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Washington - OpEd: Kerry Needs To Come To His “Senses”

Published on: July 31, 2014 04:45 PM
By: Lawrence J. Haas
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Lawrence J. Haas, a former senior White House official and award-winning journalist, is Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the American Foreign Policy Council.Lawrence J. Haas, a former senior White House official and award-winning journalist, is Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the American Foreign Policy Council.

Washington - Dear Mr. Secretary:

I was struck by your recent observation about the Israel-Hamas conflict: “The world is watching tragic moment after tragic moment unfold and wondering when both sides are going to come to their senses.”

I can only imagine your dismay, in light of the hopes that President Obama and you had placed in Israeli-Palestinian peace, and all of your jet-setting, tongue-flapping and arm-twisting to make it happen. To encourage both sides to come to their “senses,” however, I suggest that not only do they have important roles to play. So, too, do you.

You might begin by recognizing, and speaking openly about, the profound differences between a pluralistic democratic state and a Jew-hating terrorist organization; between America’s most important regional ally and one of America’s fiercest enemies; between a country that shares our values and a genocidal terrorist entity that fully rejects them; and between a government that’s accountable to its people and a brutal dictatorship that isn’t.

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You might then stop trying to negotiate cease-fires for the Israel-Hamas conflict with Qatar, which supports and funds Hamas (and with which Washington just inked a huge arms deal), and Turkey, which also supports Hamas and whose increasingly Islamist government routinely accuses Israel of genocide – while leaving Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt out of the room. As you must know, Israel is our ally, the Palestinian Authority is the comparatively moderate Palestinian entity that we prefer over Hamas, and Egypt shares both a border with Gaza and security concerns with Israel about Hamas. And as you might suspect, Israeli officials resent your efforts to impose a cease-fire on them from the outside, as if they themselves don’t know what’s best for their own security.

You might, at the same time, stop crafting cease-fire proposals that give Hamas (remember: a Jew-hating terror group and sworn U.S. enemy) essentially everything it wants while addressing none of the legitimate security concerns of Israel (remember: our key regional ally and fellow democracy that shares our values).

Israel, which rejected the cease fire you cooked up with Qatar and Turkey, couldn’t help but notice that, as the Times of Israel reported, the deal called for easing restrictions on people and goods from Gaza to Israel; expanding fishing zones for Gaza; opening a crossing from Gaza to Egypt; and paying Gazan government employees. Israel could keep its troops in Gaza, but it couldn’t keep destroying Hamas’s threatening tunnels nor conduct any other “military or security” operations to defang Hamas.

Nor could Israel help but notice that the deal called for negotiations in Cairo between Israel and “the Palestinian factions” (presumably including the genocidal Hamas) to craft a longer-term solution that opened more Israel-Gaza border crossings, secured more movement of people and goods through them, improved the economic and social livelihood of Gazans and addressed all security issues.

You see, Mr. Secretary, Israel officials were miffed that, in your deal-making with Doha and Ankara, you addressed Hamas’ demands in detail while offering only vague references to “all security issues.” As you might imagine, they think it reflects your longstanding approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as your recent mocking of Israeli efforts to deliver “pinpoint” attacks on Hamas.

In essence, Mr. Secretary, to set the right tone to address the Israel-Hamas conflict, you might stop equating Israeli humanity with Islamic barbarism – and, most maddening of all, tilting toward the latter.

Lawrence J. Haas, former communications director for Vice President Al Gore, is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.

The above article was first published By U.S. News & World Report On July 29, 2014, Republished with the author’s permission



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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 31, 2014 at 04:48 PM lipa21 Says:

BACHAMAS KEIRRY = from the Toicheche

2

 Jul 31, 2014 at 05:03 PM heeb Says:

Wow!!!!!!

3

 Jul 31, 2014 at 05:19 PM inNY Says:

Excellent write up.

4

 Jul 31, 2014 at 05:18 PM Barry Says:

so what else is new??? Does writer want Kerry and Obama to admit that their behavior smells of antisemitism by being constantly concerned and only too eager to please the terrorist entity Hamas over their democratic ally , Israel , who is in essence fighting for their survival and yearning for a peaceful day-to-day stable life , like any other stable democracy enjoys!!!!! The USA and other western democracies should in essence be appreciative of the Jewish State for their fight against terrorism and barbarism of miliitant muslims of the world.... Israel is in effect , doing the "dirty work" for them , so instead of deep appreciation for this , Kerry and Obama are pressuring them to stop without completiom of their objective---to simply enable Israeli citizens to live a normal stable life as any citizen of a democracy enjoys..........

5

 Jul 31, 2014 at 05:24 PM Liepa Says:

Mr. Haas you have a better grasp of the details in the current Israeli, hamas conflict then Mr. Kerry and his boss, combined!

6

 Jul 31, 2014 at 05:33 PM Yossy111 Says:

Nicely put, in a simple and easy-to-follow style, even Kerry should be able to grasp.

7

 Jul 31, 2014 at 06:21 PM UMMM Says:

What I don't understand is why aren't any rockets being fired on Egypt since they are at least equally or more to blame for the so called Gaza siege, the real crises in Gaza started when Egyptian government closed the borders & tunnels.

8

 Jul 31, 2014 at 06:55 PM HankM Says:

With a good eraser this would have the makings of a good message. As it is, it's too inflammatory to be dignified with a response

9

 Jul 31, 2014 at 08:01 PM Liepa Says:

Reply to #4  
Barry Says:

so what else is new??? Does writer want Kerry and Obama to admit that their behavior smells of antisemitism by being constantly concerned and only too eager to please the terrorist entity Hamas over their democratic ally , Israel , who is in essence fighting for their survival and yearning for a peaceful day-to-day stable life , like any other stable democracy enjoys!!!!! The USA and other western democracies should in essence be appreciative of the Jewish State for their fight against terrorism and barbarism of miliitant muslims of the world.... Israel is in effect , doing the "dirty work" for them , so instead of deep appreciation for this , Kerry and Obama are pressuring them to stop without completiom of their objective---to simply enable Israeli citizens to live a normal stable life as any citizen of a democracy enjoys..........

So you basically agree with the writer, very nice of you! Yaasher Koach!

10

 Jul 31, 2014 at 08:48 PM Levi7 Says:

Wow! Precisely right on Mr. Lawrence J. Haas! Thank You for your support!! No fear like others have about criticism from the dishonest and manipulating Obama administration and media who is fooling the the average American, not only on this issue but on many issues. Unfortinly the majority of Americans do not have the true knowledge of on going issues or do they go to the source and just reply on what Obama and the media "says" as opposed to what is the truth.

Everyone like a compliment specially when they put himself out there on others behalf. I ask all readers here to show great hakaras hatov to the author, Lawrence J. Haas by writing a comment/thank you on his website below this article. Just google his name and his website comes up second on google.

11

 Jul 31, 2014 at 08:52 PM Levi7 Says:

forgot to add, anyone who has a facebook account, please give him a "like" as well

12

 Aug 01, 2014 at 09:19 AM grandson1 Says:

Reply to #8  
HankM Says:

With a good eraser this would have the makings of a good message. As it is, it's too inflammatory to be dignified with a response

Why is it infammatory. It is right on the point. I know you bow down to the altar of Hussein Obama and John, the baffoon, "Baal Keri". This is a great piece. Unfortunately, there aren't that many journalists who have their brains screwed on properly.

13

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