December 30, 2016

Britain, Edging Toward Trump, Scolds Kerry Over Israel

The backlash from a conservative UK Prime Minister was predictable (Reuters):

Britain scolded U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for describing the Israeli government as the most right-wing in Israeli history, a move that aligns Prime Minister Theresa May more closely with President-elect Donald Trump.

Don’t be confused by the political rhetoric. Kerry, and President Obama, are correct. Israel, and PM May, are not. The core of the issue is buried two paragraphs down:

Amid one of the United States' sharpest confrontations with Israel since the 1956 Suez crisis, Kerry said in a speech that Israel jeopardizeds hopes of peace in the Middle East by building settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The truth is two-fold. First, Israeli settlers in the West Bank have been as big an impediment to the peace process as Palestinian (read: Hamas) suicide bombers, if not as massively violent, and second, the UK is toadying up to Donald Trump with this statement more than they are calling Secretary Kerry a liar.

Kerry is right, the settlers are part of the problem, and Israel has been unwilling or unable to do anything about moving them out for decades. The UK PM is the tail wagging the dog.

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