Clueless Kerry and his White House
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
Saint Paul, MN
#1 Jul 28, 2014
Tzipi Livni, the justice minister, told Kerry on Friday that the proposal was "completely unacceptable" and would "strengthen extremists in the region".
The criticism has spread to the media, where a columnist for the liberal newspaper Ha’aretz dubbed Kerry a "nebbish", a Yiddish word for a sad and clueless individual. "This was a betrayal," wrote David Horovitz, the editor of the Times of Israel, on Sunday.
Much of the criticism seems to stem from Kerry’s decision to involve Turkey and Qatar, strong backers of Hamas, and to reduce the role of Egypt, which was central to mediating the past two truces between Israel and Hamas.
But the army-backed government that came to power in Cairo last year has cracked down on Hamas, labeling it a terrorist organisation and destroying most of its smuggling tunnels into Gaza, raising doubts about its ability to play an impartial role.
Officials from Cairo were not invited to a meeting in Paris over the weekend, where Kerry met at length with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and with Qatari officials.
Even the Palestinian Authority - worried that Hamas will emerge strengthened from a ceasefire - attacked Kerry. An unnamed official told the Saudi-owned Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that the proposal would "destroy the Egyptian bid" for a ceasefire.
"He wants to use the war to strengthen the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood," the official said.
The furore underscores a growing convergence of interests between Israel, Egypt and most Gulf countries - with the exception of Qatar - all of which are staunch opponents of Hamas and other Islamist movements.
"It is misguided to shoot arrows at Kerry personally," wrote Amir Tibon, the diplomatic correspondent for Walla!, a popular Israeli news website. "The preference for the Muslim Brotherhood axis, over the moderate axis, is a problem that begins in the White House."
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