I am not a great supporter of the state of Israel. Israel is without doubt the most liberal and democratic state in a very tough neighborhood. However, the Israelis are pickle and it’s their pickle. The only solution to their problems with their neighbors is finding some sort of modus vivendi with them. The more we make it our pickle, the worse the problem becomes.
However, that having been said, I agree with David Ignatius. What in the world was John Kerry thinking?
Secretary of State John Kerry has made a significant mistake in how he’s pursuing a Gaza cease-fire — and it’s not surprising that he has upset both the Israelis and some moderate Palestinians.
Kerry’s error has been to put so much emphasis on achieving a quick halt to the bloodshed that he has solidified the role of Hamas, the intractable, unpopular Islamist group that leads Gaza, along with the two hard-line Islamist nations that are its key supporters, Qatar and Turkey. In the process, he has undercut not simply the Israelis but also the Egyptians and the Fatah movement that runs the Palestinian Authority, all of which want to see an end to Hamas rule in Gaza.
What is the end state of his approach? A three-state solution—Israel, a Hamas-dominated Gaza, and a Fatah-lead West Bank? Hamas taking control of both segments of the Palestinian territories? Diplomacy is not Slap-Jack. You’ve got to think at least one step ahead if not several.