More than half of US aid ‘to entire world’ goes to Israel and it ignores our warnings on settlements — Kerry

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John Kerry offered yet another tough-love talk to Israel at the pro-Israel Saban Forum yesterday. The United States gives Israel more than half of the aid that we give “to the entire world,” and Israel simply ignores us when we warn it about new settlements.

Kerry: Every president, Republican and Democrat, has been opposed to settlements – we issue a warning today when we see a new settlement announced. Nothing happens. It’s ignored, a new settlement goes up. New units, new sales. So the issue —

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg: You’re describing a situation in which you have zero leverage.

Kerry: I think we do – I think we do have leverage —

Goldberg: But they never listen to you.

Kerry: No, they don’t, and they haven’t listened on settlements, that’s correct.

Here’s how much money we give Israel to ignore us.

I’ve watched while we, the Obama Administration, have put $23.5 billion on the line for foreign military financing. More than 50 percent of the total that we give to the entire world has gone to Israel. We have just signed an agreement for $38 billion over 10 years, $3.8 billion a year, up from 3.1.

Goldberg, the new editor-in-chief of the Atlantic, played the innocent. He knows damn well why the U.S. government has no leverage over Israel; because of Israel-loving journalists like himself and Israel-loving donors like Haim Saban. He ventured that the two-state solution (which he did as much as anyone to kill) is dead because there are now so many settlers in the West Bank there can never be a Palestinian state:

MR GOLDBERG: Have we not passed the tipping point already?


MR GOLDBERG: Why have we not passed the tipping point? It seems like it.

SECRETARY KERRY: No, we haven’t, but we’re getting very – we’re getting – I’ll tell you why we haven’t. Because this is a function of leadership. It’s a function of belief. It’s a function of what choices are being put to the people of Israel. So let me —

MR GOLDBERG: You know how hard it is to move 10,000, 8,000 settlers from Gaza. You’re talking about 90,000 —

(This is further evidence for my prediction that Goldberg in his new incarnation as liberal American editor in the footsteps of the abolitionists will become an anti-Zionist.)

Kerry also protested that he has spoken to Benjamin Netanyahu 375 times as Secretary of State, to the point that his wife says he talks to Netanyahu more than to her. He hinted that the Obama administration may get the last word with Netanyahu at the UN Security Council:

Kerry: Because of this building frustration, you need to know they are any number of countries talking about bringing resolutions to the United Nations.

Goldberg: Will you try to stop the French if they do it?

Kerry: If it’s a biased and unfair and a resolution calculated to delegitimize Israel, we’ll oppose it. Obviously, we will. We always have. But it’s getting more complicated now because there is a building sense of what I’ve been saying to you today, which some people can shake their heads, say, well, it’s unfair.

Another innocent observes:

Whatever the UN or the US or Martin Indyk wants to do for the Palestinians, I don’t know why the Palestinians would want it. Here’s how Kerry outlined his vision of a Palestinian state:

this small little city state, which is what effectively the West Bank would be, demilitarized as it would be

That’s reminiscent of the famous line on the vice presidency: it’s not worth a bucket of warm piss.

Kerry also warned that Israel is “heading to a place of danger,” because of its own decisions.

But I do believe that Israel, because of decisions that are being made on a daily basis quietly and without a lot of people seeing them or fully processing the consequences, is heading to a place of danger.

And just as he had researched the 375-conversations-with-Netanyahu number for the occasion, Kerry itemized the number of settlers, and reminded the audience that Israel built the wall on stolen land:

But back then in 1993 [when Oslo principles were signed], there were 110,000 settlers in the West Bank. Today there are 385,500 or so. There is an increase – there is about 90,000 settlers living outside of the barrier. And the barrier, I want to remind everybody here, was established by Israel. That’s a line that was drawn by Israel – not necessarily a border, but it’s a line. It’s a reflection of a security line. Outside of that line drawn by Israel there are now 90,000 Israelis living in these patchworks of settlements. There are 129 settlements. There are about 100 outposts, and outposts, as you all know, are illegal. …

Now, these outposts begin as one building, two buildings, then they become a scattering of 10 or 15, then they become a, quote, “settlement.” And what’s really concerning about what is about to happen is that many of these outposts, most of them, are built on what is considered to be Palestinian private land. Now, since Obama became president, the population outside of the barrier in the West Bank has increased by 20,00 people.

Message, you’re on your own. You made your bed. But we might flip you the bird back before we go.

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I think the message is less about giving the bird, and more about the United States’ willingness to continue to give Israel a very, very, VERY expensive, and bloody, rope with which it hangs itself.

Americans realize that Israel is going Jew-supremacist under Netanyahu. The question is whether we will realize that Trump is going white-supremacist. They use all the same tactics – the goal is to incite rebellion and violence and crush it, to justify a police state. Both in the streets and online. The trends are moving in both directions. I think the turmoil at G4S is a good sign, and I think the anti-BDS laws are a… Read more »

For the past two years it seems to me that Obama and in particular Kerry have been pointedly signalling to Israel that the ongoing and relentless settlement enterprise is driving it down a single Apartheid state cul de sac. As the article points out the Yahoo and Co have been simply ignoring these warnings and effectively giving Obama and Kerry the middle finger. Not sure how this will unfold if a new Security Council vote… Read more »

I think Obama realised at some stage that that there is no point in talking to the Israelis. They live in their own mythical world and understand reality only vaguely. God has given them Ha Eretz to settle. The Shoah is a complex explanation but it prolly makes sense in Hebrew. I guess. Protective Edge was the Zionist trauma complex in full peacock mode. Nobody could get through to them. Even Blitzer and MJ Rosenberg… Read more »

By the time Yossi Israel realises what has been happening in English it will be too late