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‘Guard the state, no surrendering to Kerry’ — right-wing Israeli campaign

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Under the photo of John Kerry is the word "against" in green and under Menachem Begin, "for."  In green it says, "A united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty." Then follows a Begin quote:  "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, undivided, for generations and forever."  At the bottom of the poster is the name of the campaign:  "Guard the State:  No Surrendering to Kerry."

Under the photo of John Kerry is the word “against” in green and under Menachem Begin, “for.”  In green it says, “A united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.” Then follows (which is not in the above image) a Begin quote:  “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, undivided, for generations and forever.”  At the bottom of the poster is the name of the campaign:  “Guard the State:  No Surrendering to Kerry.” 

Today the Yesha Council, which is the regional representative of the West Bank settlements, and other right wing organizations, opened an aggressive campaign against U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, according to the Israeli news site, Walla (Hebrew).  The campaign is reported to be a reaction to fears among the settler community that the current peace talks are making progress.

The name of the campaign is “Guard the State, No Surrendering to Kerry.”  The group intends to mount an extensive billboard campaign that  will employ images of past prime ministers and declarations they made opposing what the organizers perceive as the deleterious position of the U.S. Secretary.

One billboard will feature former Prime Minister Menachem Begin with a quote imploring that Jerusalem must remain the indivisible capital of Israel.  Another will have Yitzhak Rabin’s visage with his statement about the importance of retaining the Jordan Valley.

If I were a design adviser to this project I would suggest that instead of using Begin for the Jerusalem billboard, use an image of President Barack Obama and his statement declaring that “Jerusalem must remain undivided” from his 2008 AIPAC speech.  It would be far more attention- grabbing and embarrassing to the Americans.  By the way, in that same speech Obama said that he would never force Israel to the negotiating table. I do not think Israel is exactly a willing participant in the current proceedings as Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon recently made pretty clear.

In addition to the billboards, activists intend to demonstrate against the Kerry initiative at major intersections this Saturday.  According to the Deputy Director of Yesha, Yigal Dilmoni, who is the organizer of the campaign, “The Prime Minister bears the grave responsibility and follows in the path of Israeli leaders, that drew red lines and did not surrender despite American threats.”

According to the settler news site,  Arutz Sheva, the campaign is organized by some of the same people that produced the video, “Kerry Solutions” which portrayed Kerry as a con artist salesman whose products do more harm than good.  Annie Robbins did a post on that video, here.

Recent developments in the much maligned Kerry peace talks point to a possibility that some kind of agreement can be reached.  I doubt that it would be the final status agreement which is the official goal of the negotiations, but rather an interim deal that would postpone the resolution of key issues.  It is difficult to even guess what the contours of such an interim agreement would be since the parties have mostly honored their pledge to Kerry and preserved the secrecy of details of the talks.  To loosely quote Bob Dylan, “Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Cohen?”

The “Guard the State” campaign was reported to have been organized as a result of growing fears that progress is being made in the negotiations.  The inclusion by Kerry of the Arab League and specific Arab governments in the deliberations indicates a regional support that is vital to any deal between Israelis and Palestinians.  The recent trip that Netanyahu made to Jordan, whose goal was to update and include the Hashemite Kingdom in the peace process, is another indication that Kerry’s mission is being taken seriously by all the participants.

Also, the sudden reversal of the Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, a political opportunist, who has gone from skeptical hawk to declared supporter of Kerry and his mission, indicates that jumping on the bandwagon of the U.S.- sponsored talks has become a smart move.

The Palestinian Authority is weak and it needs some kind of victory to show its constituents.  The leadership is aging and probably feels Kerry is their last hope to become the founders of a Palestinian state.  Israel is being pressured by the European Union and now is confronted by the surprising push by the United States to do something to address the conflict.  I think the growing BDS movement is a definite contributor to the Israeli sense of isolation.

Any interim agreement will surely not come close to redressing most Palestinian grievances or  establishing a sovereign Palestinian state, even according to the current circumscribed demands of the Palestinian Authority.  However, an interim agreement could lead to a significant improvement in the lives of the residents of the West Bank, although it surely will justifiably disappoint many by not delivering a more equitable and permanent solution.

There are many difficult obstacles that must be overcome in order to arrive at an interim solution. However, I think it is unrealistic to ignore the possibility that Kerry’s efforts may bear fruit, although whether it will be rotten is now impossible to predict.


Ira Glunts
About Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY. His twitter handle is @abushalom

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40 Responses

  1. Semiotic Observer
    Semiotic Observer
    January 17, 2014, 2:48 pm

    Netayahu complains about Palestinian incitement against Israel, and tells us how bad it is for peace. Somebody should ask him what he thinks about Israeli incitement against, not the Palestinians, but the US, their ally. Is that good for peace?

  2. bilal a
    bilal a
    January 17, 2014, 3:00 pm

    Meanwhile , Israel still hasnt caught up to the USA on all dimensions:

    A girl who was burned beyond recognition by a U.S. drone and left for dead in a trashcan is about to undergo reconstructive surgery.

    The child who has been named Shakira, which means thankful, has been brought to the U.S. from her home in Pakistan. Surgeons have offered to operate on her injuries free of charge.

    Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas, will be carrying out the reconstructive operations on Shakira’s face and hands.

    –Shakira was pulled from a bin by a medical mission where two other children died of their injuries

  3. seafoid
    January 17, 2014, 3:05 pm

    They are wrong about Kerry. Dealing with him would keep the business within politics where Israel would have a say. Thinking they can go it alone risks the whole kit and caboodle. Time is not on their side.

    • Kathleen
      January 18, 2014, 1:30 pm

      And Kerry and Obama have repeated to Israeli officials “time is really running out on the 2ss” In fact as many experts believe time ran out a long time ago

  4. pabelmont
    January 17, 2014, 3:07 pm

    This is noteworthy but — am I missing something ? — a bit silly. My guess and assumption is that Kerry is trying to sell a plan which will be only millimeters away from maximalist Israeli proposals. Such a plan will be unacceptable to Israel’s hard-liners, those now threatening to demonstrate.

    But if I’m right, his proposal will be nowhere near what any Palestinian could accept. And if that is so, these Yesha folks have no need to fear. Yes, Kerry will ask Israel to do what Yesha doesn’t want to happen, but Israel will refuse and Palestine will refuse.

    What’s needed is a roll-back of the settlement project, removal of all settlers, settlements, and wall. Not at all what most Israelis want, and a far, far more serious thing than whatever Kerry is now proposing — as I suppose. This roll-back will require muscle that the USA has been unwilling to muster. so, EU, UN, etc.

    Not anything likely to happen soon. But nothing else is, either. IMO.

    • Bumblebye
      January 17, 2014, 10:17 pm

      Norman Finkelstein thinks an agreement would mean The End Of Palestine:

      It’s grim reading.

      Well that’s weird. It goes to the latest article on the site, so go to front page for direction!

    • puppies
      January 18, 2014, 2:52 am

      Nothing likely to happen? But speculation on other scenarios is possible.
      Of course Kerry will push for the almost-maximalist Zionist request and of course that is way unacceptable to any Palestinians. Only, the only Palestinians in this travesty are the Israelian Puppet Administration.
      Meaning that if Kerry and the Yahoo think for a second that Abbas and Co. can announce some kind of an unacceptable deal and make it fly for a short while, they will push it through. Even if they know that announcing such a “deal” cannot hold longer than a day or so, Kerry may still insist in having it, and the Yahoo to grant it on the maximal Zionist terms, to provide the Obama admin and Kerry with a short respite at home… “We did it! Peace! Hosanna!”
      Abbas doesn’t have much of a choice if to comply or not. He knows what happened to Arafat. Same for his entourage. Proof? Look where his ICC complaint is.
      I am not saying it will happen this way, but it is not entirely unlikely if Kerry completely loses sight of logic; the Zionists may well be delighted to be able to once more blame the Palestinians for a short-lived “deal” and finally have their third Intifada.

  5. Justpassingby
    January 17, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Metaphorically this is a rape.

    Kerry was being raped while he was sleeping, he then wokes up and let the rapist keep on the rape.

    • pabelmont
      January 17, 2014, 3:34 pm

      JPB: Not rape, not rape! Goodness! Our politicians are on the take, they are professionals, paid for their work!. A group of our politicians could properly be called An Orchestra of Professionals, A Jam of Tarts, etc.

      • piotr
        January 18, 2014, 2:26 am

        This is deeply inhumane attitude. Even professionals, or especially professionals, should be treated with courtesy and gratitude. Imagine someone doing his best to please a donkey and gets kicked in the vitals for his trouble.

  6. surewin
    January 17, 2014, 4:12 pm

    Lieberman is maneuvering to succeed Netanyahu. One scenario is that he teams up with the haredim and the various liberal parties, and in the meantime something is done to fracture Yesh Atid and bring about half of its members into a coalition. The other half can refuse to work with the haredim and stay out if they prefer. Likud and Naftali Bennett will be out.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      January 17, 2014, 4:59 pm

      Well, they say the best way to get an addict into treatment is to allow them to hit rock bottom.

  7. MRW
    January 17, 2014, 5:03 pm

    The settlers aren’t net-savvy enough to know what they’re doing, and consequences aren’t something baked into Jewish thought (only imperatives). I say applaud the settlers in their efforts. Make their screeching louder.

    • Tzombo
      January 18, 2014, 7:40 am

      Exactly. I can’t think of anything we could do to make them look worse than this. Let’s get all the arm-twisting, the insults, the hissy fits out in the open. Go settlers!

  8. seafoid
    January 17, 2014, 5:11 pm

    “No surrender” is a staple of right wing racists living in jerrymandered territories who think god cares about them.

    Paisley eventually went into Government with the catholics.
    It’s the economy, stupid.

  9. LanceThruster
    January 17, 2014, 5:51 pm

    Can all you all at least do your “No surrendering” on your own dime from here on in?

    We here in the US would really hate to cramp your style.

  10. seafoid
    January 17, 2014, 6:04 pm

    The notion that the bots decide what happens is behind the times.
    Unintended consequences should be taught alongside the Torah in every yeshiva.

    The Torah is mostly about unintended consequences.

  11. just
    January 17, 2014, 7:50 pm

    Can we cut the umbilical cord NOW?

    It’s clear that these people do not want peace, justice, or security with their neighbors and “kin”……… they want the indigenous Palestinians gone, and all of the land and resources for themselves.

    It was time to fish or cut bait or go ashore a long, long time ago. I vote for abandoning these irascible and cruel folks. They are an anchor on the neck of truth and justice, and drag everybody down while they pretend to stay atop, bobbing and weaving. Entitled ingrates and thieves.

    • ziusudra
      January 18, 2014, 4:01 am

      Greetings just,
      … Fals. gone & all de land to themselves….
      Yes, but how are they going to maintain
      greater zionistan over time?
      The 350 mn. Muslims surrounding them
      will double in 30 to 50 yrs’ time!
      PS They’ve made no friends since the 1920s!
      We remember the confident of a King,who
      proposed oppressing his subjects even more?
      Yes ,quipped the King, but there are so many of

  12. Cliff
    January 17, 2014, 8:39 pm

    Here’s my Wondering Jew, comment of the day:

    Oh, MW used a comma inappropriately. MW is propaganda. Wahhhh

  13. radii
    January 17, 2014, 10:41 pm

    always looking for an enemy – some scary bogeyman to blame … a mirror would help if the extremist zionists would only look at it

  14. amigo
    January 18, 2014, 7:59 am

    “The group intends to mount an extensive billboard campaign that will employ images of past prime ministers and declarations they made opposing what the organizers perceive as the deleterious position of the U.S. Secretary.”

    But the zios are always claiming that past Israeli Prime ministers were peace seekers but now these right wing(is there anything left of far right in Israel)wackos are going to show us the truth about Israel,s so called peace seekers.

    Oh what a terrible web etc etc.

    • just
      January 18, 2014, 9:04 am

      They were, and are all, Israeli Crime Ministers.

  15. tommy
    January 18, 2014, 11:12 am

    The Begin quote appears to be a paraphrase of how Nazi’s felt about Danzig’s role in occupied Poland.

  16. Kathleen
    January 18, 2014, 1:33 pm

    Hostage etc is there a deadline on Palestinians ability to take Israeli war crimes to the ICC?

  17. ritzl
    January 18, 2014, 2:12 pm

    Isn’t this what the lead-up to Rabin’s assassination sounded like?

    Some contemporaneous (1995) settler sentiment:

    KIRYAT ARBA, Occupied West Bank — “He was a traitor,” settler Arieh Dolinsky said yesterday of his slain prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin.

    “I wouldn’t be sorry if he would die a natural death,” he said. Then he added, “But it was wrong to shoot him.”

    “At the small Jewish compound in downtown Hebron, Nahema Mushnik, 40, said she was confused by events.

    “We’re sorry a Jew died, but it may be for the good,” she said hopefully.

    Kiryat Arba had celebrated Baruch Goldstein, who last year gunned down 29 Muslim worshipers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

    But killing Arabs in Hebron is one thing. There has been much bloodshed in Hebron between Jews and Arabs; they are the enemy. Killing a Jew is another matter, the settlers suggested.

    If this is the restrained opinion about the morality of the Rabin (or any) assassination, yet another Yigal Amir or Baruch Goldstein lurks just below the surface.

    If the “rightward” shift in Israel is any indication, this sentiment must persist or have deepened. Is Kerry the “enemy” to these people? If so, I hope Kerry has vigilant US security.

    • kma
      January 18, 2014, 4:14 pm

      Kerry won’t be the target of anger, an Israeli will. Negotiations are just the catalyst to expression of Israeli sentiments that have existed all along. The comments by Yaalon, for example, were not misquoted or accidentally spoken. If you follow the words of the politicians in Israel, you’ll see that there is no viable agreement because Israel refuses to give up anything and refuses to live next door to a Palestinian “state”. Israel prefers things to go as they are going, but the world is moving in a different direction. It will get worse before it gets better. I don’t think the Israeli public is capable of seeing its future clearly, which I hope is without the support of the US for the crimes.

  18. Renato Oliveira
    Renato Oliveira
    January 18, 2014, 3:40 pm

    Interesting. Palis can claim the moon without being harassed, Israelis cannot claim the very land they live in?

    • ritzl
      January 18, 2014, 4:52 pm

      What? Did your history clock just start yesterday? Not surprising. It happens a lot.

      And “Palis” is a slur used by Israelis. Please let us know if you intended it that way.

    • just
      January 18, 2014, 5:17 pm

      Renato– Israelis are stealing land, resources and lives. Surprised that you are not aware of that. You want to talk about ‘harassment’? Bring it on.

      Or not.

    • amigo
      January 18, 2014, 5:38 pm

      “Interesting. Palis can claim the moon without being harassed, Israelis cannot claim the very land they live in?” RO

      The term “Palis” is an insult to those people.Much like me calling you a “spic”.

      They are called Palestinians.The rest of your post is just racist nonsense.

    • talknic
      January 18, 2014, 5:42 pm

      @ Renato Oliveira “Interesting. Palis can claim the moon without being harassed”

      Have the Palestinians claimed the moon? WOW!!! Source please….thx

      The Palestinians’ official claims are actually for their LEGAL rights under the Laws, UN Charter and conventions Israel AGREED to uphold.

      “Israelis cannot claim the very land they live in?”

      Israelis can claim ‘land’ in Israeli ‘territory’. It’s quite ample.

      Israelis have no legal right what so ever to claim any territory illegally acquired by war “outside the State of Israel” .. “in Palestine” … Israel has never legally acquired any territory outside its recognized sovereign extent as Israel asked to be recognized

      • mcohen
        January 19, 2014, 5:48 am

        Talknic says

        “Israeli,s ………illegally acquired by war”

        which war you refering to.

      • talknic
        January 19, 2014, 8:45 pm

        mcohen “which war you refering to”

        The wars outside the territory of the State of Israel where Israel has gained territory. 1948, 1967

      • puppies
        January 19, 2014, 9:11 pm

        @talknic – a couple remarks:
        “The Palestinians’ official claims are actually for their LEGAL rights under the Laws, UN Charter and conventions Israel AGREED to uphold.”

        Sorry, it seems that you intend to say the official claims of the collaborator puppets installed by the Oslo scam.
        Palestinians have legal claim to the entire territory of Palestine, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean coast. Under UN Charter. Because as you so nicely express it, “Israelis have no legal right what so ever to claim any territory illegally acquired by war”.

        “Israelis can claim ‘land’ in Israeli ‘territory’. It’s quite ample.”

        Wrong. At any rate, that is valid only if you assume Israel had any territory not acquired by war. A quick look will satisfy you that all territory including the 1948 borders were acquired by war, and that the Partition proposal was violated immediately by military conquest. And that is even if the Partition proposal had been legal (not really, it contravened the rule of colonial liberation.) Let’s hear it, what are the borders of any territory not acquired by armed conquest?

    • Cliff
      January 18, 2014, 7:20 pm

      Israel has no land ‘of its own’, Oliveira – just land it stole from the Palestinian people.

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