People should contact their representatives to complain about this.
After being caught on a hot mic July 20 saying, “It’s crazy to just be sitting around,” Kerry finally departed for Egypt. He spent most of the week in his hotel in Cairo, holding meetings and making dozens of phone calls, traveling to Israel and the West Bank for a few hours only July 23.
When Kerry sent the Israel government his draft ceasefire proposal July 25, the Israeli cabinet rejected it unanimously and senior Israeli officials leaked several angry and nasty criticisms of Kerry to the Israeli press. Kerry’s meeting with the Turkish and Qatari foreign ministers in Paris on July 26 evoked another round of leaked quotes about Israel’s frustration with Kerry’s effort. [They fail to mention that Egypt is also upset with Kerry. - Aggie]
Of course, the Benjamin Netanyahu government in Israel was wary of Kerry’s efforts. Israel has been resisting Kerry’s criticism that their operations should focus more on avoiding civilian casualties and has groused [Note the use of the verb: to grouse. Is that serious? Does that imply the fear that your communities will be overrun with Hamas terrorists coming through tunnels, Hamas shells landing randomly on homes, schools, roads? No, it does not. They are intentionally downplaying Israel's extremely valid concerns. Why? Because they are journalists, trying to control the mood of the American public and to turn it against Israel. - Aggie] that Kerry’s proposal would reward Hamas for launching barrages of rockets into Israel. Israeli officials have also disparaged Kerry in public and private ever since Kerry’s last Middle East peace push collapsed in April. [They are "disparaging" him because he is a weasel. We in Massachusetts can attest to that.- Aggie]
But anonymous Israeli officials were not the only ones grousing about Kerry’s diplomacy. Asharq al-Aswat, an Arab newspaper based in London, quoted a senior Palestinian Authority official over the weekend saying Kerry’s plan was an attempt to destroy the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. [Yes, because it hands a win over to Hamas and makes the entire region less safe. - Aggie]
State Department officials have claimed all week that an immediate ceasefire leading to a negotiation for a more permanent agreement between Israel and Hamas was the only way forward. Meanwhile, the death toll mounts on both sides, with the Palestinians bearing the brunt of the tragedy; 48 IDF soldiers and over 1,000 Palestinians have now been killed. [Mostly fighters, males between the ages of 18-50 = roughly 75% of deaths. - Aggie] The Israelis have effectively cut off nearly 40% of the Gaza Strip. Some of Gaza’s most densely populated neighborhoods have been flattened in what many say amounts to collective punishment of the Palestinians by the Israeli government.
But the Israeli government has made clear publicly and privately it would not agree to a ceasefire until its ongoing mission to destroy Hamas’s network of tunnels was complete.
No sane person wants to do what Kerry and Obama are demanding. They want Israel to stop fighting, even though the rockets continue and the tunnels are still in place. This is the best advertisement for the Republican Party that I can imagine.
Top Obama administration officials Monday were still pressing for a ceasefire based on Kerry’s draft proposal, revealed first by the Israeli newspaper Ha’Aretz and then by The New York Times Monday. The Israeli cabinet rejected it unanimously last week. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told CNN on Monday that because the Israelis had “significantly further degraded” Hamas’ tunnels, the Kerry plan was still the best way forward.
Blinken also insisted that Kerry’s plan contained many of the “same elements” as an Egyptian proposal, released July 15 and immediately rejected by Hamas. Cairo’s plan called for an immediate halt to violence on both sides and would have provided for the opening of border crossings and the end of rocket fire into Israel.
But the two plans also had key differences. Multiple Israeli officials, lawmakers, and experts told The Daily Beast that Kerry’s proposal altered the Egyptian ceasefire in many important ways, and in one case altered longstanding U.S. policy toward the funding of Hamas.
Two Israeli government officials told The Daily Beast that Israel could not agree to the Kerry draft proposal because it felt it would constrain the Israeli Defense Forces from finishing their mission to destroy the tunnels in Gaza. Yet Kerry’s proposal explicitly did not include a call for the IDF to withdraw from Gaza during the ceasefire. What’s more, U.S. officials told the Israeli government that tunnel work would be able to continue during the ceasefire, as it had during the previous short-term pauses in the fighting.
The Israeli government was not confident the IDF would be able to continue tunnel destruction inside Gaza during the ceasefire. The officials in Jerusalem were not willing to commit to any timeline for completing the tunnel mission because they were still discovering the extent of the tunnel network and thought the mission could take as long as three weeks to complete.
“The Israelis felt their security concerns weren’t addressed by Kerry’s proposal,” said Dennis Ross, a former White House senior official and longtime Mideast envoy. “The ceasefire was going to put the Israelis in a position where the tunnels were still there. A ceasefire that doesn’t address that is not one that the Israelis could accept.”
I will assume that Obama and Kerry are not stupid. By penning a “peace plan” that hands a victory to Hamas, one they knew that Israel would reject – and the entire society has rejected it, Left, Right and Center – they were setting Israel up for scapegoating. Now they are righteously indignant. How DARE Israel be so rude!!!
And notice that our tax dollars, which already fund terrorist organizations, are set to increase funding to Hamas:
The Kerry proposal also stated a commitment would be made to “transfer funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries of public employees.” Israeli and U.S. officials said the understanding was that money would be given to Hamas by the government of Qatar. A senior U.S. official said that the American government doesn’t like Qatar providing money to Hamas, which is still officially designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department. But Kerry was trying to reach Hamas and he believes this was the best way to influence them.
“The fact is, [the Qataris] are [funding Hamas] and as a result of that they have some influence,” the senior U.S. official said.
Cute. The more vicious the terror group, the more likely they are to get funded. Dig tunnels, fire rockets, receive a bonanza!! Don’t try this trick at home, kids.
BTL: We should have a category called Useful Idiots.