The Art Of (Ineffectual) Diplomacy: Kerry says all Israeli settlements are ‘illegitimate’ but shouldn’t hamper peace process

Israel/PalestineUS Politics

It’s really something watching Secretary of State John Kerry tie himself in knots condemning Israeli provocations while insisting they mean nothing. Above is video of Kerry from a press conference yesterday in Bogota, Colombia saying the U.S. views “all Israeli settlements as illegitimate.” In the next breath Kerry went on to say he doesn’t think Israel’s announcement of over 1,000 new settlement units should effect peace talks. If you know how to square this circle, let us know.

If anything, Kerry’s strong statement against the settlements is shocking because there had been several indications in recent days that Kerry’s policy was to say nothing about settlements at all, lest Israeli PM Netanyahu feels pressure and takes a powder. 

At yesterday’s daily press briefing at the State Department, reporters pressed spokesperson Marie Harf about the lack of an American response to the latest settlement plans. Harf kept saying the US policy is “serious concern” over the settlements, but refused to accept the characterization that they’re a slap in the face:

MS. HARF: Well, announcements that you’re referring to certainly come at a particularly sensitive time with the negotiations continuing in the region. We continue to engage with the Israeli Government to make our serious concerns known…

QUESTION: Have you asked them to put that on hold?

MS. HARF: I’m not going to get into specifics about what those diplomatic discussions entail other than to say we’ve made our concerns known.

QUESTION: So they’re not following suit with what European allies who strongly condemn this act as hindering the peace process?… a European Union statement, also states very clearly that the settlement are contrary to international laws and, in fact, an obstacle to peace. Do you concur with that?

MS. HARF: Well, I’m not going to comment on their statement, I’m going to make clear what our position is, which is that –

QUESTION: you basically had the Palestinians threatening on Sunday evening to just walk out even before the meetings start. Then we’re right back to where we were in 2010. Given that the Embassy has already made it clear in the past several days that the U.S. does not approve of these settlements, what has the Secretary himself done?

MS. HARF: Well, I don’t have anything to read out for you about the Secretary’s activities. As you know, right now he’s in Colombia and Brazil tomorrow…

QUESTION: With all due respect, yes, the Secretary may be on travel in Latin America but there is a phone on his 757 –

MS. HARF: There is.

QUESTION: — and it would seem that given that the Prime Minister was indisposed over the weekend that something from the Secretary should have been conveyed to his government about the particular delicacy of the moment.

MS. HARF:…. I don’t have any specifics for you on calls the Secretary has made…

QUESTION: Since you talked about sensitive time and you’re both – asked both sides to refrain from taking any provocative action,  don’t you think that the Israeli action now is a slap in the face in your efforts to trying to bring the two parties together?

MS. HARF: Well, I’m not going to characterize it in those terms.

QUESTION: Well, why not?

MS. HARF: Because I’m not going to…

The JTA reports on Kerry’s meeting with Jewish leaders last Thursday night preparing them for the talks. Kerry lamented “pressures on Netanyahu,” including the EU’s restrictions about settlements:

[Kerry is] also nervous about the potential for failure, warning of circumstances — for instance, pressures on Netanyahu — that could undermine them…

Kerry said there was a “strategic imperative” to arrive at a deal soon, and said he understood the difficulties faced by Netanyahu in dealing with a coalition that included right-wing parties.

Kerry expressed frustration with the European Union’s new policy of not giving grants and prizes to Israeli enterprises in occupied areas, saying it was the sort of move that could nudge away Netanyahu.

The Times of Israel report on that meeting said that Kerry warned that Israel’s future is at stake:

An optimistic-sounding Kerry asked the Jewish leaders for their help in supporting the newly restarted talks, The Times of Israel learned, saying that he feared for Israel’s future if a peace deal is not reached.

Kerry told the fewer than two-dozen representatives of Jewish organizations that … there is a strategic imperative to act now. He noted that Israel faces the threat of diplomatic isolation and a demographic clock.

 

The Jewish leaders want Kerry to put pressure on Mahmoud Abbas, the PA President:

A number of the Jewish leaders pressed Kerry on Abbas’s upcoming address to the United Nations General Assembly. They expressed hope that Abbas would change the tone of his rhetoric during his speeches to the world body — a good-faith gesture to demonstrate outward Palestinian willingness to engage in peace talks. One observer noted that Kerry seemed receptive to the idea.

Other Jewish representatives pushed for Kerry to ask Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

MJ Rosenberg notes that Americans for Peace Now did not attend the Kerry meeting, evidently because of the settlements announcement, while J Street did. And Rosenberg says that Kerry is the problem:

Kerry is worried about Netanyahu feeling pressured, particularly by the EU’s decision not to fund projects in the occupied territories. Why? Given that the European Union does not recognize Israeli sovereignty in the occupied areas, why should it fund Israeli projects there?

Of course the EU’s decision enraged Netanyahu and the Israeli right in general because they believe that the West Bank is every bit as Israeli as Tel Aviv. How dare the EU make such distinctions?

In fact, the EU decision is a small step, primarily of symbolic importance. But it did energize anti-occupation forces inside Israel because it helps them make the case that the occupation is not just wrong, and not just illegal, it is costing Israel economically.

The United States should welcome this kind of pressure on Netanyahu, especially because it doesn’t come from the United States (and therefore cannot damage the Democratic Party in the eyes of donors). Unfortunately Kerry is so determined to achieve some sort of personal success with his peace initiative, he opposes any action that will upset Netanyahu. He can’t permit any move by anyone that will “nudge away Netanyahu.” Not by us. Not by anyone.

(h/t Hostage)

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54 Responses

  1. amigo
    August 13, 2013, 11:14 am

    Al Jazeera English is carrying a statement by Kerry where he states clearly that The US views all Settlements as “illegitimate”.He then says he has told this to “his friends” in Israel and is working with Palestinians (no friends there) to convince them not to over react.

    In Europe we are learning of an additional 800 units being approved late Monday.

    Sorry, do not have links but I believe it is reported in Haaretz.

  2. dbroncos
    August 13, 2013, 11:22 am

    “Other Jewish representatives pushed for Kerry to ask Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”

    Tone deaf “Jewish representatives” are seeing Kerry’s peace process as the Palestinians Oklahoma moment, their final surrender. Kerry may see it that way too. But what they’re not hearing is Kerry’s weak, barely audible message that Israel is being hemmed in and that the future of its colonial enterprise is in serious jeapardy.

    Willful stupidity. They still think their $billions can stop this tide. It won’t.

  3. amigo
    August 13, 2013, 11:24 am

    Here is the link to article on approval of 800 more illegal housing units in Occupied East Jerusalem I referred to in my last post.

    link to haaretz.com

    • Hostage
      August 13, 2013, 3:45 pm

      @amigo here is a link to a Haaretz article which says Kerry complained to Netanyahu that the expansion of the settlements violates the [still secret] terms of the peace talks: See On eve of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations || Kerry tells Netanyahu: Israel’s settlement activity violates terms of peace talks
      link to haaretz.com

      More specifically it says: “Israel in recent days has announced tenders for or advanced the planning process on about 3,100 housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

      Senior PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo told AFP: “Settlement expansion goes against the US administration’s pledges and threatens to cause the negotiations’ collapse.”
      link to maannews.net

      • amigo
        August 14, 2013, 9:34 am

        Hostage ,Thanks for the links.That cleared things up for me.

  4. irmep
    August 13, 2013, 11:25 am

    New settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem “were to some degree expected” but “the United States of America views all of the settlements as illegitimate.” – John Kerry.

    link to ynetnews.com

    One definition of illegitimate is “not authorized by law.”

    So it is quite likely that U.S. headlines in the New York Times, etc will soon pick up on that and read “Kerry: US Views Israeli Colonies as Illegal”

    Yessir.

    • Citizen
      August 13, 2013, 12:13 pm

      Kerry is alleged to have said “All settlements are illegitimate” in Bogota, as reported by Ynetnews and Reuters. Twitter is engaged in this, which would be a real change back to old style US official foreign policy re the settlements. However, nobody seems certain this was what Kerry said in Bogota, or if it was a mistranslation. My opinion is Kerry never said it. He’s a follower, not a leader.

      • Hostage
        August 13, 2013, 3:37 pm

        Kerry is alleged to have said “All settlements are illegitimate” in Bogota,

        That’s not allegation. Those are the first words out of his mouth in the Reuter’s video that Phil and Adam embedded in the article above.

    • Erasmus
      August 13, 2013, 2:32 pm

      “Illegal” versus “illegitimate”

      In all official statements the USA uses the term “illegitimate” when describing its position wrt israeli settlements in WB and East Jerusalem and painstakingly avoids to qualify them as “illegal”according to international law which in turn is the general qualification by the UN or the EU.

      Another cryptic sophistic irritation ( at least to me) is the formulation that the “USA considers the continued settlement construction as not conducive for achieving an I-P conflict solution. – As if the effect and status of earlier settlements of the past would be different.

      Question: can anybody enlighten me?

      What is the difference between above two terms and what may be the underlying reasoning to prefer the one term over the other when describing illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories?

  5. Justpassingby
    August 13, 2013, 11:43 am

    I actually enjoy this, the more provocative steps Israel is taking the more their true nature will be shown to the whole world and will alienate them more not to mention that these provocations humiliate the US (both politicians and the population) so that will not make Israel any more popular.

  6. HarryLaw
    August 13, 2013, 11:45 am

    John Kerry said on Monday that all the settlements are illegitimate see link to ynetnews.com the Free online dictionary of illegitimate.Adjective –against the law; illegal. Can RoHa help out on these definitions?

    • Hostage
      August 13, 2013, 5:34 pm

      John Kerry said on Monday that all the settlements are illegitimate see link to ynetnews.com the Free online dictionary of illegitimate.Adjective –against the law; illegal.

      I’ve already pointed out that when the US vetoed a Security Council resolution which stated that all of the settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are “illegal”, Ambassdor Rice responded by saying “While we agree with our fellow Council members—and indeed, with the wider world—about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this Council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians.”

      She either didn’t or couldn’t explain why the agreed upon international treaty body that the US and other UN member states established and tasked with primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security shouldn’t have attempt to resolve the core issues in one of the longest-running unresolved armed conflicts that still threatens the peace in the region and in the world today.

      If words used in context have any meaning at all, then illegitimate is synonymous with illegal in this instance. Even Caroline Glick admitted that Rice had agreed with the international community that the settlements are illegal. See Caroline Glick, Obama Sends Devastatingly Mixed Signals to Allies and Enemies Alike link to breitbart.com

      • James Canning
        August 13, 2013, 5:37 pm

        Veto was an Obama blunder, but one demanded by the Israel lobby.

  7. eljay
    August 13, 2013, 11:46 am

    A number of the Jewish leaders … expressed hope that Abbas would change the tone of his rhetoric during his speeches to the world body — a good-faith gesture to demonstrate outward Palestinian willingness to engage in peace talks.

    A number of Zio-supremacist Jews … expressed hope that Abbas would fellate the Zio-supremacist donkey – a good-faith gesture to demonstrate outward Palestinian subservience to their Zio-supremacist oppressors, colonizers and killers.

    Other Jewish representatives pushed for Kerry to ask Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

    Other Zio-supremacist Jews pushed for Kerry to ask Abbas to recognize israel as an oppressive and supremacist “Jewish State” rather than a secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli state – a state of and for all Israelis, equally.

    Kerry, who was busy fellating the Zio-supremacist donkey, declined to reply.

  8. Erasmus
    August 13, 2013, 12:20 pm

    Comments by Secretary John Kerry re new Settlement Construction announcements by GoI.

    Secretary Kerry is quoted in European newspapers as follows:

    …”calls on all participants not to react in a hostile way….”

    …”to come quickly to the negotiation table”

    – …that such settlement announcements “…had been likely to a certain degree”
    “We knew, that there would be a continuation of few construction activities in certain locations, and i think, that the Palestinians understand this”

    Is this a HELPFUL REACTION of the SUPERPOWER No1 to successfully mediate-facilitate END of CONFLICT I-P-Talks????

    link to sueddeutsche.de

    • Bumblebye
      August 13, 2013, 4:15 pm

      “SUPERPOWER No1″
      Nah. In the case of Israel, that’s the “SUCKERPOWER No1″ somewhere underneath the beach donkey called Bibi. Israel turns the US into a laughingstock. What other major world power is so “beholden” to a pimple of a nation?

  9. David Doppler
    August 13, 2013, 1:11 pm

    President Obama has set in motion this new nine-month peace-gestation period. He is ever so solicitous of Israeli security: “don’t worry, we will protect you no matter what.” The political “reality” in Washington and the MSM remains: “We won’t call you out as racists, right-wing land-grabbers, no matter how many times you show your true colors.” He and Kerry appeal to American Jewish leaders for help with the peace process, clucking sympathetically about those foolish Europeans applying pressure to Netanyahu.

    And what exactly are they supposed to do to help with the peace process, if not to apply pressure to Netanyahu?

    To paraphrase Hirohito, “The Zionist-vision-of-Greater-Israel situation has developed not necessarily to Israel’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.” [Must not acknowledge the many victims of our imperial self-delusion.]

  10. gingershot
    August 13, 2013, 1:35 pm

    There MUST be a ‘parallel track’ with aggressive ICC solicitation to begin adjudicating against Israeli Apartheid, to coordinate with any further negotiations and charades with the Israelis. In the face of this major Israeli push on settlements, anything less is beyond ridiculous at this point and simply can no longer be plausibly sustained by Abbas

    On another note – there are two references to Marwan Barghouti possibly being released – one from Haaretz:

    “If Wednesday’s talks go forward as planned, Haaretz has learned that the Palestinians plan to demand the release of additional prisoners on top of the 104 to which Israel has already agreed. These additional prisoners will include senior Fatah official MARWAN BARGHOUTI and Ahmad Sa’adat, the secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine”

    If Barghouti is released he should immediately be incorporated into the ‘negotiation team’ and Palestinian elections to depose Abbas should be called ASAP.

    I’d give a million bucks to see Indyk’s face when Barghouti takes a seat across the table from him

  11. Citizen
    August 13, 2013, 1:43 pm

    Is Kerry really as dumb as it looks? If not, how can anyone say he’s not in the Zionist camp? US taxpayers pay Kerry for being so dumb or subservient to a foreign power. Outrage is in order. Problem is: AIPAC et al. Is there some way that entry can be deemed agent of a foreign state, and made to register as such, even though it’s not funded directly by Israel? If not. there’s no hope, and USA will go down with Israel, supporting it come what may even though USA is only 2% Jewish. This will be an historical first, and praise for USA as a pragmatically successful plutocracy.

  12. Kathleen
    August 13, 2013, 2:12 pm

    Kerry “The United States of America views ALL of the settlements as illegitimate”

    Wonder if we will hear this statement on the so called liberal Rachel Maddow news program or any of the programs on the so called liberal or progressive MSNBC outlet. Or will Matthews, Al Sharpton, Martin Bashir, Ari Melber on the Cycle, Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell continue to stay silent on this critical issue?

    Jewish leaders concerned about Abbas’s tone. His tone. While Israel announces more illegal settlement building. Aye yi yi

    • James Canning
      August 13, 2013, 6:51 pm

      Bravo, Kathleen.

    • Sibiriak
      August 15, 2013, 9:49 pm

      Kathleen:

      Kerry “The United States of America views ALL of the settlements as illegitimate”

      .

      Illegitimate, but NOT illegal. And the U.S. also expects a large portion of the settlements to be legitimized in any final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

      • Hostage
        August 16, 2013, 3:07 am

        Kerry “The United States of America views ALL of the settlements as illegitimate” Illegitimate, but NOT illegal.

        No on several occasions they’ve said illegitimate in a context that can only mean illegal. Our government is just being two-faced about the whole situation and trying to force through a political settlement, based upon the doctrine of waiver and Palestinian “acceptance”.

        I’ve noted elsewhere that any special agreement with an occupying power that codifies the results of serious crimes, like deportation and forcible transfer or displacement of members of a protected population would be null and void from the outset under the terms of Article 8 of the 4th Geneva Convention and Articles 52 and 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

        So these talks are just for show and to stall for more time.

      • garybkatz
        August 16, 2013, 9:12 am

        Hostage, you must mean that the similar number of Jews displaced from Arab countries where they’d lived for centuries (who probably passed the Arab refugees on the road, as they made their way to Israel) must also be addressed, before any peace deal can acquire legitimacy. Granted, the Jewish refugees weren’t used as pawns like the the Arabs, but they were displaced under threat of threat of death. Most of the Arabs left at the urging of their leaders, to facilitate the annihilation of the Jews. Very few Arabs who were actually there tell tales of being forced out by Jews (which is why there are far more Israeli Arabs today, than Jews in Arab countries). The Arabs who stayed in place were left alone.

  13. James Canning
    August 13, 2013, 2:35 pm

    I appluad John Kerry for saying all of the illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank are “illegitimate”.

  14. James Canning
    August 13, 2013, 2:38 pm

    Is Kerry “worried that Netanyahu is feeling pressured”? Perhaps not.

  15. Hostage
    August 13, 2013, 2:58 pm

    il·le·git·i·mate adjective
    Definition of ILLEGITIMATE:

    not sanctioned by law : illegal

    — “Illegitimate.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 13 Aug. 2013. .

    as in Kerry: The US “views all of the settlements as illegitimate”

    It still surpasses human understanding why Kerry feels there is an imperative to strike a deal over these illegal situations, instead of taking those responsible, including Netanyahu, to the International Criminal Court, e.g. the Rome Statute Article 8 War crimes , says:

    1. The Court shall have jurisdiction in respect of war crimes in particular when committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes.

    2. For the purpose of this Statute, “war crimes” means:
    (b) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
    (viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory;

    In the first place:
    *Why are any Palestinians being forcibly transfered or deported to Israeli prisons outside the occupied territory?
    *Why do Israeli officials allow Jewish civilians to cross the armistice lines and reside in settlements established by WZO officials who work in the Prime Ministers office?

    All of that, and many other crimes, have been brought to the attention of the Israeli government on numerous occasions. Those acts violate explicit prohibitions contained in the UN Armistice Agreements and the Geneva Conventions. The International Court of Justice has already advised that:
    * Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; and
    *The United States and other parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Tiine of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention.

    The United Nations Charter and international law do not suggest that the Palestinians should play “Lets Make a Deal” with the USA or Israel.

    • Talkback
      August 14, 2013, 6:31 am

      Hostage says: “il·le·git·i·mate adjective
      Definition of ILLEGITIMATE:
      not sanctioned by law : illegal”

      I would say in this context:
      illegal = against the law, crime
      illegitimate = not endorsed by law, not necessarily a crime

      • Annie Robbins
        August 14, 2013, 9:01 am

        illegal = against the law, crime

        that’s not the definition of illegal talkback. according to websters:

        Definition of ILLEGAL
        : not according to or authorized by law : unlawful, illicit; also : not sanctioned by official rules (as of a game)

        not that much different than illegitimate:

        Definition of ILLEGITIMATE
        1
        : not recognized as lawful offspring; specifically : born of parents not married to each other
        2
        : not rightly deduced or inferred : illogical
        3
        : departing from the regular : erratic
        4
        a : not sanctioned by law : illegal
        b : not authorized by good usage
        c of a taxon : published but not in accordance with the rules of the relevant international code

        iow, if you’re going to use the argument ‘illegitimate’ is not a crime, one could also make the same argument ‘illegal’ is not a crime. both being not according to or authorized by law/ not sanctioned by law.

      • Talkback
        August 14, 2013, 12:24 pm

        I was intepreting Kerry’s use Annie. And example 1 of Websters’ definition of “illegitimate” cannot be considered as illegal or a crime. I think that’s why Kerry and others use it. More in the sense of not popular, not recognized, but not in the sense of being a (war) crime. It’s just not “legit”, not the way one should do it.

      • Sibiriak
        August 15, 2013, 9:52 pm

        Kathleen:

        Kerry “The United States of America views ALL of the settlements as illegitimate”

        .

        Illegitimate, but NOT illegal. And the U.S. also expects a large portion of the settlements to be legitimized in any final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

      • Sibiriak
        August 15, 2013, 9:57 pm

        Talkback, you have a legitimate point. The the meaning of the word “illegitimate” is equivocal.

      • Hostage
        August 14, 2013, 3:28 pm

        I would say in this context:
        illegal = against the law, crime
        illegitimate = not endorsed by law, not necessarily a crime

        But we know that it is criminal. Israeli Judge Eli Nathan, provided the first expert opinion on that subject before the Rome Statute ever entered into force. He was the chief of the Israeli delegation. He and his lieutenants warned the other delegations throughout the deliberations on the draft of Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute that it would apply to Israel settlement in the occupied territories and criminalize them. The international community of states responded to those protests by adopting the article. See Nathan’s statement here: link to iccnow.org

        Shortly after the Statute entered into force, the (then) Attorney General (and a future Supreme Court Justice) observed that Israeli Settlers could be prosecuted by the ICC. That would certainly apply to the officials serving on the Regional Councils or to the officials in occupied Jerusalem who routinely commit acts that violate the Rome Statute. See “A-G: New Hague court may indict settlers for war crimes”, Jun.11, 2002

        P.S. Mens rea is the term for a “guilty mind”. Those statements by Israeli officials, and many others made by US and EU officials regarding the ability of Palestinians to seek remedies through the ICJ and ICC are evidence of mens rea or a guilty mind. In the case of illegal population transfer of deportation it isn’t a necessary element or mode of criminal liability.

    • Bumblebye
      August 14, 2013, 4:04 pm

      “Illegitimate”
      Probably chosen because in this case it represents Israel’s bastard settlements begotten on raped Palestinian land. So hasbarabots could use the argument that at least Israel is trying to legitimise its bastards. Aint that honorable?

    • talknic
      August 14, 2013, 7:35 pm

      @ Hostage “It still surpasses human understanding why Kerry feels there is an imperative to strike a deal over these illegal situations, instead of taking those responsible, including Netanyahu, to the International Criminal Court”

      Simple. Under the law, the Jewish state will be sent bankrupt for decades paying rightful reparations. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of illegal Israeli settlers are not gonna want to become Palestinian citizens and should Israel be required to re-locate hundreds of thousands of angry, disillusioned illegal Israeli settlers, an Israeli civil war is very likely to erupt “outside the State of Israel” in “territories occupied”… The other Regional Powers would have the right to intervene. 1948-49 all over again. It’s easier to appease the Jewish state

      Israel’s intention is in the circular paragraphs 3 & 4 of it’s 31st August 1949 statement to the Conciliation Commission link to wp.me It’s actions have shown it simply ignores what it doesn’t like in preference to the prophets of Israel link to wp.me

      If it’s gonna go down, the rabid red heifer is very likely to kick the sh*t out of ye olde the china shoppe and the US will be dragged into another war while trying to wipe egg off its stupid face

      The world, least of all the US, simply cannot afford a self fulfilling Armageddon the likes of which the Jewish state could unleash.

      The only legal, no egg on the face, no war way out, is for there to be a deal struck between Israel and Palestine. If the US can broker that, they’ll be hailed as heroes, not that they care if the Palestinians are shafted in the process.

      Thanks to the internet the world is slowly becoming aware of the ghastly atrocity being committed, so there is some hope that something can be salvaged on behalf of the gentle people of Palestine

      • Hostage
        August 14, 2013, 8:43 pm

        Hostage: “It still surpasses human understanding why Kerry feels there is an imperative to strike a deal over these illegal situations, instead of taking those responsible, including Netanyahu, to the International Criminal Court”

        Talknic: Simple. Under the law, the Jewish state will be sent bankrupt for decades paying rightful reparations.

        Article 25 of the Rome Statute limits the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court to natural persons. So it will never exercise jurisdiction or enter a judgment against Israel per se. The ICJ already has ordered Israel to remove the wall and pay compensation for any damages that activity has caused. Even the Oslo Accords granted the Palestinian courts territorial jurisdiction. They could award judgments now that would allow private plaintiffs to pursue enforcement in the majority of other countries around the world without the need for the government to take any unilateral action.

      • talknic
        August 15, 2013, 9:00 pm

        @ Hostage

        Yes. I’m aware the ICC is for persons, even if negotiations are successful

        Reparations … German reparations is a fine example of what can be done with dogged persistence

  16. DICKERSON3870
    August 13, 2013, 3:36 pm

    ● RE: “Kerry is so determined to achieve some sort of personal success with his peace initiative, he opposes any action that will upset Netanyahu. He can’t permit any move by anyone that will ‘nudge away Netanyahu’. Not by us. Not by anyone.” ~ Weiss

    ● MY COMMENT: This is very typical of enablers! ! !
    In the case of an addict, a close friend (i.e., a codependent) might say something like: “I know him, and if we try to do an intervention, he will get upset with us. Consequently, we will just end up pushing (or “nudging”) him away from us. Then we will not be able to do anything for him. So the best thing we can do is to just be supportive and let him know he has friends he can count on.”

    ● FROM PHILIP WEISS, 6/04/13: “As Obama did, Kerry fawned over Israel. They believe that the only way Israelis will do something is if you love them to death.”link to mondoweiss.net

    ● MY SECOND COMMENT: Obama and Kerry should talk to some good psychiatrists about the wrongheadedness of being Israel’s enabler out of the (mistaken*) belief that “the only way Israelis will do something is if you love them to death”**. Obama and Kerry need to understand that it is possible for an enabler to love the enabled to its (literal) death.***

    ● MY SECOND COMMENT: Obama and Kerry should talk to some good psychiatrists about the wrongheadedness of being Israel’s enabler out of the (mistaken*) belief that “the only way Israelis will do something is if you love them to death”**. They need to understand that it is possible for an enabler to literally love the enabled to its (literal) death.***

    * FROM JOEL KOVEL, 1-20-13:

    . . . As with everyone I know of in official political culture, [Thomas] Friedman [probably like Kerry and Obama - J.L.D.] assumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states.
    The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. . .

    SOURCE – link to mondoweiss.net

    ** ALSO SEE: “It’s Time for Some Israel Real Talk”, By Jaclyn Friedman, Prospect.org, 2/20/13

    [EXCERPT] . . . I love Israel. As an American Jew, the dream of Israel has held me in thrall since I was a small child. The day I wept at the Wailing Wall was one of the most transcendent and emotional of my life. But loving someone doesn’t mean helping them do whatever destructive thing they want. Call that enabling or co-dependence, but it’s not love. I love Israel like I’d love a drunk friend who wants their car keys. . .

    SOURCE – link to prospect.org

    *** AND SEE: “How Israel Is Like an Alcoholic Mother”, by Megan McArdle, The Atlantic, 3/22/12

    [EXCERPT] . . . What is it Alex Portnoy overhears his mother say to her friends, apropos of the lengths she has to go to to get him to eat? “I have to stand over him with a knife!”
    To be a bit more serious for a moment, though, Chesterton famously quipped: “My country, right or wrong is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying: “My mother, drunk or sober.” Well, yes, but she is your mother, drunk or sober, right? Similarly, it is your country, whether your country is right or wrong. The question is what that entails. If your mother is a drunk, and begs for another drink, are you obliged to give it to her? Presumably not.
    But are you obliged to devote yourself to getting her to dry out? That, it seems to me is the real heart of the question. I think many of Beinart’s critics — like Jeffrey Goldberg — would say: that’s exactly how they think about Israel and the settlements. They are against them. . . They think they were and are a grave and historic mistake. . .
    . . . So they are doing what they can to convince their mother to check herself in and dry out. But she’s their mother. If it takes her a long time to convince, they’ll keep trying. If she slips a drink on the sly, they’ll try to hide the liquor better, but they’ll forgive her. [In other words, they will act as "enablers". ~ J.L.D.] And, whatever she does, they certainly aren’t going to call the cops on her, and give the neighbors (who never liked her, even have tried to get her evicted) the satisfaction of seeing her humiliated by her own son in public. After all, she’s their mother. [Let's call this "constructive engagement"! ~ J.L.D.]
    Well, talk to a few children of alcoholics, and you’ll discover that “my mother, drunk or sober” is not always a tenable proposition. Sometimes, for some people, the sense of obligation to one’s mother is trumped by a sense of obligation to oneself, and to protect oneself from her disease. And that, in a nutshell, is what Beinart is saying. She may be my mother, yes, but if she keeps carrying on, I don’t care what the neighbors say, and I don’t care if she never speaks to me again afterward: I’m going to call the cops on her. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to theatlantic.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      August 13, 2013, 3:50 pm

      P.S.
      ● ALSO SEE WIKIPEDIA [Enabling]:

      [EXCERPT] . . . In a negative sense, enabling is . . . used in the context of problematic behavior, to signify dysfunctional approaches that are intended to help but in fact may perpetuate a problem.[1][2] A common theme of enabling in this latter sense is that third parties take responsibility, blame, or make accommodations for a person’s harmful conduct (often with the best of intentions, or from fear or insecurity which inhibits action). The practical effect is that the person himself or herself does not have to do so, and is shielded from awareness of the harm it may do, and the need or pressure to change. It is a major environmental cause of addiction.[3]
      A common example of enabling can be observed in the relationship between the alcoholic/addict and a codependent spouse. The spouse believes incorrectly that he or she is helping the alcoholic by calling into work for them, making excuses that prevent others from holding them accountable, and generally cleaning up the mess that occurs in the wake of their impaired judgment.[citation needed] In reality what the spouse is doing is hurting, not helping. Enabling prevents psychological growth in the person being enabled and can contribute to negative symptoms in the enabler.*
      One of the primary purposes of a formal Family Intervention with alcoholics/addicts is to help the family cease their enabling behaviors. . .

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      ● AND SEE WIKIPEDIA [Codependency]:

      [EXCERPTS] Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or drug addiction); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another.[1] It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.[2] Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships.[2] Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns.[2] Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent.
      Codependency describes behaviors, thoughts and feelings that go beyond normal kinds of self-sacrifice or caretaking. For example parenting is a role that requires a certain amount of self-sacrifice and giving a child’s needs a high priority, although a parent could nevertheless still be codependent towards their own children if the caretaking or parental sacrifice reached unhealthy or destructive levels.[2] Generally a parent who takes care of their own needs (emotional and physical) in a healthy way will be a better caretaker, whereas a codependent parent may be less effective, or may even do harm to a child.[2] Another way to look at it is that the needs of an infant are necessary but temporary whereas the needs of the codependent are constant.
      People who are codependent often take on the role of martyr; they constantly put others’ needs before their own and in doing so forget to take care of themselves. This creates a sense that they are “needed”; they cannot stand the thought of being alone and no one needing them. Codependent people are constantly in search of acceptance. When it comes to arguments, codependent people also tend to set themselves up as the “victim”. When they do stand up for themselves, they feel guilty.
      Codependency does not refer to all caring behavior or feelings, but only those that are excessive to an unhealthy degree.[6] Indeed, from the standpoint of Attachment theory or Object relations theory, “to risk becoming dependent”[7] may be for the compulsively self-reliant a psychological advance, and “depending on a source outside oneself … successful, or tolerable, dependence” [8] may be valorized accordingly. . .

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      ● AND SEE: “Enabling – When ‘Helping’ Doesn’t Really Help”, By Buddy T, About.com Guide, 3/05/11

      [EXCERPT] Many times when family and friends try to “help” alcoholics, they are actually making it easier for them to continue in the progression of the disease.
      This baffling phenomenon is called enabling, which takes many forms, all of which have the same effect – allowing the alcoholic to avoid the consequences of his actions. This in turn allows the alcoholic to continue merrily along his (or her) drinking ways, secure in the knowledge that no matter how much he screws up, somebody will always be there to rescue him from his mistakes. . .

      SOURCE – link to alcoholism.about.com

      ● LASTLY SEE: “Are You an Addiction Enabler?”, By Sunrise Recovery

      [EXCERPT] The problem of alcoholism or drug addiction is often shared by two people. There is a substance abuser and there is an enabler.
      The enabler may be a spouse, life-partner, relative or friend. The substance abuser and the enabler are partners in a co-dependent relationship that encourages or overlooks the abuser’s unhealthy behavior. The enabler makes excuses for and protects the substance abuser, often out of a misplaced sense of loyalty or love. As a result, the substance abuser’s problems with addiction are prolonged. . .

      SOURCE – link to drugrehabranch.crchealth.com

      • piotr
        August 14, 2013, 12:00 pm

        I guess we have a problem how an alcoholic son can help his alcoholic mother. The acknowledgement that USA (as a state) can behave criminally is beyond mental capacity of the Establishment, however egregious past and current actions are. This is a deep problem. Every state must do some stuff that is “not in the books”, although in the case of some minute states it is probably nothing more than minor bribery. But if one is not even aware that something is wrong, then the questions of cardinal importance degenerate to primitive morality: we good, enemies bad, hence what we do is good and what enemies do is bad.

        In that ontology, Israel is good because it is our “most beloved ally”, how we, being so good, could love something not totally good? Sounds ludicrous and capricious, but it fits a larger ludicrous and capricious pattern.

      • eljay
        August 14, 2013, 12:45 pm

        >> The acknowledgement that USA (as a state) can behave criminally is beyond mental capacity of the Establishment …

        IMO, it is beyond the moral capacity, not the mental capacity, of the Establishment and its members. They know what they’re doing is immoral and unjust – if it were being done to them, you can bet they’d be screaming bloody murder damned quick! – but they don’t care as long as it benefits them and their interests.

        Same thing applies to Zio-supremacists.

  17. gingershot
    August 13, 2013, 4:47 pm

    Lead Haaretz story just up:

    ‘Kerry tells Netanyahu: Israel’s settlement activity violates terms of peace talks’

    Jeez – that even sounds like some DEFINITIVE BLAME being slung in Israel’s face.

    Interesting!

    I can almost hear the ‘Father of Apartheid’ Dennis Ross protesting that Kerry must just LOVE the Israelis out of Apartheid and promise them some more gifts

    • ritzl
      August 13, 2013, 7:09 pm

      Thanks, gingershot. link to haaretz.com

      It obviously doesn’t have any process significance, but it is interesting as maybe a sign of human frustration and the limits of human patience.

  18. Egbert
    August 13, 2013, 5:08 pm

    “all Israeli settlements are ‘illegitimate’ but shouldn’t hamper peace process”

    This is so true. Only the Palestinians, by their mere existence, can hamper the Peace Process (TM).

    • Talkback
      August 14, 2013, 6:35 am

      Please Egbert,

      the term “Palestinian” is incitement, if not new antisemitism. It implies that Arabs have any rights in Palestine which ipso facto delegitimizes the State of Jewish bloodlines.

  19. gingershot
    August 13, 2013, 6:23 pm

    Kerry appears to suffer from a dread fear of use of the word ‘ILLEGAL” – and it is really just so conspicuous

    I wonder what would happen if Kerry just dropped his BS and came right out of his closet and said it – ILLEGAL

    How would the NYTimes and Washington Post characterize his words? – I’m betting that sure as heck ILLEGAL wouldn’t be seen in the title of the article

    The Israeli Lobby would be STUNNED – AIPAC would probably try to force the Congress to formally declare Palestine an ‘alleged’ or ‘disputed’ territory

    • Hostage
      August 14, 2013, 4:03 pm

      AIPAC would probably try to force the Congress to formally declare Palestine an ‘alleged’ or ‘disputed’ territory

      Sorry, but the Zionist and Jewish Lobbies were trying to get any official reference to Palestine dropped from U.S. laws and federal codes – and Jerusalem declared the capital of Israel – long before AIPAC ever came into existence.

      They have had great success with the Legislative branch getting laws, like U.S. Code Title 22, Chapter 32, Subchapter III, Part I, § 2378b “Limitation on assistance to the Palestinian authority” adopted. It either requires a Presidential waiver or the Palestinians to publicly acknowledge “the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist”

      Unfortunately for them, the Courts have usually ruled that such laws impermissibly intrude on the President’s exclusive constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs.

  20. DICKERSON3870
    August 13, 2013, 6:29 pm

    RE: “Above is video of Kerry from a press conference yesterday in Bogota, Colombia saying the U.S. views ‘all Israeli settlements as illegitimate’.” ~ Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz

    MY COMMENT: Does this mean that the settlements are not illegal (according to international law), only “illegitimate”? Illegitimate is not a legal term and it has various meanings. An “illegitimate child” is still a child!

  21. just
    August 13, 2013, 9:51 pm

    John– Can you say “ILLEGAL”?

    Despite what the “definition” of illegitimate is– it’s not used as a synonym for “illegal” in the US………….

    Please tell the truth. Lying/enabling/’pussyfooting’ around is not the same as diplomacy and does not exhibit a quest for justice.

    • Hostage
      August 14, 2013, 4:12 pm

      Despite what the “definition” of illegitimate is– it’s not used as a synonym for “illegal” in the US………….

      In fact, most legal dictionaries published in the United States do indicate the two terms are usually synonymous. Although, I’ll admit it looks like the US government has given Israel a secret letter of assurance or something that stipulates it won’t call the settlements illegal in public.

  22. crone
    August 14, 2013, 10:46 pm

    When the US vetoed a Security Council resolution which stated that all of the settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are “illegal”, Ambassdor Rice responded by saying “While we agree with our fellow Council members—and indeed, with the wider world—about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this Council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians.”

    She either didn’t or couldn’t explain why the agreed upon international treaty body that the US and other UN member states established and tasked with primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security shouldn’t have attempt to resolve the core issues in one of the longest-running unresolved armed conflicts that still threatens the peace in the region and in the world today.

    If words used in context have any meaning at all, then illegitimate is synonymous with illegal in this instance. Even Caroline Glick admitted that Rice had agreed with the international community that the settlements are illegal.

  23. iResistDe4iAm
    August 15, 2013, 10:41 am

    “The United States of America views all of the settlements, as illegitimate” ~ John Kerry

    BREAKING NEWS: John Kerry delegitimizes Israel.

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