Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Will Kerry's $4 Billion Bailout of Abbas and Palestinian Authority Bring Peace To Palestinians And Israel?

In light of John Kerry's string of failures as Secretary of State thus far, one might consider Kerry's announcement at the World Economic Forum of a $4 billion plan to rescue the Abbas regime from itself might represent a breakthrough.

But putting aside the logic of pouring even more billions into the corrupt and incompetent regime headed by a man in the 9th year of a 4 year term, there are finer points that raise questions about the plan and about Kerry as well.
Kerry, Peres and Abbas
Kerry, Peres and Abbas at this years World Economic Forum --
more than a photo op? Credit: US State Department

In response to Remarks to Special Program on Breaking the Impasse World Economic Forum, here are 3 observations by Dr. Aaron Lerner about John Kerry's remarks:
  • Note the difference: Secretary of State Kerry opted for the Palestinian position - yes Israel state, no mention Jewish state, in the two state solution formula.
    "peace based on the two-state solution – a secure state of Israel and a viable, independent state of Palestine"
    This in contrast to remarks just days ago by another American official.
    "... two states for two peoples—a secure, Jewish, and democratic state of Israel next to a sovereign, viable Palestinian state.'
    Remarks On Receiving the American Jewish Committee's Distinguished Public Service Award At the AJC's Women's Leadership Board's Annual Spring Luncheon Susan E. Rice -U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations New York, NY May 9, 2013
    (Granted, later in the address he says "In the end, the only way for Israel to survive and thrive as a secure, Jewish, democratic and economically successful state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine" but this is as an argument by Mr. Kerry why Israel should make a deal - not a PRINCIPLE cited as part of the formula for talks.

  • Tourism may indeed have tremendous potential but it also is the most sensitive to changes in local conditions. Mr. Kerry can ask the Egyptians about this. So does it make sense to focus on pouring money into tourism projects that a few "enemies of peace" can wreck - with the rebound effect of even greater frustration when the projects stall? Why not instead focus on economic activity that is significantly more resilient?

  • Mr. Kerry doesn't read the New York Times: "And I say to you, President Abbas: No one is talking about temporary borders. We are talking about an end-of-conflict, end-of-claims peace."
Actually, there is someone talking about temporary borders -- Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who in his New York Times interview was "advocating the immediate creation of an interim Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank where no Jews live, with final borders drawn in perhaps three, four or five years." Maybe someone should mention that to Kerry.

The issue of the Palestinian Authority recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is neither small nor rhetorical, as can be assumed by the vociferousness with which the Abbas regime refuses to grant the point. But it is a point expressed by the Obama administration, and one that Kerry should publicly espouse as well.

Similarly, Kerry does seem to place an awful lot of emphasis in particular on the potential for tourism in a rather unstable area.

Another point that should be addressed by Kerry -- but isn't -- is just what is going to happen to that $4 billion in the event that Abbas does create a unity government with the Hamas terrorists as he has promised to do. How much of money would go to Hamas?

For that matter, Kerry's claim that Abbas "has taken great risks and invested deeply in a policy of nonviolence" conflicts with the policy of the Abbas regime to incite hatred of Israel and pay stipends to convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons.



While Al-Einein may not be an advisor of Abbas now, it would be interesting to ask Kerry to give some examples of how he feels Abbas has been preparing his people for peace with Israel.

Or does Kerry really think that $4billion will buy peace?


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