First the Presidency…

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Then reality.

He lost them both.

I feel sorry for John Kerry. He has had a distinguished career, serving as a decorated naval officer, then as an elected official in many high ranking positions.

While Syria is in turmoil, with a human tragedy of catastrophic proportions, while the rest of the Middle East is suffering from unrest and turmoil, while the entire world is the target of radical terrorist groups, John Kerry, and by extension, his boss, chose to target Israel.

In his speech on December 28, 2016, John Kerry gave a speech that had little basis in reality. It was the most one-sided, anti-Israel talk given by an American official that I can recall.  While he has tried to portray to the world the face of an honest broker, anyone who listened to what he said can see that he has failed.

His talk did not mention the fact that Israel repeatedly offered to end the “occupation” and stop settlement construction, if only the Palestinian leadership would come to the negotiation table.

His talk did not mention the fact that Arafat rejected the Clinton-Barak proposals in 2001.

His talk did not mention the fact that Abbas (currently in the 12th year of a 4 year term) ignored the offers made to him by Ehud Olmert in 2008.

His talk did mention the fact that there are Palestinian refugees, but his talk did not mention the fact that there is an equal number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. In fact, applying the same criteria that UNRWA applies to the Palestinians means that there may be more Jewish refugees.

His talk did not mention the fact that the “Historic” Palestine was land that the Ottoman Empire ceded to the British, who abandoned the land when the mandate expired. Jordan attacked the newly-created Jewish state in 1948, and captured the land in an offensive attack. When the Jordanians attacked again in 1967, Israel was able to recapture the land in question.

In a legal sense, this is not conquest or an illegal occupation; this is a liberation of captured territory.

His talk did not mention the fact that Israel already showed the world that it has the determination to make peace by dismantling every Israeli community in the Gaza area, and evacuating every single Jew.

His talk did not mention the fact that the main block to a two state solution is the Palestinian refusal to accept the UN resolution from 1947 calling for a two state solution for two peoples – the Jewish people and the Arab people. By failing to accept this resolution, the Palestinians are the ones who refuse to accept Israel as the national home of the Jewish people.

If Mr. Kerry had pressed the Palestinians to come to the table as hard as he came down on the Israeli government, perhaps their leadership would have come to the negotiating table. John Kerry and Barack Obama had their chance to make their place in the annals of international diplomacy. But Kerry and his boss were not interested. I truly hope that they have not damaged the potential for peace in our times.

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