Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Obama and Kerry must stop playing games affecting Israel's future

By David Singer - posted Monday, 14 September 2015


Attempting to secure the Congressional vote required to confirm President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran has necessitated Secretary for State John Kerry pledging Obama's "rock solid" diplomatic support and increased military assistance for Israel – the bitterest opponent of Obama's Iranian proposal.

Speaking at the National Constitution Center on 2 September – Kerry said:

And diplomatically, our support for Israel also remains rock solid as we continue to oppose every effort to delegitimize the Jewish state, or to pass biased resolutions against it in international bodies.

Advertisement

Kerry continued:

I take a back seat to no one in my commitment to the security of Israel, a commitment I demonstrated through my 28-plus years in the Senate. And as Secretary of State, I am fully conscious of the existential nature of the choice Israel must make…

If Kerry is to be seriously believed then he must reassure Congress – irrespective of its vote on Iran - that the commitments made to Israel by President Bush in his letter dated 14 April 2004 supporting Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza will be scrupulously adhered to by the current Obama administration.

Kerry unequivocally supported those Presidential commitments when interviewed by Tim Russert on Meet the Press on 18 April 2004:

RUSSERT: On Thursday, President Bush broke with the tradition and policy of six predecessors when he said that Israel can keep part of the land seized in the 1967 Middle East War and asserted the Palestinian refugees cannot go back to their particular homes. Do you support President Bush?

KERRY: Yes.

RUSSERT: Completely?

KERRY: Yes.

Those commitments included:

Advertisement
  1. Preventing any attempt to impose any plan other than President Bush's Roadmap envisioned by him on 24 June 2002.
  2. Being strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state.
  3. Understanding that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.
  4. Accepting as part of a final peace settlement that Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.
  5. Acknowledging that in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,

Bush's commitments were overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day ("the Bush/Congress Commitments").

Obama attempted to water down these commitments in 2011 by suggesting possible Israeli land swaps be made for any territory Israel acquired in the West Bank.

Kerry piggybacked Obama in 2013 - inducing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel with this letter:

Dear Mr. President

In response to your question regarding our position on the issue of borders, this letter is to confirm that the position set forth by President Obama in his May 2011 speeches, that Palestine's borders with Israel should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, still represents our position. As negotiations begin, I reiterate our commitment to this position. As you confirmed, this letter is and will remain private and confidential between you and me."

Playing such furtive games with Abbas contrary to the Bush/Congress Commitments is now surely over following Kerry's statement. Those commitments are set in concrete - binding all American administrations including Obama's.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

14 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 14 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy