American interests are not being served by any or all of the above. But none of it is even remotely related to the purpose of Kerry’s repeated visits to the region.
No, what the America’s top diplomat is obsessed with is mediating between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. And because the latter’s goal is the elimination of the former, the only possible progress Kerry can make involves pressuring Israel to agree to a slew of Palestinian preconditions — not for peace, but for “peace talks.”
Even if such preconditions (i.e., the 1949 armistice lines as the starting point and the release of massive numbers of terrorists in Israeli prisons) did not constitute suicide for the Jewish state, meeting them would not result in anything resembling peace.
Last week, while State Department representatives remained in Israel to continue persuading “both sides” to sit down at the negotiating table — and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he has been prepared to do so all along, without preconditions — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ official television station treated its viewers to a sweet little feature, ahead of the Ramadan holiday that begins Wednesday. In it, two little Palestinian girls recite a poem, introduced by a doting TV host. The broadcast was released by Palestinian Media Watch on Sunday.