Clueless US mediator

Clueless US mediator – Israel Opinion, Ynetnews.

Op-ed: Kerry pressuring Israel to make dangerous concessions for the sake of negotiations that will lead nowhere

Hagai Segal

Published: 07.07.13, 09:40 / Israel Opinion

Even the New York Times expressed bewilderment over the energy John Kerry is currently investing in trying to set up a meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas. Egypt is in flames, Syria is burying its dead by the thousands, but Kerry wants to bring peace to “tranquil Tel Aviv,” as reported by the influential American newspaper.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, once a stark symbol and source of grievance in the Arab world, is now almost a sideshow in a Middle East consumed by sectarian strife (and) economic misery… And yet Mr. Kerry, backed by Mr. Obama, still believes that tackling the problem is worth the effort,” The New York Times said.

In the few months since he entered office, the American secretary of state has visited the region more times that his predecessor Hillary Clinton had during her entire term. Seemingly, this has to do with Kerry’s personal scheduling problems, but actually the frequency of his visits is indicative of a severe problem on a federal level.

The vast amount of energy Kerry is investing in an attempt to conquer the Sisyphean challenges here is placing American foreign policy in a ridiculous light. The US cannot make peace between Arabs and other Arabs, yet it believes it can make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Washington has repeatedly failed to grasp the situation in Egypt and Syria, but thinks it has a good understanding of the situation in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Is it possible that John Kerry is more talented than all the American mediators who came before him? Not at all. He exposed his ignorance in Middle Eastern affairs when, as a senior senator, he insisted on welcoming Assad back into the family of nations, met with the Syrian leader twice in Damascus and showered him with compliments. Kerry’s mediation skills are limited to pressuring Israel to make dangerous concessions for the sake of negotiations that will lead nowhere. He lacks the intellectual and diplomatic ability to devise a permanent agreement that will satisfy both sides. He is a blind proponent of an impossible vision and is his own candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Should a miracle occur and Kerry succeeds in establishing a Palestinian state, it will quickly turn into a new Syria or – in the best case scenario – a new Egypt. This has already happened in Gaza after we withdrew with America’s encouragement. It will undoubtedly happen in Ramallah as well. In light of the breakneck pace of the Arab Spring, it is not at all certain that Kerry will win the prize before the Arab Spring reaches Palestine.

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8 Comments on “Clueless US mediator”

  1. I wrote this six years ago. Alas, nothing has changed

    I Refuse to be a Guinea Pig

    Why are otherwise reasonable Western liberal politicians incapable of learning from previous mistakes?

    1) Because there is no accountability.

    2) Because they think they understand the problem, and they do not.

    If all the authors of previous failed peace plans would have been held accountable for their schemes and fined for their failure, with the penalty doubling with every succeeding flop, they would think seriously before coming up with the next bright idea. Oslo I, Oslo II, Taba, Wye, Tenet, Mitchell, Zinni, Sharm El-Sheikh, Roadmap – how long will this farce go on? If politicians are not held responsible for their unrealistic plans, then it will go on until all of us are no more. Enough!

    Is there not enough evidence to pause and seriously consider that perhaps there is something basically wrong in the approach? Would it not be only reasonable to try to learn how the other side thinks, to educate ourselves about Islam first, before we rush into another peace plan? But the politicians are lazy and confident that this n+1st peace plan will be so much better than the previous n that have failed. Or they know that it is as futile as the rest, but they must be seen to be doing something.

    • josephwouk Says:



      If you would consider writing an article for this site, I know all of us would be the richer.

      If you wish to speak with me about it, look me up on Skype.


    • artaxes Says:

      Being like you a software developer I guess that I understand your thinking.
      Like any engineer who creates solutions for problems I’m forced to constantly check my assumptions against reality and if necessary to adapt my assumptions to make the solutions work.

      Many politicians and many of the people who vote for them are ideologues.
      This means that they have little regard for reality.
      If their solutions don’t work they don’t change their assumptions but they redefine reality instead.
      And so it is little wonder that they do the things that failed a thousand times before over and over aigain.
      They can get away with it because we have a media that fails to do its job and point out the failures and the reasons for the failures.
      Whether the media does it because they share certain ideologies or whether the media does it because it is controlled by the people in power or whether the media is simply corrupt does not matter that much. The outcome is the same.
      Then we have the insanity that is called political correctness which makes it verboten to mention certain aspects of reality that are crucial to understand certain problems.
      How can you ever solve a problem without an accurate assessment of the underlying causes?

      It is not ony with regards to the Middle East that the current US-administration follows a disturbing pattern.
      While there are really big urgent problems like the crisis of the economy, the immense debt that is piling up and the high unemployment the administrattion is focusing on ideas like gun-control or gay-‘marriage’ and worse on a healthcare reform that makes matters only worse.
      It’s like Nero fiddling while Romes is burning.

      I share your idea of holding polticians accountable wholeheartedly.
      We must not stop to speak the truth.

    • artaxes Says:

      I just want to add that the things that the current US-administration is focusing on shows us their priorities.
      Clearly, preventing a nuclear Iran is not high on their priority list.

  2. Joop Klepzeiker Says:

    But is there a slightest idea that it is not incompetence but on purpose. ?

  3. boudicabpi Says:

    Reblogged this on BPI reblog and commented:
    Clueless US mediator

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