By William Kristol
Writing in Haaretz – Israel’s New York Times, but further left – Barak Ravid, unquestionably a man of the left, turns on John Kerry. Read the whole thing, but here are highlights:
The draft Kerry passed to Israel on Friday shocked the cabinet ministers not only because it was the opposite of what Kerry told them less than 24 hours earlier, but mostly because it might as well have been penned by Khaled Meshal. It was everything Hamas could have hoped for.
The document recognized Hamas’ position in the Gaza Strip, promised the organization billions in donation funds and demanded no dismantling of rockets, tunnels or other heavy weaponry at Hamas’ disposal. The document placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel….
The secretary of state’s draft empowered the most radical and problematic elements in the region – Qatar, Turkey, and Hamas – and was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry’s draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant….
If Kerry did anything on Friday it was to thwart the possibility of reaching a cease-fire in Gaza. Instead of promoting a cease-fire, Kerry pushed it away. If this failed diplomatic attempt leads Israel to escalate its operation in Gaza, the American secretary of state will be responsible for every additional drop of blood that is spilled.
These words come from the heart of the peace camp in Israel. They come from one of President Obama’s strongest defenders in Israel. And they present to Barack Obama this question: How do you ask an Israeli–or a Palestinian–to die for John Kerry’s mistakes? Surely it’s time for John Kerry to go.