US Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Saturday that the current trends in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were leading to a one-state solution, and said Israel would not be able to maintain its Jewish and democratic nature in such a reality.Kerry spent quite a bit of time describing how terrible it would be to Israel for a one-state solution where Israel would be forced to have a large number of Palestinian Arabs living as second-class citizens.
Speaking at the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, Kerry also warned Israel about the dangers of the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority. He said such an event would lead to a situation that would threaten the security of both Israel and the Palestinian people.
Kerry excoriated Israeli building in Area C of the West Bank as increasing Palestinian disillusionment and distancing the prospects for a two-state solution. In pointed remarks, Kerry called out Israeli government ministers who have voiced skepticism toward a two-state solution.
“The status quo is simply not sustainable and the fact of the matter is that current trends, including violence, settlement activity, demolitions, are imperiling the viability of a two-state solution,” Kerry warned. “And that trend has to be reversed to prevent this untenable one-state reality from taking hold.”
After spending some six minutes on that argument, Kerry then claimed that demolitions and settlement building are what is stopping the two-state solution. (He threw in "violence," I suppose, to be even-handed.)
He didn't say that the demolitions are for illegally built buildings. He didn't say that essentially all new building was within existing settlement boundaries. He claimed, falsely, that "settlement outposts are regularly being legalized." That has happened exactly three times in 24 years.
He stressed that 60% of the West Bank is in Area C. What he didn't say is that about 98% of Palestinians live in Areas A and B.
This was a speech filled with similar half-truths and omissions, that could have been written by Jeremy Ben Ami.
Kerry's main argument was "It is not a concession to be doing things that make you safer and broaden the political space to make choices, and to begin to give justice and a sense of rectitude to agreements that have been signed. And if everybody keeps waiting for the other person to move first, the risk is the situation spirals downwards and it makes it harder to ever be that first person to move."
It is astonishingly condescending to say that demolishing Jewish communities in the heart of the ancient Jewish homeland is not a concession.
It is astonishingly condescending to ignore - completely - Israel's attempts to offer a peace agreement. Every one of those offers would have created a Palestinian state and every one of those offers would have made Kerry's linchpin straw man argument against a "one state solution" moot.
It is astonishingly condescending to insist that Israel alone must make concrete, irreversible concessions, while the only concessions that Palestinians are expected to make are to stop incitement and violence. You know - to act like normal human beings. (Luckily, Kerry didn't call those concessions, but he certainly didn't detail any other concessions he expects Palestinians to make.)
The only side standing in the way of a two state solution are the Palestinians. Their insistence on 100% of the area (or equivalent) outside arbitrary 1949 armistice lines is arbitrary and not necessary for a viable state. Their insistence on Jerusalem being their capital is equally arbitrary and and not necessary for a viable state.
If they wanted a state, they could have one. It would be smaller than their demands. Why is that a deal-breaker?
But their words and deeds since the PLO was founded have been consistently geared not towards creating a state but towards destroying one. Just ask Abbas if he is willing to compromise on the "right of return," which he says in every single speech is just as important to them as Jerusalem and the Green Line.
Yet when has any American leader said these obvious facts out loud? On the contrary, their arbitrary and unreasonable demands have become sacred, except for "right of return" which is ignored as if they aren't serious. Ask the Arab nations that have refused to allow Palestinians to become naturalized what their plans are for them.
No, the Palestinian demands for the Green Line and Jerusalem and no Jews within their borders are considered to be inviolable, and only Israel must make concessions. Not only that, those concessions are being characterized as necessary because of the intransigence of Palestinian leadership to seriously entertain a real compromise.
And why should they? They have Kerry making their case for them!
Kerry made the politically correct noise about Palestinian terror and incitement. But given the venue of the speech, the audience, and the news coverage, it is clear that the administration wants only one side to make concessions.
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