‘Poof’ — Kerry blames Israel for breakdown of talks (Updated)

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 144 Comments
Secretary of State John Kerry testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on April 7, 2014 (Photo: AFP/Saul LOEB)

Secretary of State John Kerry testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on April 7, 2014 (Photo: AFP/Saul LOEB)

This is all over the wires, and it might be historic. John Kerry, Secretary of State, blamed the Israelis for the breakdown of peace talks during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. Israel failed to release prisoners on time according to a deal it had with Palestinians, then announced 700 settlement units– “poof!”– causing the latest breakdown in the talks, Kerry said.

The Times had the story hours ago: “Israeli Settlement Plan Derails Peace Talks, Kerry Says.”

The State Department has already sought to cover for Kerry, saying he meant that both sides are to blame.

Here’s some of the exchange, at 1:17:00 or so at this link. Ben Cardin, Democrat of Maryland, blames the Palestinians for unilateral actions in seeking recognition before international bodies and refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Kerry says:

The president supports the notion of Israel being defined as a Jewish state. … We believe that should happen. But when it happens and how it happens has to be part of the negotiations obviously. It’s not going to happen in the beginning, senator. It’s going to be one of those narrative issues that gets resolved towards the end.

Ben Cardin gives him pushback on that, and Kerry allows that both sides, inadvertently or advertently, made decisions “that were not helpful.” He says the Palestinian bid for international recognition wasn’t helpful, and then goes on:

In my judgment both leaders have made courageous and important decisions up until now. For Prime Minister Netanyahu to release prisoners is a painful, difficult political step to take, enormously hard, and the people of Israel have been incredibly supportive and patient in giving him the space in order to do that. In exchange for the deal being kept of the release of prisoners and not going to the U.N. Unfortunately, the prisoners weren’t released on the Saturday they were supposed to be released. And so day went by, day two went by day three went by and then in the afternoon when they were about to maybe get there, 700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem. And poof! That was sort of the moment.

So we find ourselves where we are. My hope is that the parties will find their way back. We’re working with them to try and do so. But they have to again I repeat, they have to make that fundamental decision. And I hope they will. I believe if they do, there is a way to get into substantive discussions now. A lot of groundwork has been laid over the last eight months…. There has been a narrowing of differences.

Thanks to James North.

Update:

The New York Times reports that Israel is “deeply disappointed” by what is being referred to as “the poof speech” and is clearly in spin mode.

From Isabel Kershner:

Clearly stung by Mr. Kerry’s version and his focus on the settlement issue, Israel countered on Wednesday that it was the Palestinians who had “violated their fundamental commitments” by applying last week to join 15 international conventions and treaties.

Mr. Kerry’s remarks “will both hurt the negotiations and harden Palestinian positions,” said an official in the office of the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The Palestinian action came after Israel failed to release a promised fourth batch of prisoners by a late March deadline. Hours before the Palestinians decided on that course, Israel’s housing minister published construction tenders for the contentious new housing.

“Secretary Kerry,” the official in Mr. Netanyahu’s office said, “knows that it was the Palestinians who said ‘no’ to continued direct talks with Israel in November; who said ‘no’ to his proposed framework for final status talks; who said ‘no’ to even discussing recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people; who said ‘no’ to a meeting with Kerry himself; and who said ‘no’ to an extension of the talks,” .

He added, “At the same time, in the understandings reached prior to the talks, Israel did not commit to any limitation on construction. Therefore, the Palestinian claim that building in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, was a violation of the understandings is contrary to the facts. Both the American negotiating team and the Palestinians know full well that Israel made no such commitment.”

A Palestinian official close to the negotiations, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicate diplomatic situation, said in response that Israel was “undermining the American role in the peace process.” The Palestinian side, he said, “never raised any issue that is not already an Israeli obligation.”

Israel is obliged to stop settlement activity, the Palestinian official said, because it is considered illegal under international law. The Obama administration has described the settlements as “illegitimate.”

Israel’s failure to release the fourth batch of prisoners, the Palestinian official added, violated an American-brokered agreement. As for extending the talks, he said, Israel has so far “clearly shown no interest” in trying to reach an agreement establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

 

144 Responses

  1. just
    April 8, 2014, 8:33 pm

    Yay!

    Spin it, twist it, munch it MSM et al– finally the truth is out!

    Poof- aha! Can’t put that genie back in the bottle…

    Thanks Phil.

  2. Boomer
    April 8, 2014, 8:43 pm

    Kerry says, “The president supports the notion of Israel being defined as a Jewish state. … We believe that should happen.” There seems to have been some back and forth on this. For a while, I thought the Obama Admin agreed with this, then backed off. Looks as if it is back on . . . perhaps it always was. I guess it is time for all non-Jews to get out of Israel. Maybe the U.S. should grant them citizenship; it seems only fair.

    • Boomer
      April 9, 2014, 8:09 pm

      PS: Seems to me that we should also pay the relocation expenses for those non-Jews in the Jewish state to move here, as well as give them citizenship. And while we are at it, we should do the same for the Palestinian refugees made stateless by the actions the U.S. has enabled, supported and defended lo these many years. Expensive? Well yes, but probably less so than attacking Iraq. At least it won’t kill hundreds of thousands. And we could cover much of the cost by eliminating aid to Israel, which doesn’t need it.

  3. Taxi
    April 8, 2014, 10:11 pm

    The proof is in the poof.

    • just
      April 8, 2014, 11:00 pm

      Agreed, Taxi.

      From what I’ve read thus far, though, it’s a ‘poof’ heard ’round’ the world.

      Not a pffft behind closed doors, or a pssst on an open mike.

      Blame, finally, squarely where it lies.

    • seafoid
      April 9, 2014, 10:41 am

      Poof means gay in England. Is Kerry’s ‘poof’ anything to do with the gay pride apartheid and hasbara parade ?

  4. jewishgoyim
    April 8, 2014, 10:18 pm

    Poof! Poof! Poof! That’s quite a breath of fresh air! Let’s hope Kerry “poofs” Netanyahu into submission sooner rather than later.

  5. James North
    April 8, 2014, 10:56 pm

    Hasbara Central is canceling vacations and imposing double shifts. You will see the results soon here at Mondoweiss.

    • Kay24
      April 8, 2014, 11:01 pm

      Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

      Hasbara does not measure up to anything.

    • just
      April 8, 2014, 11:02 pm

      Hope they slept well last night……….

      heh. heh. heh.

    • hophmi
      April 8, 2014, 11:08 pm

      Uh huh. We are all quaking in our boots over this. LOL. I mean, it’s like the word poof erases the bipartisan support Israel has in Congress. And it’s like Israel has never been criticized by a SecState before.

      You guys really believe your own propaganda, don’t you?

      • Donald
        April 9, 2014, 11:24 am

        “We are all quaking in our boots over this. ”

        I don’t know how much stock to put in this “poof” comment–as you say (in different words), Congress is stuffed to the ceiling with Israel bootlickers and even the great hero Kerry blames the Palestinians for having the gall to assert some small portion of their basic rights.

        But what the hell is wrong with you? Aren’t you supposedly in favor of a 2SS? Instead, you cheer for a situation where you think that Congress will support Israel no matter what they do.

        The worst enemies of the 2ss are most of its alleged supporters. They only pretend to want it.

      • puppies
        April 9, 2014, 1:04 pm

        “Aren’t you supposedly in favor of a 2SS?”
        Who, Hophme? Not on your life. He is in favor of negotiations about a 2ss, to continue until such time as there are no Ayrabs left outside the Gaza Konzentrationslager-cum-shooting-range and Erets Yisrael becomes without people for a people without land.

      • Empiricon
        April 9, 2014, 12:31 pm

        Hophmi, while I unfortunately must agree with your assessment of the impact here, your smugness reveals your tribal, fear-of-the-other pathological mindset. No doubt that the support in Congress for Israel is a rousing success for Zionists! But the true depth of that support is likely no thicker than a $100 bill. Money talks in American politics like never before. An objective measure of right and wrong doesn’t matter to you because Israel IS the very definition of “right” to you. To you and the Zionistas, “a few [sic] houses” built on stolen land are not nearly as bad as the attempt by Palestinians to gain recognition of their unalienable rights. ‘Nuf said.

      • hophmi
        April 9, 2014, 12:45 pm

        “But what the hell is wrong with you? Aren’t you supposedly in favor of a 2SS? Instead, you cheer for a situation where you think that Congress will support Israel no matter what they do.”

        Yes, I am. I’m also in favor of reality. And I don’t think it’s positive for the 2SS when the 1SS crowd is celebrating an offhand comment.

        “your smugness reveals your tribal, fear-of-the-other pathological mindset”

        Exactly how does a remark that Israel retains bipartisan support in Congress suggest a fear-of-the-other?

        “But the true depth of that support is likely no thicker than a $100 bill.”

        That’s quite a statement about a reality that is several decades old now. I’d like to hear your definition of “depth.”

        “Money talks in American politics like never before.”

        Yeah, it does. But what is true today was true 40 years ago, so I don’t think it’s as simple as money.

        “To you and the Zionistas, “a few [sic] houses” built on stolen land are not nearly as bad as the attempt by Palestinians to gain recognition of their unalienable rights. ‘Nuf said.”

        Nah, I’m not a big fan of the houses in East Jerusalem. Nor am I a big fan of empty gestures like joining international treaties before you’re actually a state. But what I’m really not a fan of is people who don’t deal with reality, whether it’s here or in my own camp. They’re the most destructive of all, as far as I’m concerned. And right now, both are spinning Kerry’s comments for political purposes.

        Meanwhile, the Palestinians are still no closer to statehood, and won’t get there by deluding themselves about John Kerry.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 9, 2014, 1:34 pm

        “Nor am I a big fan of empty gestures like joining international treaties before you’re actually a state. ”

        Palestine is a state, duly recognized by most of the world. It’s currently not recognized by and under occupation by its predatory neighbor, sure, but it’s a state.

        “But what I’m really not a fan of is people who don’t deal with reality, whether it’s here or in my own camp.”

        You mean like how you won’t deal with the reality of the State of Palestine??

      • talknic
        April 9, 2014, 2:06 pm

        @ hophmi In true Hasbarrista denialist style

        ” Nor am I a big fan of empty gestures like joining international treaties before you’re actually a state.”

        The majority of the world have recognized Palestine as a state. Catch up there hophmi

        “But what I’m really not a fan of is people who don’t deal with reality, whether it’s here or in my own camp”

        Uh huh. Like denying an already recognized state, is not yet a state. You’re nonsense is so cute

        “Meanwhile, the Palestinians are still no closer to statehood”

        They’re already a state, no closer to being an ‘independent’ state because Israel refuses to end the occupation

        “and won’t get there by deluding themselves about John Kerry”

        They’re not. They’re joining international treaties AS A STATE!

      • amigo
        April 9, 2014, 2:56 pm

        “Meanwhile, the Palestinians are still no closer to statehood, and won’t get there by deluding themselves about John Kerry.”hopknee

        They are a State , so where you been hiding and in any event you certainly couldn,t care less about their rights because you only care about the Rights of Jews just like all racist bigoted ziofreaks.

        Your clearly unhinged about this very dangerous truth getting out about Israel,s true intentions.It spells the end of your vile wishes for a Goyim free racist so called democracy and light unto the Nations.

        Your oft told Lies will never become truth.

      • hophmi
        April 9, 2014, 4:30 pm

        Palestine is a state? OK. It still doesn’t have a vote at the UN, still is corrupt, still is divided with one half run by a terrorist organization, and still isn’t recognized by the West.

        So, yeah, I can acknowledge that 134 countries recognize the State. The reality on the ground is that it is not a state yet.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 9, 2014, 5:52 pm

        “So, yeah, I can acknowledge that 134 countries recognize the State. The reality on the ground is that it is not a state yet.”

        So much for you not being a “fan of is people who don’t deal with reality.” In reality, yes, it is a state, but merely one which is governed by different political factions and which is currently occupied by another state.

      • Hostage
        April 9, 2014, 7:10 pm

        Palestine is a state? OK. It still doesn’t have a vote at the UN, still is corrupt, still is divided with one half run by a terrorist organization, and still isn’t recognized by the West.

        If you need directions to “the West” just ask the 14 EU countries that voted to adopt the resolution to upgrade Palestine’s observer status to that of a non-member state. See EU divided in UN vote on Palestine’s status link to euractiv.com

        Israel’s previous President and Prime Minister have been found guilty of serious crimes and the current Foreign Minister was investigated for money laundering and corrupt appointments. There have been plenty of others jailed, like Aryeh Deri and Omri Sharon. Does that mean Israel isn’t a state yet?

        I see that you didn’t get the updated hasbara CliffsNotes about what that upgraded status entailed:

        Delegates at the U.N. General Assembly applauded enthusiastically on Monday as the Palestinian representative to the world body for the first time cast a vote on behalf of the “State of Palestine.”

        The vote itself – for a judge to serve on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) – was a relatively minor one . . .

        link to cnsnews.com

        UNESCO is “at the UN”, so Palestine does have a vote in at least one agency where the USA and Israel DO NOT: U.S., Israel lose UNESCO voting right in dispute over Palestinians link to haaretz.com

        FYI, The Cook Islands is a member state of the ICC, but still doesn’t have observer status or a vote in the UN General Assembly.

        I can acknowledge that 134 countries recognize the State. The reality on the ground is that it is not a state yet.

        A/RES/67/19 Status of Palestine in the United Nations was adopted on 29 November 2012 by 138 votes to 9 with 41 abstentions. link to unispal.un.org

      • puppies
        April 9, 2014, 8:32 pm

        @Hophmi – I love this. An American primarily loyal to the Zionist entity has the gall to talk of corruption about a puppet of his beloved bandits. Can’t think for a split second, eh?

      • hophmi
        April 10, 2014, 11:14 am

        “If you need directions to “the West” just ask the 14 EU countries that voted to adopt the resolution to upgrade Palestine’s observer status to that of a non-member state. ”

        Please list the EU members who have recognized Palestine as a state. The vast majority are former members of the Communist bloc and the non-aligned movement who recognized Palestine in 1988 and 1989.

        The answer is that no members of the EU have recognized Palestine as a state.

        “Israel’s previous President and Prime Minister have been found guilty of serious crimes and the current Foreign Minister was investigated for money laundering and corrupt appointments. ”

        Thank you for reminding us that Israel, like many democracies and unlike most Arab dictatorships where corruption is endemic, prosecutes its political leaders.

        “There have been plenty of others jailed, like Aryeh Deri and Omri Sharon. Does that mean Israel isn’t a state yet?”

        No. It means that Israel prosecutes even the wealthy and powerful, because it is not a kleptocracy, like Palestine was under Arafat, and remains to an extent under Abu Mazen.

        “Delegates at the U.N. General Assembly applauded enthusiastically on Monday as the Palestinian representative to the world body for the first time cast a vote on behalf of the “State of Palestine.””

        I’m so pleased. Let me know when the West recognizes the “State of Palestine.”

        “A/RES/67/19 Status of Palestine in the United Nations was adopted on 29 November 2012 by 138 votes to 9 with 41 abstentions”

        Still only 134 that recognize the State of Palestine, not including the US, Canada, or the EU.

        “An American primarily loyal to the Zionist entity has the gall to talk of corruption about a puppet of his beloved bandits. Can’t think for a split second, eh?”

        I’m not primarily loyal to the Zionist entity. That’s an antisemitic smear. You better think before you say that again, chief.

      • Hostage
        April 11, 2014, 5:06 am

        Please list the EU members who have recognized Palestine as a state.

        All of the EU countries that either voted for Palestine’s full membership in UNESCO or to upgrade its status to that of a UN member state dummy. Remember that some of these same countries and the US have spent years quibbling over which particular rule of procedure they employ to invite Palestine to participate in Security Council discussions, in order to avoid inadvertently extending official recognition of its statehood.

        § 204 of the Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States explains that, under customary law, the fact the United States is a member of an international organization to which another state that it does not recognize is also member, doesn’t imply any recognition. But if the United States votes to admit an entity to membership in an organization open only to states or as a state party, then that does constitute official recognition.

        Unless you were living in a cave, the online press were all over that story at the time.

    • Taxi
      April 8, 2014, 11:13 pm

      James,

      I’ve perused a few “Poof” articles on different news sites and by jove I’ve never seen the zio internet army out in such desperately high numbers and such vicious force. Not a good tactic when the jig is up, especially in America. All that remains is for voters to start threatening zio politicians with abandonment at the next elections.

      • hophmi
        April 9, 2014, 11:21 am

        “All that remains is for voters to start threatening zio politicians with abandonment at the next elections.”

        And they would do that, why?

        James Baker and President Bush I were just as harsh in their criticism, and nothing came of it in the end. Since that time, public support for Israel has gone up, not down.

        But I invite you all to go out and prove yourselves. Go out, and tell the public, didja see, didja see? John Kerry said that the reason the peace talks fell apart was that the Israelis announced the building of 700 housing units in East Jerusalem.

        And then let me know what happens. I predict the following responses:

        1. Most will have no clue what you are talking about.
        2. Some will wonder why building a few houses is an excuse to stop a long-term peace negotiation.
        3. If they’re conservatives, they will wonder why Kerry got involved in the first place, and ask why he can’t just let Israel handle its own problems.
        4. They’ll also wonder why we are the PA’s largest benefactor, since we get literally less than nothing for the money.
        5. 5-7% of them might tell you that you’re right.

      • justicewillprevail
        April 9, 2014, 12:47 pm

        a ‘few’ houses? Hilarious

      • Hostage
        April 9, 2014, 12:52 pm

        James Baker and President Bush I were just as harsh in their criticism, and nothing came of it in the end.

        You’re all wet as usual. Bush forced Shamir to choose between loan guarantees for absorption of Russian immigrants or illegal settlement expansion.

      • hophmi
        April 9, 2014, 1:57 pm

        “Bush forced Shamir to choose between loan guarantees for absorption of Russian immigrants or illegal settlement expansion.”

        Yeah. Much worse than today. It didn’t dilute the support Israel has in Congress or with the American public.

        I feel like I keep needing to remind you that I know the activist game of slaving over every word high-profile leaders say very well, and I’ve seen how it usually amounts to a big pile of nothing. Kerry did not place primary blame on the Israelis, headline or no headline, and pretending that he did won’t help the Palestinians, who remain stateless. It won’t help the Israelis either, but if your gambit is achieving more support for your cause where it matters, it’s not working.

      • Hostage
        April 9, 2014, 2:30 pm

        Yeah. Much worse than today. It didn’t dilute the support Israel has in Congress or with the American public.

        It obviously did, because Congress went along with the President on the question of loan guarantees, not Shamir.

      • Donald
        April 9, 2014, 3:52 pm

        “I feel like I keep needing to remind you that I know the activist game of slaving over every word high-profile leaders say very well, and I’ve seen how it usually amounts to a big pile of nothing. Kerry did not place primary blame on the Israelis, headline or no headline, and pretending that he did won’t help the Palestinians, who remain stateless. ”

        Here for once I tend to agree with you. There’s a tendency with some political activists (on almost any issue, not just this one) to see the world as they want to see it and imagine great victories where not much has happened. (My favorite Orwell essay “Notes on Nationalism” mentions this.) I’ll take this “poof” comment seriously in hindsight, if we really do see a serious and lasting split between the US government and Israel over Israeli intransigence. Now what I do see is that the Obama administration isn’t playing the game Clinton played back in 2000, pretending that the failure of the Camp David talks was all Arafat’s fault. So that’s some tiny bit of progress, but unless there’s more, the emphasis there should be on “tiny”. In the end, if the talks crumble, the US will blame both sides and continue to support Israel. If they stop supporting Israel in some significant way, then this “poof” comment will be a harbinger. Otherwise it’s not much of anything.

        And yeah, the vast majority of Americans are most likely completely unaware of this, and much of what they think they know about the I/P conflict they probably get from popular culture. I know people who read spy novels involving Israeli heroes–I’m sure they aren’t balancing the hasbara they consume in their pleasure reading with books by Rashid Khalidi and Max Blumenthal.

      • pjdude
        April 12, 2014, 6:11 pm

        You understand that those”few” houses are a war crime?

    • Nurit Baytch
      April 9, 2014, 3:03 pm

      Mondoweiss commenters call me a hasbarist, but I’m actually pleased with Kerry’s comment b/c he’s proven Tzipi Livni right:
      link to timesofisrael.com

      My hope is that it will be a wake-up call for Bibi to rein in Uri Ariel and HaBayit HaYehudi.

      • Hostage
        April 9, 2014, 3:50 pm

        Mondoweiss commenters call me a hasbarist, but I’m actually pleased with Kerry’s comment b/c he’s proven Tzipi Livni right

        Livni is spouting hasbara, about Abbas not being a partner for peace. She’s just angry that the other ministers have spoiled her efforts to drag out the talks about the talks for another year. If Abbas keeps it up, and gets the ICC to investigate, she may have to cancel her travel plans.

      • ritzl
        April 9, 2014, 5:04 pm

        Hi Hostage, You’ve probably done it before here, but if this pans out, would you consider doing an overview of what universal jurisdiction (if that’s the right phrase) means and where it’s applicable? (Assuming it is applicable to Israeli leaders and their “travel plans.”)

        Or maybe just the treaty rights and obligations of countries where Israeli leaders might travel.

      • Hostage
        April 9, 2014, 6:22 pm

        would you consider doing an overview of what universal jurisdiction (if that’s the right phrase) means and where it’s applicable?

        See Amnesty International’s “Universal Jurisdiction: A Preliminary Survey Of Legislation Around The World – 2012, Update” link to amnesty.org

      • ritzl
        April 9, 2014, 8:06 pm

        Thanks, Hostage. I hope everyone that visits this site reads that. Important.

      • Kathleen
        April 9, 2014, 6:12 pm

        ” If Abbas keeps it up, and gets the ICC to investigate, she may have to cancel her travel plans.” That would be a breath of fresh air.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 9, 2014, 4:17 pm

        “but I’m actually pleased with Kerry’s comment b/c he’s proven Tzipi Livni right:”

        How so? She’s spouting nonsense, blaming Abbas when it was Israel that broke the deal. Surely you can’t be suggesting that Palestine was still obligated not to proceed with the international orgs as it wished to after Isreal broke the deal, are you?

      • Kathleen
        April 9, 2014, 6:14 pm

        And this is what Abbas said he would do..

      • MHughes976
        April 9, 2014, 4:24 pm

        I’m quite close to Donald at this point, though maybe the difference between the Clinton days, when the Generous Offer story was almost universally accepted, and this moment is a bit more than tiny. This time there is at least an argument. We’re still very much the weaker party in the argument, of course, with almost no support in the political class or in mainstream journalism. We do at least have some visible strength in the slightly unreal worlds of academic and student politics. But that is enough to worry people.

      • ritzl
        April 9, 2014, 4:56 pm

        Great comment MHughes. Not to mention an overwhelming litany/history of connectable and supporting facts seeping out that directly refute the Israeli version of things.

        In this case the biggie is Israel’s renege on the prisoner exchange deal that got this round of process going in the first place. EVERYONE understands what that means. It’s not subtle. Not subtle at all.

        Media misdirection won’t work this time, imo. The renege is too standalone. And should this time be the recognition point/pivot, it won’t work in the future. We’re living change.

      • Hostage
        April 9, 2014, 6:15 pm

        In this case the biggie is Israel’s renege on the prisoner exchange deal that got this round of process going in the first place. EVERYONE understands what that means. It’s not subtle. Not subtle at all.

        Let’s not forget the statements from Cabinet ministers that there will never be a Palestinian state; the vote of approval on the first reading of the bill to unilaterally annex the Jordan Valley; the passage of the bill requiring a super majority in the Knesset/national referendum on transfer and withdrawal from so-called Israeli territory; and the threat from Bennett that he would leave the coalition if Kerry’s framework was merely placed on the Knesset agenda for discussion.

      • Kathleen
        April 9, 2014, 6:16 pm

        That and the timing of yet more expansion of illegal housing .

      • Hostage
        April 9, 2014, 5:48 pm

        We do at least have some visible strength in the slightly unreal worlds of academic and student politics. But that is enough to worry people.

        I don’t think the 15 treaties are academic at this point. Palestine either has the legal and customary right to provide assistance to its citizens in Israeli and other foreign prisons under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations or the Third Geneva Convention on POWs. See for example:
        * UK Supreme Court Rejects Jack Goldsmith’s Interpretation of GC IV. link to opiniojuris.org
        * Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America) link to icj-cij.org

        It was academic back in 1989. Prof L.C. Green noted then, that Israel had refused to recognize the Palestinian militias as privileged combatants, because the government of Jordan had declared them illegal. But he noted that that decision would no longer apply once the Declaration Establishing the State of Palestine had been issued and the PLO had acceded to the Geneva Conventions. During Cast Lead, Israeli war planners claimed they targeted the Gaza Police force because they were a uniformed militia. When you invade an urban area, the laws of war allow the local militia to defend the place. The Goldstone report noted that Hamas fighters wore camouflage uniforms and headbands. At some point in the near future the other High Contracting parties and the ICC will have to deal with the status of the 7,000 Palestinians that have been illegally deported out of the occupied territories to prisons in Israel. link to books.google.com

        That is a widespread and systematic violation of both the 3rd Geneva Convention and the 4th Geneva Convention and it is also a war crime according to the Rome Statute. The responsible Israeli authorities include the members of the Knesset and the Supreme Court. The Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) rejected a petition to order the State to refrain from holding Palestinian prisoners and detainees in facilities located in Israeli territory within the Green Line. See HCJ Rejects Petition against Holding Detained Palestinians in Israeli Territory [HCJ 2690/09] [28.3.2010] link to idi.org.il

        Reports say that Abbas is reaffirming the signature or ratifying Palestine’s accession to the Civilian and POW Conventions with the ICRC. For its own part, the ICRC had already taken notice of the UNESCO vote granting Palestine the status of a full member state and the fact that Palestine had deposited an accession to The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, 1954.
        link to icrc.org

        Around that same time, it updated the map showing the state parties to the four Geneva conventions and the two additional protocols, which indicated that Palestine as already a party to those Conventions, before Abbas signed anything last week. link to icrc.org

      • Nurit Baytch
        April 9, 2014, 10:37 pm

        Wow, I forgot about this post and checked back to find a dozen replies. I thought it was obvious I was referring to Livni’s contention that Uri Ariel derailed the peace talks but apparently not.

      • Hostage
        April 10, 2014, 12:19 am

        I thought it was obvious I was referring to Livni’s contention that Uri Ariel derailed the peace talks but apparently not.

        The tag line of the article you cited says that she thinks Abbas is not a partner for peace. Let’s face it, Livni is the chief negotiator. So she agreed to kick the can down the road another ten years on ending the occupation, by demanding a continued IDF presence in the Jordan Valley, with the sole option to renew reserved by the Israeli side. These talks have merely been talks about talks, with no substance.

    • Kathleen
      April 9, 2014, 3:34 pm

      Witnessing the increase of hasbara shifts several other places too. Even getting hit on my fb page where I post information about the I/P issue

      • chuckcarlos
        April 9, 2014, 3:52 pm

        humorous actually…

        uneducated goons…have not read the Constitution, do know much bout History…US at least…don’t know much biology…some stuff they write is rather stilted…

        even their politicians who claim to know Americans have not a clue about Chiricahua, Mescalero…or even Captain Jack…not Sparrow..

        most likely don’t know any black folks either…

        very humorous

  6. Kay24
    April 8, 2014, 11:00 pm

    Finally, a top US official being honest, and deservedly blaming the side that was responsible for talks failing. Perhaps next they may try to down play what he said, and try to once again blame both sides, but for those who followed these ridiculous peace talks from the beginning, and saw time after time Israel show reluctance, arrogance, and violate many rules, this is not a surprise. I would have liked to have heard Kerry say, that the Palestinians have no choice, but to change their course of actions and go to the UN to be recognized as a legitimate state, and that the US is going to support them, but I doubt those words will ever be uttered, while we are under occupation too.

    • Citizen
      April 9, 2014, 12:40 pm

      @ Kay24
      This morning the WH press spokeswoman did more than downplay what our Sec of State said; she ignored it: link to middleeastmonitor.com

      Wonder when Kerry will realize he’s just Obama’s gopher, and Obama, in turn, is Israel’s gopher. Thank you Penny Pritzer et al (I mean Obama’s handlers).

  7. Blownaway
    April 8, 2014, 11:22 pm

    Two comments: It wasn’t brave of Kerry to tell the truth. In fact it was mealy mouthed and cowardly in it’s equivocation. The NYT tried to spin it but the readers now have been holding them accountable…..that’s some good news

    • Kathleen
      April 9, 2014, 6:18 pm

      Agree with you about not being “brave” but way overdue. Stating the facts which generally does not seep through the MSM to the American masses.

  8. Kathleen
    April 8, 2014, 11:48 pm

    Kerry “poof” pointing at the illegal settlements and Israel’s refusal to release Palestinian prisoners.

    Aaron David Miller does not bring up illegal settlements, Israel’s refusal to release Palestinian prisoners. No surprise
    link to foreignpolicy.com

    • yonah fredman
      April 9, 2014, 12:06 am

      Speaking about Aaron David Miller, I just read parts of his book, “too much promised land” and it was illuminating particularly in regards to the Camp David summit of 2000. But also this: the Carter administration spent its first 10 months pursuing a Geneva conference that went nowhere, but that wrongheaded pursuit led Sadat to visit Jerusalem, which led to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. It is not likely but it might be conceivable that Kerry’s pursuit of the impossible might lead to new Israeli elections that might lead to a new coalition more receptive to Kerry’s ideas. True, it is unlikely, but maybe the lesson of Carter I (meaning Carter pre Sadat to Jerusalem) is that benign neglect leads nowhere, but pursuit of something even something illogical might lead to a dynamic that was unknown before the pursuit began.

      • Kathleen
        April 9, 2014, 12:24 am

        What in the world could that unknown “dynamic” possibly be?

      • yonah fredman
        April 9, 2014, 12:39 am

        Not sure, just speculating. But let’s see. If Obama loses the Senate in November what will he do with his last two years in office? If Obama maintains the Senate what will he do with his last two years in office? I think post November Obama may be different than the current Obama. (Unlike Clinton, Obama’s wife will not run for office and so there will be no electoral reason to keep toeing the line with Israel for the sake of Hillary in 2016.)

      • talknic
        April 9, 2014, 3:41 am

        @ yonah fredman “Not sure, just speculating. But let’s see. If Obama loses the Sen..”

        Uh? Why don’t you just speculate on the fact that Israel has for the last 65 years ignored its obligations to International Law, the UN Charter AND its own Declaration regardless of which POTUS has been in power.

        The one thing that hasn’t yet been tried is for Israel to abide by the law and withdraw from ALL non-Israeli territories for once. Israel could implement such a policy immediately, unilaterally and without any US involvement what so ever.

      • Kathleen
        April 9, 2014, 10:17 am

        I have thought about this. Watched Obama closely while he was Senator. Don’t think he has the cajones. Too invested…If he even thought about taking a more solid stand what would he do? Executive order to cut off aid to Israel? Beyond a mutiny. Clinton’s would be applying amazing pressure on his to stay in line so Hillary wins. Just do not think Obama has the cajones.

      • puppies
        April 9, 2014, 12:39 pm

        @Friedman – That’s it, extend the talks on your own. Ventilate quasi-not-entirely-impossible scenarios. Kiss more Obama bottom. Rally the troops. Tally-ho, go skewer some antisemites…

      • seafoid
        April 9, 2014, 4:05 am

        “It is not likely but it might be conceivable that Kerry’s pursuit of the impossible might lead to new Israeli elections that might lead to a new coalition more receptive to Kerry’s ideas. ”

        Bukra fi mishmish

        Yossi Israeli grew fat and complacent on ha occupation. Now he’s got to go to the gym and work it off without provoking a cardiac arrest.

      • yonah fredman
        April 9, 2014, 10:06 pm

        Optimism regarding the future of peace talks with the current voting propensities of the Israeli electorate, let alone the current coalition, is certainly misplaced. It is not as if the world is waiting for my optimism or pessimism, so therefore I allow my emotions to vary according to the day and the last column that i’ve read and i also allow myself to write words based upon those evanescent emotions as well. Here are the words of Zvi Barel that inspired my “optimism”:

        link to haaretz.com

        “Until a few weeks ago, would anyone have dreamed that the peace process would overshadow the corruption trial of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the testimony of his longtime bureau chief Shula Zaken, the issue of the price of housing or the scandal surrounding singer Eyal Golan?

        “Suddenly, this battered piece of furniture that no one dared throw out and whose ugliness was covered with a pique blanket, has revived, and is not threatening war or even, at the least, an intifada; it is bringing the elections into the heart of the discourse.

        “Kerry has succeeded in throwing Israel into a dilemma that it never wanted to deal with: an election that could end up with Lieberman, Likudnik Danny Danon, Yisrael Beiteinu’s David Rotem and Habayit Hayehudi’s Naftali Bennett leading the Kingdom of Israel, or yet another victory for Netanyahu. Or a second chance for the center-left to do what it did not succeed in doing 14 months ago.

        “Kerry could force Israel to redefine itself and hold the real referendum. Because he will not apportion blame to either of the sides, rather declare that each one is fully to blame with respect to itself.

        “So, here is another command: Kerry must stay. Not to serve the right wing or inflame the left. Because as long as he is around, there is an opportunity to change the government. After all, we will not carry out the revolution on our own.”

  9. Kathleen
    April 9, 2014, 12:25 am

    Human Rights Watch: The US Is Blocking Palestinian Statehood, Rights
    link to antiwar.com

    Nothing up over at National Review or Weekly Standard to Kerry’s “poof” statement. Unless I missed it. Tomorrow to be sure

    • Kay24
      April 9, 2014, 1:05 am

      That was interesting. It seems Israel wants the status quo and not peace, and the US is simply going along with it, making it difficult for the Palestinians.
      Coming soon, retaliation from the Israelis, perhaps refuse to release the Palestinian taxes to the victims, and the Congress voting to stop the aid to the occupied., like they did last time to show just how mean and vindictive they can be.

  10. Kathleen
    April 9, 2014, 12:34 am

    Prof Cole.

    Top Ten Ways in which it was Actually the Israeli Gov’t that Derailed the Peace Talks
    By Juan Cole | Apr. 7, 2014
    link to juancole.com

    Nothing specific up at Cole’s in response to Kerry’s “poof” statement…yet. But he certainly covers Israel’s role in the meltdown.

    • Citizen
      April 9, 2014, 1:09 pm

      @ Kathleen
      Nothing’s up yet on Cole’s website in response to Kerry’s poof statement, nor to the WH spokes woman who ignored it this morning.

  11. just
    April 9, 2014, 12:46 am

    “Unfortunately, the prisoners weren’t released on the Saturday they were supposed to be released. And so day [one] went by, day two went by day three went by and then in the afternoon when they were about to maybe get there, 700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem. And poof! That was sort of the moment.”

    For me, this is stunning in its entirety. A synopsis of the delay, delay, lies, lies by our ‘allies’ over these many decades ending in a ‘poof’.

    • Citizen
      April 9, 2014, 1:12 pm

      @ just
      What’s stunning is the WH spokesperson this morning totally ignored Kerry’s timeline here as to what caused the current breakdown of the peace process, and even more, totally ignored what Kerry said.

  12. W.Jones
    April 9, 2014, 2:11 am

    Half of Israelis and their supporters don’t want a two state solution. Much of the other half is not interested in actively opposing them. The rest of the world does not care a lot, and the Palestinians are conquered and dispossessed.

    I don’t see how the situation of a “no solution” is going to change anytime soon.

    • bilal a
      April 9, 2014, 1:43 pm

      The Saudis, GCC, and Egypt are also apathetic. Certainly the Palestinian leadership and its allies in the West share some of the blame for this apathy. Or is it plain Fear? No one wants to end up like Morsi or Gaddafi.

  13. talknic
    April 9, 2014, 3:05 am

    Until the US drops the veto vote in the UNSC against actions to be taken for Israel’s obvious illegal activities, it’s all BULLSH*T!

  14. ToivoS
    April 9, 2014, 3:45 am

    I mentioned this last week that it looked like the usual Zionist supporters were not prepared to blame the Palestinians for the collapse of these talks when it was clear that the talks had collapsed. I would have not expected to see Kerry join in. It seems that everyone is on the same page here finally. Israel owns the WB and there is no one who can challenge that fact. I have trouble seeing why Israel thinks that owning up to this obvious fact is going to improve their position. Whatever, this is progress though in the immediate term the Palestinians will have to, yet again, pay a terrible price.

    • Kay24
      April 9, 2014, 3:53 am

      Everyone knows the truth, except the hasbaracuda, who keeps blaming everyone, even Kerry, for the peace talks failing. It seems the announcements of illegal settlement building, and Israel reneging on it’s promising to release Palestinian prisoners, did not happen in their minds.
      Here is proof that Bibi is vindictive, and already retaliating to the Palestinians making a bid to be recognized at the UN.
      link to haaretz.com

      And now the US Congress will say “how high” when AIPAC demands they join in the collective punishment.

      • Kathleen
        April 9, 2014, 10:19 am

        “except the hasbaracuda” they know.

  15. Citizen
    April 9, 2014, 4:23 am

    Let’s see if Kerry’s statement gets on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News–don’t hold your breath.

    • Kathleen
      April 9, 2014, 6:20 pm

      Hope folks report if they hear a mention of the “poof” on any of these outlets

  16. seethelight
    April 9, 2014, 8:18 am

    “If Obama loses the Senate in November”

    If Republicans gain control of the Senate (and continue to control the House), it won’t matter what Obama does with his last two years. During that time the Israelis will move vigorously to add significantly more settlements in the West Bank, creating new facts on the ground by 2016. Furthermore, it won’t matter if Hillary or a Repub moves into the White House. Greater Israel will have been achieved. The debate will have moved from freezing the settlements to freezing Israeli transfer of Palestinians out of the West Bank.

  17. seafoid
    April 9, 2014, 8:30 am

    link to theguardian.com
    “Netanyahu orders halt to Palestinian talks
    Israeli PM orders ministers to stop meeting Palestinian counterparts in response to ‘provocative’ UN move”

    Typical psychopath. His rules or he throws his toys out of the pram. How dare the Palestinians agitate for their rights.
    How did Judaism end up with such a leader ?

    • puppies
      April 9, 2014, 12:30 pm

      He’s a leader of Zionism. This is really no time to confuse things, as religious leadership may start ditching the sinking ship.

      • bilal a
        April 9, 2014, 1:49 pm

        Yet how much of contemporary ‘reform’ Judaism is religious? Ethno Nationalism is all that remains for them, except the revolutionary spirit for Justice , which may save all of us.

      • puppies
        April 11, 2014, 2:33 pm

        bilal – “Reform”? I meant the sincerely religious with a solid ethical framework, not Reform that are more likely to have found make-believe religion in the last 40 years out of Zionism.

  18. Walid
    April 9, 2014, 9:22 am

    ““Netanyahu orders halt to Palestinian talks”

    Now we’ll see how serious President Abbas reacts to this move. If he plows ahead with the UN/ICC, it would show he was for real with the 15 applications. If not and he continues dilly-dallying until someone throws him a face or a life saver, it would prove that it was just another of his tactics in the spirit of his several threats of resigning.

    • seafoid
      April 9, 2014, 9:47 am

      What is the point of talking to the soi disant King of the Jews anyway? He just wants to build more settlements to feed his claimed people’s sense of entitlement.

      • puppies
        April 9, 2014, 12:33 pm

        What’s the point of Abbas talking to his boss? Depends. If he senses that he’ll lose it all (probably also life) by not following through, he’ll follow through. If he thinks he may get away with it again… we know the drill.

    • seafoid
      April 9, 2014, 10:02 am

      link to haaretz.com

      “China urges Israel to make ‘brave’ decisions on peace talks
      President tells Israeli counterpart he hopes Israel ‘keeps in mind the broader picture of peace, shows strategic wisdom.'”

      Nicole Scherzinger sings to Zionism on behalf of the Palestinians

      link to youtube.com
      I
      was under your spell for such a long time couldn’t break the negotiating chains
      You played with my good faith tore me apart with all your lies and games
      It took all the strength I had but I crawled up on my feet again
      Now you’re trying to lure me back but no those days are gone my friend
      I trusted you so much then I thought someday that you could change WTF
      But all you brought me was a land full of Jewish squatters

      You can’t touch me now at the UN
      There’s no feeling left
      If you think I’m coming back
      Don’t hold your breath
      What you did to me bots I can’t forget
      If you think I’m coming back
      Don’t hold your breath
      Don’t hold your breath”

      • amigo
        April 9, 2014, 11:15 am

        “If you think I’m coming back
        Don’t hold your breath” seafoid

        I hope they do hold their breath.

  19. Sycamores
    April 9, 2014, 9:32 am

    i was surprise that there was no backlash during the rest of the hearing to Kerry’s ‘pooh’ remark from the senators.

    • seafoid
      April 9, 2014, 10:22 am

      Strenger spells it out

      link to haaretz.com

      “In the last months I heard from reliable sources that Netanyahu had reali
      zed that Israel’s future depends on ending the occupation. I have no reason to believe that they misled me. It rather seems that Netanyahu, in the end, cannot change his basic character: His right-wing instincts seem to be stronger than his rational judgment, and he has now ordered ending any contact with the Palestinian Authority.
      It therefore appears that you, Israel’s right-wingers, are winning. In the end Danon, Elkin and Bennett have succeeded in drawing Netanyahu back into his habitual state of mind. You may therefore rejoice, thinking that you have won and what you call the decadent Tel Avivi liberals are losing for good.
      You are not realizing that your victory is Pyrrhic and shortsighted.
      In the long run the price for your seeming triumph is no less than Israel’s future. And the price will not be limited to us liberals: All Israelis and the Jewish People as a whole will bear the consequences of your disastrous thoughtlessness.”

      Beautiful thoughtlessness

      • Sycamores
        April 9, 2014, 11:00 am

        thanks seafoid,

        His right-wing instincts seem to be stronger than his rational judgment

        what a great quote

        right-wing instincts are the antithesis to rational judgment

        or when rational judgment is used the right-winger stays quiet as in the case of the Senate hearing.

      • MHughes976
        April 9, 2014, 2:02 pm

        I’m not so sure how important the ‘right-wing’ element is: at least I don’t think it’s connected to right-wingness in the form of support for traditional capitalist social institutions. Israeli capitalists presumably wish, if thinking in purely capitalistic terms, to get the best return from labour and so would like a situation where there were no political complications to using the labour of Palestinian hands and brains. The checkpoints and all that are a cost for Isreali employers as well as for Palestinian workers.
        Even on the right open rejection of the famous peace process is a minority thing, I think. It’s just an idea whose time has never quite come and has no obvious moment when its time will arrive. The need is always there – I think that’s what Netanyahu’s people have been telling Mr. Strenger, who really wanted to believe them. They weren’t exactly lying, they just didn’t add that the need is never pressing. It’s always more important to improve the negotiating position another little bit.
        Underlyingly, the problem is not that people will the capitalist system to survive but that they cannot really bring themselves to be Zionists who renounce Zionism by putting the Palestinians in a position where they can ‘We too have a birthright here, you admit it yourselves in the great agreement’.

      • seafoid
        April 9, 2014, 4:17 pm

        MHughes

        right wing in the Israeli context means Jewish nationalist, anti rational, semi messianic , 100% of the land, Hevron, f$ck the goys

        Left wing in Israel means right wing everywhere else.

      • W.Jones
        April 10, 2014, 9:54 pm

        Seafoid,

        Have you heard the stories of the left wing settlers who talk about how progressive their communities and communal gatherings are? There are PEPs in Palestine.

      • seafoid
        April 12, 2014, 4:17 pm

        I used to meet some of them at the Jerusalem cinematheque. Very interested in film.

      • W.Jones
        April 12, 2014, 6:50 pm

        They are often depicted in such documentaries as Occupation 101, sometimes playing their own characters.

  20. RobertB
    April 9, 2014, 9:39 am

    Chris Hedges on “Israel’s War on American Universities”

    Video

    link to informationclearinghouse.info

  21. Justpassingby
    April 9, 2014, 9:40 am

    +1
    Abbas is as stupid as netanyahu.

    • puppies
      April 9, 2014, 12:54 pm

      JPB – “Abbas is as stupid as netanyahu.”
      The kind of judgment that tells you only about the judge.

    • seafoid
      April 9, 2014, 4:32 pm

      Bennett is a grade A moron

      link to haaretz.com
      “Bennett to Netanyahu: Israel must annex settlement blocs in response to Palestinian move
      Economy Minister says annexation, coming in response to PA’s request to join 15 UN bodies, will be similar to the imposition of sovereignty on Jerusalem and the Golan Heights by previous governments.”

    • Hostage
      April 9, 2014, 6:04 pm

      Abbas is as stupid as netanyahu.

      Well then, since he isn’t playing tri-dimensional chess against a grand master, he only has to engage in a simple battle of tit for tat. Abbas and the PLO have repeatedly stated, that if the stalemate and settlement construction continues, and they are denied independence, they will give Israel the keys to the Muqata and demand citizenship in Israel and the right to vote. Things may even be going according to plan.

      • Kathleen
        April 9, 2014, 6:22 pm

        For now looks like that is the way it is headed. What many expected

  22. RepresentativePress
    April 9, 2014, 11:18 am

    The NYT changed “Israeli Settlement Plan Derailed Peace Talks, Kerry Says” to “Mideast Frustration, the Sequel” as I show in my video: Kerry Blames Israel for Derailing Peace Talks BUT …

  23. Ira Glunts
    April 9, 2014, 11:40 am

    Ma’ariv quoted an unnamed Israeli government source this morning (April 9) as saying that Netanyahu has instructed his negotiators to halt all “peace talks” with the Palestinians.

    But the “peace process” will never die, it’s too good of an American business.

    • seafoid
      April 9, 2014, 11:54 am

      Israel dropping the peace process is as strategically coherent as Hefner abandoning his nightly Viagra. The goys need to see the process mentioned on their media in order to believe Israel is interested in peace. Those who have not seen but yet believe are restricted to Zionism.

      • Ira Glunts
        April 9, 2014, 12:21 pm

        Oh, I forgot the best part. The newspaper claims BB is cancelling talks as payback for Kerry’s poof remark. Sweet.

      • puppies
        April 9, 2014, 12:28 pm

        Reminds me of ex-wife’s logic.

      • bilal a
        April 9, 2014, 1:52 pm

        self destructive vindictiveness , yes.

      • Ira Glunts
        April 10, 2014, 5:49 am

        I forgot something else. BB wants to punish Abbas by stopping a West Bank company from bringing their cell phone service to Gaza.

        Isn’t BB a prince?

      • puppies
        April 9, 2014, 12:24 pm

        @seafoid – That is normal logic for common mortals. Zionists, or any other battle-drunk crazies –take the neocons or Attila’s general staff– are mortal but not common mortals. They are now at the stage where they are obliged to pile one on another all possible humiliations of the disarmed enemy to please and reassure the settler fraction. They now have a second army within the post-67 occupation, much tougher, more lawless and more blodthirsty than the official army, settled there with their parallel weaponry, their camp followers, wives, etc., the kids dragged there in the danger zone as live shields.
        This just means that any talks are unnecessary anyway. Even if they just declared the “statehood” of the post-67 occupied territories, how do you like the oxymoron, the settler army is there to pursue the ethnic cleansing (why we shouldn’t call it genocide is beyond me) and annexation until the *people of bloodthirsty psuedo-racial racist nationhood have their *land without people.
        To summarize: it’s as if Hefner had gotten good news from his doctor: it’s OK, Hugh –our boys in America cut its balls for the transplant!

    • Kathleen
      April 9, 2014, 3:37 pm

      With Netanyahu they never started.

  24. anthonybellchambers
    April 9, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Prime Minister, Binyam Netanyahu, seems determined to increase Israel’s isolation within the global community of democratic nations as it continues to treat international law and the United Nations, the US government and the European Union, with complete contempt.

    As he authorises yet still more illegal housing in the Palestinian West Bank in defiance of the Geneva Conventions and in a deliberate provocation designed to torpedo the peace talks, this maverick politician is creating a toxic legacy that will inevitably lead to eventual war in the Middle East as he leads his country into the political and economic wilderness as Europe loses patience with Israeli intransigence.

  25. Citizen
    April 9, 2014, 1:23 pm

    It’s interesting, as re Syria, Kerry spills his guts and Putin jumps in, and now Kerry spills his guts again, and what? The WH press secretary comes out this morning and totally ignores what he said? What should we make of that? Obama’s Israel First handlers are in full control still?

    • Kay24
      April 9, 2014, 10:17 pm

      Not only the WH press secretary, the media too. We would never hear the truth.
      Would anyone in the zionist controlled US media, ever emphasize the fact that Abbas only decided to join the 15 UN associations AFTER Israel refused to release the Palestinian prisoners, as AGREED? Will they mention that Israel kept breaking the rules, while it announced more illegal settlements, during peace talks?
      So far, I have only heard the Palestinians getting the blame, even Kerry. Typical zionist controlled media. I have not respect for these pro Israel loyalists pretending to be Americans, in Congress to the media.

    • Bandolero
      April 10, 2014, 1:14 am

      Citizen

      What Obama likely has to worry about are such figures:

      U.S. support for Israel

      U.S. general public
      22% Too supportive
      25% Not supportive enough
      41% About right
      11% Don’t know

      Source:
      link to pewresearch.org

      The hard – and ugly – fact is: there is still a lot of public support for Israel in the U.S. However, truthfully assigning blame onto Israel may change that slowly, but don’t expect quick results overnight.

      The art of the game is running policy with public backing by steering public opinion and than, when that’s done, adopting the position. Being too quick means being vulnerable for a counter attack.

      So, all in all, I think, Kerry did it well here. He just gets more people used to the process that blame is assigned onto Israel, but he doesn’t so much that he and Obama would be exposed.

  26. Taxi
    April 9, 2014, 1:28 pm

    If there was no zionist occupation of our congress, our senate and mainstream media, if America was truly free, then this is what it would say to israel and Palestine:
    ‘Now you listen to me you little sh*ts, I’m the f*cking superpower here and if you don’t do exactly as I f*cking say, I’m gonna open a can of whoopee on the bothayerasses! Now get the f*ck outta my face and go make resolution 242 happen! Problem f*cking solved! Capish mothereffers?!’

    • pjdude
      April 12, 2014, 6:28 pm

      There’s only so far you can push sociopaths with nukes. That would be a dangerous game. To pull it off you’d need to shadow every israeli sub and severally beef missle defenses in Europe the Middle East and North Africa to get away with such belligerence. The Israelis aren’t going to hem and haw if they know their is a good shot of having to tangle with militaries it knows will kick the crap out of it it’s gonna start launching nukes at people. In their mind they conquered Palestine fair and square and if they can’t keep as much as they and have the state fall or falter; their going to try and take as many people down with them as possible.

  27. hophmi
    April 9, 2014, 2:00 pm

    The peace process will continue as long as there are American Presidents and SecStates who wish to try to use it to cement their legacies, because all of these people share some sentimental interest in the Holy Land. And let’s face it, the Israelis and Palestinians really seem to want the Americans there. The Europeans can’t really deliver anything, and neither can the UN. If UN support were enough to get the Palestinians a state, they would have had it already (besides the one they’ll have in Jordan when and if the monarchy falls). And of course, the Americans bankroll both sides.

    • Woody Tanaka
      April 9, 2014, 2:28 pm

      “If UN support were enough to get the Palestinians a state, they would have had it already (besides the one they’ll have in Jordan when and if the monarchy falls).”

      So now I see you’re trading in the “Jordan is really Palestine” libel. Typical anti-Arab racism.

    • talknic
      April 9, 2014, 3:04 pm

      @ hophmi “The peace process will continue as long as there are American Presidents and SecStates who wish to try to use it to cement their legacies, because all of these people share some sentimental interest in the Holy Land”

      The love of lobby money… that’s $ome $entimental intere$t they $hare!

      “If UN support were enough to get the Palestinians a state”

      Too late buddy link to israelnationalnews.com

      “(besides the one they’ll have in Jordan when and if the monarchy falls)”

      Your ignorance over floweth and your theory based on it is cute

      1) The monarchy is not the state
      2) Only Jordanians have a right to determine the future of their state. Palestinians do not.

  28. Hostage
    April 9, 2014, 2:41 pm

    If UN support were enough to get the Palestinians a state, they would have had it already (besides the one they’ll have in Jordan when and if the monarchy falls). And of course, the Americans bankroll both sides.

    The big hurdle is getting into the treaty bodies, trade organizations, and the international courts, not the UN political organs. Article 2 of the UN Charter protects member and non-member states alike. But treaty bodies, trade organizations, and international courts can put sanctions in place.

    • puppies
      April 9, 2014, 3:00 pm

      @Hostage – The lawyerly part of it notwithstanding, to have a Palestinian state you need independence and an army. Not likely before some major conflagration that will reshuffle all of Palestine and possibly the whole area. Until then, all the fictions remain as much of a fiction as today’s enforcement: Bush, Blair and Obama walk and the Congolese get charged. People know this. Statehood can only be milked that far and no further.

      • Hostage
        April 9, 2014, 4:19 pm

        @Hostage – The lawyerly part of it notwithstanding, to have a Palestinian state you need independence and an army.

        Propaganda aside, statehood is simply a legal status conferred on one country by another. The Palestinians already have a state that 138 UN member countries recognize, despite the Israeli occupation and illegal colonization.

        Hungary and the Baltic states didn’t cease to exist, as states, simply because they were invaded or occupied. There have always been armies and militias without states; states without armies or militias; and a long list of occupied states with their own armies.

      • puppies
        April 9, 2014, 6:51 pm

        Yes Hostage. I do read, including your masterful expositions. I get that much, and I am aware of the importance of these facts for negotiations, papers, etc. The fact remains, though, that for the simple guy (lacking another word) a state is only there when it can enforce its laws and protect its people and their land. Ask Hezbollah. I am saying that betting all the farm on the lawyerly side (PA, state, puppets and their acrobatics, Abbas, etc.) only goes that far and the breaking point is at the door, to mix metaphors like a Friedman.

      • Hostage
        April 9, 2014, 11:33 pm

        I am saying that betting all the farm on the lawyerly side (PA, state, puppets and their acrobatics, Abbas, etc.) only goes that far and the breaking point is at the door, to mix metaphors like a Friedman.

        But I think that’s the plan Abbas has envisioned all along. If the PA and UN bids do not serve their ultimate purpose and end the occupation and establish the state, he will turn the reigns of government back over to Israel as the occupying power and demand citizenship and the vote. At his age, he’s not going to get another shot at this, and has said the Israelis will have to deal with his successor if the plan fails. If there is no court for the Palestinians, and sanctions are applied to punish them for exercising their rights, then the PLO will endorse a South African-style BDS movement that targets Israel proper for equal rights.

  29. LanceThruster
    April 9, 2014, 4:12 pm

    Go, go, go…go Johnny K, go!

  30. seafoid
    April 9, 2014, 4:43 pm

    link to haaretz.com

    “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s statements before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should not have surprised anyone. They simply expressed the frustration that many senior American officials have been voicing in private conversations over the past week about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The storm was unleashed because Kerry said out loud what he was thinking.

    Kerry was not speaking Tuesday to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee only as secretary of state, but as a state’s witness. He provided a look inside the negotiating rooms at the sequence of events that led to the serious crisis in the peace talks. Kerry’s remarks contradicted the spin coming out over the past few days from the prime minister’s bureau and inflated by the various cabinet ministers.

    The secretary of state adopted the Palestinian version of events and reinforced it. He presented Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ signature on applications to join 15 international conventions as a response to Israeli violation of commitments and not as a step initiated to sabotage the talks. According to Kerry, the Palestinian move was negative and damaging, but Israel’s moves were even worse”

    Brzezinski was interviewed in the NZZ on Sunday. The Dems understand that the world is no longer unipolar. The bots do not.

    This is also noteworthy

    “The focus Kerry places on the settlements as one of the reasons for the meltdown of the talks will be clearly understood in the European Union’s institutions in Brussels and in the various foreign ministries on the Continent. That is precisely what Jerusalem is afraid of. The Europeans have warned Israel a number of times over the past few months that if the talks broke down over construction in the settlements there would be consequences in the form of additional European sanctions. The marking of products from the settlements in European supermarkets is a step waiting on the shelf for implementation. “

    • CloakAndDagger
      April 9, 2014, 9:38 pm

      From Haaretz:

      The focus Kerry places on the settlements as one of the reasons for the meltdown of the talks will be clearly understood in the European Union’s institutions in Brussels and in the various foreign ministries on the Continent. That is precisely what Jerusalem is afraid of. The Europeans have warned Israel a number of times over the past few months that if the talks broke down over construction in the settlements there would be consequences in the form of additional European sanctions. The marking of products from the settlements in European supermarkets is a step waiting on the shelf for implementation.

      There is a part of me that wonders whether we are not watching a scripted play. Surely, Obama/Kerry were expecting something like this to happen. They have repeatedly made statements about how the US would not be able to shield Israel from International pressure if the talks failed. This could well be the next act in that play where Obama/Kerry get to say that they tried everything to protect Israel, but Israel still chose to shoot off its own toes. The Kerry ‘poof’ speech may well have been the signal to Europe to step in. I don’t think Kerry made that speech without Obama’s blessings.

      Interesting times…

  31. seafoid
    April 9, 2014, 4:48 pm

    “Israel countered on Wednesday that it was the Palestinians who had “violated their fundamental commitments” by applying last week to join 15 international conventions and treaties.”

    Building more homes for Jews in the territories is not unilateral. Has happened so many times . Thought they could do it indefinitely.
    It’s great to see Israel getting its comeuppance.

  32. Michael Rabb
    April 9, 2014, 6:17 pm

    well I think the Palestinians just got a state. Right now it happens to be called Israel. But sometime, maybe not soon, but someday the racist, Jewish supremacist state of Israel that includes all of Palestine, will be dismantled and become the free state of Palestine. Be careful what you wish for you Zionist Jews. MRabb, Boulder Colorado

  33. Mayhem
    April 9, 2014, 6:52 pm

    Anybody who reads between the lines can see that the unwillingness of the Arabs to accept Israel as a Jewish state is the fundamental blocker and these other ‘poof’ issues are mere sideshows.

    • Hostage
      April 10, 2014, 12:04 am

      Anybody who reads between the lines can see that the unwillingness of the Arabs to accept Israel as a Jewish state is the fundamental blocker and these other ‘poof’ issues are mere sideshows.

      No one has to read between the lines to know that is a racist demand, when 1 in 5 citizens of Israel are non-Jews. Right on cue, the dimwitted bigots advanced their racist and xenophobic education bill and the Basic Law: The National Home, which denies non-Jews the right of self-determination and equality under the law – smack in the middle of Kerry’s talks:
      * A Jewish and undemocratic bill: A new bill wants to direct schools to strengthen the concept of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
      link to haaretz.com
      * Basic Law: National Home link to index.justice.gov.il
      * Jewish and then democratic: The appointment of Prof. Ruth Gavison to oversee Israel’s Jewish element becoming more important than its democratic nature is a classic Tzipi Livni move link to haaretz.com

      That’s when Kerry testified to Congress that it had been a mistake to endorse that demand. The so-called Palestine Papers highlighted the fact that demanding recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is considered a form of incitement by the Palestinians, who feel it is prohibited under the terms of the Quartet Road Map:

      …Then Obama brought up incitement. . . .We should prepare for them a file on who is actually inciting. The demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is incitement. [To the NSU] Look very carefully at incitement. Bring as much evidence as possible on Israeli incitement against us, including legislation, speeches, books …

      See “Meeting Minutes: Saeb Erekat with (PLO) Negotiations Support Unit on US Meetings” link to transparency.aljazeera.net June 2, 2009
      See also:
      * Coalition pact calls for bill making Israel Jewish first, democratic second
      link to haaretz.com and
      * Scrap the so-called Jewish state law: Israel must set borders within which it has a Jewish majority and move to integrate its Arab citizens.
      link to haaretz.com
      *

    • talknic
      April 10, 2014, 12:36 am

      @ Mayhem “Anybody who reads between the lines can see that the unwillingness of the Arabs to accept Israel as a Jewish state is the fundamental blocker “

      Anybody who can read can see that the Israeli demand has no legal basis what so ever and is furthermore, irrelevant to International Law, the UN Charter and conventions relating to the independence of an occupied state and; the basic necessity for occupation to end before a state is independent.

      Let’s look at a prime example. I’m sure you’ve heard of the State of Israel.

      BEFORE it recognized any other state and while it was at war in & while it occupied non-Israeli territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” link to wp.me Israel was recognized as it asked to be recognized “as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947” link to trumanlibrary.org

      BEFORE Israel had any Peace Treaties and BEFORE it recognized any of its immediate neighbours, Israel was admitted to the UN while it was at war in and while it occupied non-Israeli territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”(ibid).

      There are numerous UN Member states who do not recognize each other, they are never the less independent sovereign states. Recognition is not mandatory. Non-recognition is not illegal. Non-recognition is not a legal impediment to statehood link to cfr.org

      Whether states recognize each other or not, all states are required to have “respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State” .. “and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;” link to wp.me
      Israel has failed to abide by its legal obligations time and time again as it threatened to do 31st August 1949 link to wp.me

      The Palestinians ask for their legal rights. Israel’s demands for recognition and non-Israeli territory, have absolutely no legal basis.

    • eljay
      April 10, 2014, 7:22 am

      >> … the unwillingness of the Arabs to accept Israel as a Jewish state is the fundamental blocker …

      Spoken like a true-blue, hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist.

      “Jewish State” is a supremacist construct. No-one should be expected or required to recognize or accept “Jewish State” or any other supremacist state.

      For over 60 years, “Jewish State” has been engaged in terrorism, ethnic cleansing, land theft, occupation, colonization, destruction, torture and murder. Those actions – and not the unwillingness of Palestinians to recognize “Jewish State” – are the “fundamental blockers”.

  34. James Canning
    April 9, 2014, 7:22 pm

    John Kerry should state openly that Israel’s continuing illegal settlement programme in the West Bank is the largest problem.

  35. crone
    April 9, 2014, 7:24 pm

    I wonder if the announcement that:

    Russia’s Gazprom and China are poised to conclude a gas supply contract in coming weeks, the first in a series of energy projects planned between the two countries. “We’re working now to sign a gas contract in May,” said Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. “Consultations are continuing and Gazprom’s leaders are holding talks with Chinese partners on the contract terms. We hope to conclude the contract in May and believe it should come into effect by the year end.”

    has anything at all to do w/ Kerry’s statement of “truth”? imho, the West has blundered big time in orchestrating a campaign to isolate Russia… the PetroDollar will be impacted with this partnership between Russia & China…

  36. The JillyBeans
    April 9, 2014, 8:28 pm

    I do believe Secretary Kerry just got revenge on in at defense minister Moshe Ya’alon for his comments from last month about Kerry acting “messianic.”

  37. Rusty Pipes
    April 9, 2014, 9:38 pm

    Neither NYT headline is accurate. Kerry blamed Israel for missing deadline on the 4th prisoner release — a contractual obligation for the talks taking place at all. But Kerry framed it as a one-two punch: first Israel failed to meet the deadline for its contract, then when the Palestinians gave Israel a grace period of a few days, rather than releasing the prisoners, Israel punched them in the gut by declaring more settlements. At that point, Palestinians’ toleration for a grace period went up in smoke: “poof!” Israel had reneged on its contract in effect, so the Palestinians no longer felt bound by their contract to delay applying to International bodies or treaties.

    Israel’s declaration the following day that it had cancelled the last prisoner release was simply a verbal acknowledgement of an action it had failed to complete by the deadline. However, by waiting until the Palestinians signed the treaties, Israel hoped that America would let it get away with blaming the Palestinians for the collapse of the talks.

    • Kay24
      April 10, 2014, 8:08 am

      We should give them high marks for being devious and twisting the facts around, to make the Palestinians look like the guilty party (that has become a habit now), and the chutzpah the hasbara display here, by trying to convince someone (looks like no one to me) that they are the victims who wanted peace all along. I think there is a disease among the zionists, a total blank in their brains when it comes to the crimes, violence, and lies, perpetrated by their country. No land grabs, illegal settlements, and certainly no refusal to release prisoners, as agreed by the zionist colonist.
      Yes, what a bubble they live in.

  38. Rusty Pipes
    April 9, 2014, 9:58 pm

    While the State spox couches Kerry’s statement within the full context of his testimony, there is no retraction or suggestion that Kerry misspoke. It’s also illuminating seeing the context of the line of questioning to which Psaki responds:

    QUESTION: All right. And then the last one on this is the Secretary on the Hill yesterday managed to get the Israelis, in particular, upset about him when he described, what he called a “poof” moment when things went, for lack of a better word, to hell. Given the fact that you guys have made clear for some time now, for at least two weeks now, that both sides have taken negative steps: one, would it have been perhaps more appropriate for the Secretary not to use his “poof” moment comment; or, if it was appropriate, do you think that it was – that he put it in the context of the timeline at the wrong place?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, I spoke with the Secretary about this this morning, and he was, frankly, surprised by the coverage of his comments because he doesn’t believe, as you noted and has said repeatedly, that one side deserves blame over another media note because they’ve both taken unhelpful steps – that’s something you’ve heard him say frequently. And at no point, including yesterday, has he intended to engage in a blame game.

    The truth is even yesterday, if you look at the full context of his comments, he went out of his way to credit Prime Minister Netanyahu for making tough choices. And you’ll remember, as you also noted, that he began his comments by very matter-of-factly referring to the unhelpful and provocative steps the Palestinians took by going on television and, of course, announcing their intention to join UN treaties.

    So what he followed yesterday or what he did yesterday was simply restate the chronology of events of last week that took place, which ended, of course, with the step by the Palestinians to announce plans to join international conventions. So that was the intention of his comments, and he certainly stands by them and was surprised that there was there a view that he was one-sided.

    QUESTION: Well, he was surprised by the fact that people took him at his word, because that’s what he said? If we look at the chronology going back this week – and I don’t want to belabor this, but on Saturday – Saturday was when the prisoners were supposed to be released.

    MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

    QUESTION: They weren’t. Saturday, Sunday – after they weren’t released, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, nothing really major happened. The Palestinians didn’t take any action.

    MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

    QUESTION: On Tuesday, the new Gilo announcement – settlement – or construction announcement was made.

    MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

    QUESTION: That is when the Secretary said the “poof” moment was. It wasn’t until the next day, Wednesday, when we were in Brussels, that President Abbas came out and said that he was going to sign onto these UN conventions.

    MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

    QUESTION: And it wasn’t until the next day after that, Thursday, that Justice Minister Livni came out and said that the prisoner release was now officially canceled. So in retrospect, wouldn’t it have been more accurate, given the fact that you blame both sides, for the Secretary to have identified the “poof” moment not as the housing announcement but rather either the Palestinian announcement or Justice Minister Livni’s announcement that the prisoner release had been canceled entirely?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, I would caution you against over-emphasizing the meaning of “poof,” which we’ve now talked about a lot here. But he was – his view is that there were unhelpful steps by both sides. That’s what he was conveying yesterday. Again – again, as we look forward to the coming days, it’s clearly counterproductive when either side takes steps that aren’t conducive to an environment moving forward. So we’re not going to spend our time recounting every single step as it relates to the events of last week. We’re going to see if there’s the will and the desire to move things forward.

    QUESTION: Right. But that’s what he did yesterday. In recounting the chronology, he did exactly what you say you don’t want to do.

    MS. PSAKI: No —

    QUESTION: And he – and because he used the “poof” comment where he did, some in Israel – many if not all in Israel – took that to be an indication that you regard them as more to blame than the other side. You’re saying that that’s wrong. So if it’s – correct? You’re saying that that is wrong?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, I —

    QUESTION: He wasn’t meaning to single out Israel for more blame than anyone else?

    MS. PSAKI: I would point you to his own comments he’s made many times over the past week about the unhelpful steps by both sides, Matt.

    QUESTION: All right. And you say that he doesn’t want to get into the blame game. But is he – aren’t you, in fact, blaming both sides? Isn’t that the blame game?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, often the blame game means blaming one side over the other, and that’s what I’m using it as a reference to.

    No retraction about the placement of the “poof.” Even though Kerry placed blame on both parties for difficulties at different points in the process, Zionists don’t want to hear the specifics about where Israel is to blame.

  39. American
    April 9, 2014, 11:26 pm

    Stand Firm, John Kerry – Zbigniew Brzezinski and Frank Carlucci and Lee Hamilton and Carla A. Hills and Thomas Pickering and Henry Siegman – POLITICO
    link to politico.com

    “We commend Secretary of State John Kerry’s extraordinary efforts to renew Israeli-Palestinian talks and negotiations for a framework for a peace accord, and the strong support his initiative has received from President Barack Obama. We believe these efforts, and the priority Kerry has assigned to them, have been fully justified. However, we also believe that the necessary confidentiality that Secretary Kerry imposed on the resumed negotiations should not preclude a far more forceful and public expression of certain fundamental U.S. positions:”

    “Settlements: U.S. disapproval of continued settlement enlargement in the Occupied Territories by Israel’s government as “illegitimate” and “unhelpful” does not begin to define the destructiveness of this activity. Nor does it dispel the impression that we have come to accept it despite our rhetorical objections. Halting the diplomatic process on a date certain until Israel complies with international law and previous agreements would help to stop this activity and clearly place the onus for the interruption where it belongs.”

    [Top comment: “This whole Israeli/Palestinian issue could be solved overnight. The USA should end all foreign aid to Israel immediately and stop sending them replacement parts and ammunition for their weapons. Money is the one and only language they understand. They’ll be begging for an independent Palestinian state within hours.”]

  40. American
    April 10, 2014, 1:43 am

    ISRAEL THREATENS ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ON PLAESTINE
    link to newsweek.com

    ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS WEIGHED

    Another punitive Israeli step under “serious consideration” was to deduct up to $75 million in tax revenue transfers to the Palestinians, the Israeli official said.

    Citing Palestinian figures, Israel estimates this is the sum of annual Palestinian aid provided to their prisoners in Israeli jails convicted of violence, including lethal attacks.

    Under 1990s interim peace deals, Israel collects and transfers to the PA some $100 million a month in taxes on goods imported into the Palestinian territories. Israel has previously frozen the payments during times of heightened tension.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Who do the mf’kers think they are?

    Ԓ The race is on to get out of the bottom ԓԓ
    The top is high so your roots are forgotten
    Giving is good as long as you’re getting
    What’s driving you it’s ambition and betting

    I said, “Who do you think you are?”
    I said, “Who? Some kind of superstar”

    You’re swelling out in the wrong direction
    You’ve got the bug, superstar you’ve been bitten
    Your trumpet’s been blowing for far too long
    Playing the snake of the ladder, but you’re wrong

    I said, “Who do you think you are?”
    (Think, think you are)
    I said, “Who? Some kind of superstar” Ԓ

    • Hostage
      April 11, 2014, 5:22 am

      Citing Palestinian figures, Israel estimates this is the sum of annual Palestinian aid provided to their prisoners in Israeli jails convicted of violence, including lethal attacks.

      John McCain and the other American POWs were certainly given back pay and promotions by our government for carrying out lethal attacks. The same principle applied to Gilad Shalit, who was captured in 2006, while serving as a member of tank crew. Those units fired thousands of rounds per month into Gaza during his period of service, e.g. Amos Harel, May 14, 2006 “IDF has fired more than 5,100 shells at Gaza in six weeks” link to haaretz.com

      • seafoid
        April 11, 2014, 6:22 pm

        link to haaretz.com

        “Itai Ziv suffers 29 percent disability after shrapnel embedded in his back during Operation Pillar of Defense, but State refuses to give him disability.”

  41. W.Jones
    April 10, 2014, 2:18 am

    Did any of the strongest advocates of Kerry’s talks – CMEP, JStreet, Kerry’s supporters, Finkelstein – actually believe they had a good chance of succeeding, or did they just hope that by pretending it did that it would?

Leave a Reply