Tags: US | Israel | Indyk

Top Kerry Aide Expected to Resign After Bashing Israel

Image: Top Kerry Aide Expected to Resign After Bashing Israel
Martin Indyk and Secretary of State John Kerry

By    |   Wednesday, 07 May 2014 05:43 PM

A top aide to Secretary of State John Kerry is expected  to resign following the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, as senior Obama administration officials reportedly place most of the blame on Israel and predict that the Palestinians will eventually get a state – either through violence or international pressure.

Israeli media outlets have reported that Martin Indyk, the U.S. special envoy to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, will step down and return to the Washington-based Brookings Institution as vice president. Indyk took a leave of absence from Brookings to join Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian accord.


News of Indyk’s impending departure followed reports that he was the anonymous source for a story published Friday in the Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharanot,  in which American officials blamed the Jewish state for the collapse of negotiations.


One official claimed that “the primary sabotage” to peace efforts  came from Israeli settlements, saying that “Palestinians don’t believe that Israel really intends to let them found a state.”


The official said the world community pays more attention to Israel’s actions than other countries because “it was founded by a UN resolution. Its prosperity depends on the way it is viewed by the international community.”

The Jewish people “are supposed to be smart. It is true that they’re also considered a stubborn nation,” he added. “You’re supposed to know how to read the map: In the 21st century, the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation. The occupation threatens Israel’s status in the world and threatens Israel as a Jewish state."

The U.S. official bluntly informed Yediot Aharanot reporter Nahum Barnea: “The Palestinians are tired of the status quo. They will get their state in the end – whether through violence or by turning to international organizations” to pressure Israel.

In blaming Israel for the collapse of the negotiations, the official complained about the building of Jewish “settlements.” But supporters of Israel counter that these “settlements” are not actually new towns but homes  in existing communities “being built in exactly the same places Abbas supposedly had conceded would stay in Israel,” writes Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin.

Tobin points to the example of Gilo, which U.S. officials portray as the “final straw” in causing Abbas to break off the negotiations. Gilo is a 40-year-old Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem certain to remain part of Israel even if a peace accord were reached.

“The truth is Abbas never had any genuine interest in peace and fled the talks the first chance he got,” Tobin contends. “The Americans are so invested in Abbas’ shaky credibility as a peacemaker that they were prepared to swallow any excuse from him.”

Since Kerry became secretary of state last year, the Obama administration has taken a more confrontational approach towards Israel, warning it repeatedly of dire consequences if negotiations fail.

During one trip to the region in early November, Kerry warned that “chaos” could occur, adding: “Does Israel want a third intifada?"

The Jerusalem Post reported that on the same trip, Kerry also spoke of “the de-legitimization of Israel” and expressed concern that “we may wind up with a [Palestinian leadership] that is committed to violence” without an agreement.

In March, President Obama warned Israel that Washington would have limited ability to protect Israel from "international fallout" if there was "continued aggressive settlement construction." That was an apparent reference to the Palestinians' threat to pursue Israel at the International Criminal Court, the BBC reported.

And last month, Kerry said Israel could become an "apartheid state" if it failed to reach an agreement with the Palestinians.

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A top aide to Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to resign following the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, as senior Obama administration officials reportedly place most of the blame on Israel and predict that the Palestinians will eventually get a state.
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Wednesday, 07 May 2014 05:43 PM
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