Secretary of State John Kerry, determined to break his predecessor’s frequent flyer record, made his umpteenth visit to the Mideast as the old year ended and the new year began.
He arrived with a clear mission – pressure Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a “framework” for peace. Kerry wants a final agreement by April.
Kerry’s visit would be amusing if the issue were not so serious. Israel and the Palestinians are so far apart on the prerequisites for peace that the Kerry’s mission looked more like high-level busywork than serious diplomacy.
There will be no progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until Arab leaders recognize the State of Israel and renounce terrorism. Israel will never agree to the Palestinian demand of a return to the borders that existed before the 1967 war. And there can be no right of return for so-called Palestinian refugees, a move that would destroy Israel.
Kerry knows the chances of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by April are nil. But that is not why he made the trip. His real motive was distraction.
The whole world knows that the most burning issue in the Middle East is the outcome of ongoing negotiations to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Then there is the continuing civil war in Syria, the turmoil in Egypt, the resurgence of Al Qaeda in Iraq, and apprehension about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Kerry did accomplish one goal in his visit to Jerusalem. He put more pressure on Israel to surrender. This has been the goal of the Obama administration since taking office five years ago.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot take calls for peace negotiations seriously until he has a counterpart willing to negotiate. April will come and go; the stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians will continue.
Canadian news sees through John Kerry and this nonsense . . . why can’t ours?