Wednesday, April 09, 2014

9-Apr-14: Analyzing the failure, what role did the Kerry State Department play?

State's Deputy Spokesperson has still not figured out
whether the US regards the convicted murdering
terrorists as freedom fighters in the way
that Abbas and his regime do. Yes, that's right: the
State Department of the United States. [Image Source
Ha'aretz, and then numerous other news channels, have sized up the failed "peace" talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel and identified the culprit. "Kerry places blame on Israel for crisis in peace talks", says Israel's newspaper of record. Others (the Jerusalem Post for instance, with "US clarifies: Kerry blames both Israel, Palestinians for breakdown in talks") take a slightly different view. Still, it's sadly obvious that there's no line of critics beating up on Mahmoud Abbas and his band of terrorism-loving insiders for their role in the outcome.

What we are wondering is, what part did the US take in this foreseeable failure? How much responsibility does it bear?

We are particularly troubled by the way in which the freeing of unrepentant, convicted and imprisoned terrorist felons ended up playing a central role in the PA's bill of complaints. (See for instance "Israel Halts Prisoner Release as Talks Hit Impasse" in the New York Times, April 3, 2014.)

From our perspective, as we have written here many times in the past nine months, a peace process in which committed murderers are deliberately and repeatedly turned by one of the parties in the conflict into heroes whose homicidal exploits are celebrated as examples for others to follow, is no peace process at all but a march towards victory.

This is why we are infuriated by the way the Kerry-led State Department has gotten away with a consciously ambiguous policy on Palestinian Arab terror. We are exasperated by the gall and the hypocrisy of the Washington bureaucrats who devised and executed it. And we are no less enraged by the passivity which the working media, the news reporters who know this and write nothing, devoted to keeping the matter quiet, at least for English-speaking news consumers. 

In the Arab world, the studied indifference of the Kerry/Obama policy concerning the Abbas/PA lionization of terrorist killers of Jews served as an eloquent signal. They didn't need Arabic-language State Department press releases for the point to be driven home. Terrorism, when practised by Palestinian Arabs? That's not real terrorism. Ignore the Israelis. And certainly ignore the Israeli victims.

Here's where the rot first appeared. On August 13, 2013, an American journalist asked Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson in the State Department, this straight-forward question during a media briefing:

Do you have any thoughts or position on whether these people who are going to be released [today] are political prisoners or are they terrorists?
The question arose because of a letter that we delivered to Secretary Kerry that same day. Speaking as the designated State Department official spokesperson that day, in a formal press briefing, she said: 
I do not have a position on that.
And we can confirm, from the silence that has thundered out of the State Department offices since then, that they still do not. (Readers still in doubt may want to watch this video of the exchange.)

Despite our repeated enquiries since August 2013, asking both as interested individuals and as the parents of an American-citizen who was murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists who walked free without any intervention by the State Department, we have been comprehensively ignored. And so has the question. 

No one in the US administration is willing to admit, it is clear, that they have taken a position on this serious matter - at any rate, no one who was willing to speak to us, or for the record. 

Then again, as the Arab world has noted, State, Kerry and the Obama administration have taken a position on whether those murdering terrorists are freedom fighters, political prisoners or mere felons. Was that signal integrated into the PA negativism that was so clear to anyone with eyes since the start of this latest "peace" process? We think the answer is pretty clear. 

Sometimes, the anguish of ordinary people like the parents of a murdered child can be helpful in allowing others to see and hear what is being concealed from them.

No comments: