Dershowitz on Kerry Cease-Fire Blunder: 'I Wish He Hadn't Done It'

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 11:41 AM

By Melissa Clyne and Bill Hoffmann

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Secretary of State John Kerry "made a mistake" in promoting Qatar's cease-fire proposal to Israel, but he should not resign because of it, Harvard Law professor and Newsmax contributor Alan Dershowitz said Thursday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

"He thought that because the United States could not really pressure Hamas and could pressure Israel, and because he so desperately wanted a cease-fire, that he would adopt a Qatar proposal for a cease-fire," Dershowitz said. "That was a mistake, and it alienated Jordan, Egypt, Israel, some of the other emirate countries. He did it in good faith, but I wish he hadn't done it."

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Despite Kerry's misstep, the Israelis continue to have faith in him and believe he's "well-intentioned," according to Dershowitz.

"So the case for having him resign is not a strong one," he said.

Newsmax White House correspondent John Gizzi added that Kerry gave up a "very prominent perch" on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to become secretary of state, a "grueling, thankless job" where Gizzi predicted Kerry will remain for the remainder of President Barack Obama's second term.

"The worst-kept secret among the White House press corps is that President Obama wanted to appoint Susan Rice, his U.N. ambassador, to be secretary of state," Gizzi said. "He has a close relationship with her, not unlike that of George W. Bush to Condoleezza Rice or, for that matter, George H.W. Bush to James Baker. They're close, they're confidantes, yet she could never win confirmation after Benghazi, so he has gone to his friend and key political supporter — pivotal political support — John Kerry."

The Israeli media has excoriated Kerry over his decision to involve Turkey and Qatar — who Dershowitz said conspire with Hamas by providing financing, weapons and a safe haven — in the cease-fire negotiations.

Obama, in turn, erred by attacking the Israeli government and its news media, which has called for Kerry's resignation, because "Israel is a free press and the newspapers weren't speaking for the government," Dershowitz said.

In a separate interview Thursday on Newsmax's "The Steve Malzberg Show,'' Dershowitz lamented the broken cease-fires that have occurred over the past few weeks.

"Israel has accepted five cease-fire offers and in each of them people have been killed — its own soldiers have been killed — because Hamas violates [them] and they often violate [them] from U.N. sanctuaries,'' he said.

"Innocent people have died, but the world is blaming the wrong people for these deaths. It's part of Hamas' plan.''

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Dershowitz added there is photographic proof of Hamas' disregard for human life. And he blasted Qatar and Turkey for helping the terrorist group.

"On video you can see on camera, you can see Hamas using human shields, and you can see Israel trying desperately to avoid civilian casualties,'' he said.

"The only people who are siding with Hamas are the two real villains behind this war and that is Qatar and Turkey."

Dershowitz bristled at arguments that if Hamas is destroyed, it will only be replaced by a group far worse.

"[That's] absolutely false. What could be worse than a group that says we don't believe in Israel's right to exist, we want to, quote, exterminate every Jew who lives in Israel?'' he said.

"They are playing ball with Hezbollah, whose leader says he hopes all the Jews in the world will come to Israel so we won't have to go after them the way Hitler did. We can kill them all in one shot.

"Let me tell you, the devil we know is as bad as any possible devil, so I would be very happy to see Hamas disabled, demilitarized, and the world can fight what comes next.''

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