Persona non grata

Op-ed: After betraying Israel, can Kerry be trusted as 'loyal' mediator in peace talks with Palestinians?

The United States' status in the Middle East hasn't reached such a low in many years, so low that Secretary of State John Kerry has actually become a persona non grata in most of the region's countries. It's not just President Barack Obama's failed policy, which has turned the friends of the US into its enemies or made them fear it; it's also Kerry's personality.


He wouldn't dare travel to North African countries, for clear fear for his life. Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf see him as a concrete threat on the survival of the regimes and as the person who sold them to Iran. He made a five-minute stop in Egypt and escaped as fast as he could. The Turks are reluctant to talk to him after, as they believe, he sold them to Assad, whose own survival he himself agreed to just several days after defining him as "the new Hitler."


Kerry is a persona non grata among the Palestinians as well. Perhaps Kerry should go to the Gaza Strip, which he cares so much about? Or perhaps to Lebanon, or to Iraq? He spares his own life, but has no problem putting in danger the lives of Israelis, who according to his perception will be forced to spend their entire lives under the threat of Arab terror.


Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – the three Muslim countries which were the iron axis of the American policy in the Middle East for decades – are furious with this man, who they see as unrealistic, delusional. Kerry promises that the Muslim countries will recognize Israel after a "peace agreement." Well, they are not longer willing to recognize him.


But the most amazing thing is that that same Kerry has become a persona non grata in Israel too. Who would have thought that such a thing could happen with the United States' closest friend in the Middle East. His selective generosity, the forced smiles, all those may have deceived some people in Israel, but no more.


Acting like a landlord

His betrayal of Israel, when he essentially finalized a "deal" with the evil ayatollah regime and "forgot" to update Israel on the real details until the very last minute; his warning against a third intifada as if he were the Palestinian representative; his basic failure to understand Israel's existential needs; his arrogance and his habit to come here obsessively as some kind of landlord – all that led to the collapse of his reputation in Israel. That was indicated in Prime Minister Netanyahu's shock during the last meeting between the two at the airport, following which Kerry fled to his plane without even agreeing to be seen with Netanyahu. We didn't expect the US to sell us that way, especially with something perceived here as an existential issue.


It turns out that the man also supported the hostile Gaza-bound flotillas, and his perception of our region remains detached from reality. You want proof? Kerry publicly lashed out at Assad the tyrant, and in practice gave him an insurance policy in the form of the agreement banning chemical weapons. He publicly lashed out at the ayatollah regime, and now he aspires to appease that regime and accept the threat it poses.


If at the moment of truth Kerry sold Israel, how can he be trusted in the future? Can such a person be a "loyal" mediator between Israel and the Palestinians? The Israeli government may have been taken captive by the US, and is committed to continue the negotiations which in the meantime are turning into a cartoon, but the Israeli public is still free and wise, and we understand very well who is good to us and who is dangerous.



פרסום ראשון: 11.22.13, 11:37
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