Sunday, January 1, 2017

John Kerry & the Perils of Permissive Parenting

Outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry described his 28 December speech, Remarks on Middle East Peace, as "candid thoughts."

Frankly, his speech reads more like the exasperated plea of a permissive parent whose son has gone off the rails. For the rest of the planet (with the exception of Australia), of course, the brat is more Frankenstein monster than juvenile delinquent.

Kerry's speech betrays not a hint of self-awareness. There is no acceptance of responsibility for Obama's role in the creation of this monster; no acknowledgment that just about every previous US president since Truman, by indulging Israel's every wish and whim, and turning the proverbial blind eye again and again, has contributed to its creation. There is no trace whatever of a mea culpa, only further evidence of a sick and dysfunctional relationship that merely serves to discredit the US as a serious nation in the eyes of the world:

- "President Obama has been deeply committed to Israel and its security, and that commitment has guided his pursuit of peace in the Middle East."

- "Friends need to tell each other the hard truths, and friendships require mutual respect."

- "This friend has done more to support Israel than any other country, this friend has blocked countless efforts to delegitimise Israel..."

- "This Administration has been Israel's greatest friend and supporter, with an absolutely unwavering commitment to advancing Israel's security and protecting its legitimacy."

- "Time and again we have demonstrated that we have Israel's back."

- "More than one half of a our entire global Military Financing goes to Israel."

- "This fall, we concluded an historic $38 billion memorandum of understanding that exceeds any military assistance package the United States has provided to any country, at any time..."

- "This commitment to Israel's security is actually very personal for me. On my first trip to Israel as a young senator in 1986, I was captivated by a special country, one that I immediately admired and soon grew to love."

- "We were the only administration since 1967 that had not allowed any resolution to pass that Israel opposed."

- "We strongly reject the notion that somehow the United States was the driving force behind this resolution."

- "A hundred and twenty years ago, the First Zionist Congress was convened in Basel by a group of Jewish visionaries..."

Seriously now, where is the spine, the brain and the dignity in such statements? By enabling Israeli genocide and apartheid in Palestine, from Truman on, the United States has not only betrayed the long-suffering Palestinians, but created one hell of a rod for its own back.

As US international law professor Francis A. Boyle put it in 2003:

"All who support Palestinian self-determination must abandon the fiction and the fraud that the United States is an 'honest broker' in the Middle East, let alone elsewhere. The United States government has never been an 'honest broker' since from well before the very outset of the Middle East peace negotiations in 1991. Rather, it has invariably sided with Israel against the Palestinians as well as against the other Arab States. As I can attest from personal experience, the Palestinian negotiators have always been subjected to continual bullying, threats, harassment, intimidation, bribery, lies, and outright deceptions perpetrated by the United States working in conjunction with Israel. It cannot be emphasized too strongly: just as President Clinton ordered Indonesia out of East Timor, President Bush Jr. can order Israel out of Palestine tomorrow. Anything less than that is just a diplomatic dog-and-pony show maliciously orchestrated by the United States government on behalf of Israel - unless the US seriously wishes to concede that its hands are tied in foreign policy in the Middle East by the illegal and aggressive interests of another state. We must settle for nothing less than that US presidential order to Israel." (Palestine, Palestinians & International Law, p 158)

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