US Secretary of State John Kerry looks like a bit of an idiot these
days. On Monday he announced that he will be returning to Israel and
the Palestinian Authority and Jordan for the fifth time since he was
sworn into office on February 1. That is an average of more than one
visit a month.
And aside from frequent flier
miles, the only thing he has to show for it is a big black eye from PLO
chief and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Kerry was here last month he unveiled a stunning plan to bring $4
billion in investment funds to the PA. If his plan actually pans out,
its champions claim it will increase the PA's GDP by a mind-numbing 50
percent in three years and drop Palestinian unemployment from 21 to 8
Standing before world and regional
leaders on May 26, Kerry said plaintively, "This will help build the
future. Is this a fantasy? I don't think so."
and his underlings wasted no time, however, in demonstrating that
indeed, Kerry's plan is fantasy. Abbas appointed Rami Hamdallah, a Fatah
apparatchik with perfect English, to replace America's favorite
moderate Palestinian, Salam Fayyad, as PA prime minister.
As The Jerusalem Post's
Khaled Abu Toameh has pointedly explained, Hamdallah was appointed for
two reasons. First, to facilitate Fatah's absconding with hundreds of
millions of dollars in donor aid to the PA and to Palestinian
development projects precisely of the type that Kerry hopes to finance
with his $4b. grant. The second reason Abbas appointed Hamdallah the
English professor from Nablus was because his language skills will
enable him to make American and European donors feel comfortable as his
colleagues in Fatah pick their taxpayer- funded pockets.
from mooning Kerry in the middle of his speech in Jordan, Abbas
couldn't have thought of a more graphic way to show his contempt for
Kerry and the Obama administration.
wasn't the only thing the Palestinians did. Again, as Abu Toameh has
reported, the popular Palestinian response to last week's World Economic
Forum in Jordan, where Abbas and Kerry rubbed elbows with President
Shimon Peres and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, was to attack the
businessmen who accompanied Abbas to the conference. Their crime was
meeting with Israeli businessmen who came to the conference in Peres's
entourage. Led by Fatah activists, Palestinian writers, unions and
others also went after Palestinian businessmen from Jenin who went to
Haifa to meet with Israeli businesspeople at the invitation of Haifa's
Chamber of Commerce. The "anti-normalization" crowd is calling for
Palestinians to boycott Palestinian businesses that do business with
And again, that isn't all. At the
PLO's birthday celebrations this week, Abbas said that the group's 1964
charter reflects the will of the Palestinian people. That charter calls
for the destruction of Israel. It was written three years before Israel
took control of Judea, Samaria and northern, southern and eastern
But wait, there's more. The
Palestinian leadership attacked Kerry personally and his plan as an
attempt to bribe them. They promised that while they will happily take
the money, $4b. measly dollars won't convince them to moderate one iota.
They still demand that Israel release all Palestinian terrorists from
its jails, agree to its demographic destruction through the so-called
"right of return," or unfettered immigration of millions of foreign
Arabs to Israel, and the surrender of all of Judea, Samaria and
northern, southern and eastern Jerusalem to the PLO as a precondition to
And for all that,
Kerry responded by applauding Hamdallah's appointment and announcing he
will return here next week and is planning to roll out his own
comprehensive peace plan very soon.
leaders for the most part have reacted to Kerry's constant harping by
rolling their eyes. He seems like a complete lunatic. Obviously he will
fail and the best thing we can do is smile and nod, like you do when you
are dealing with a crazy person.
Kerry claimed that the reason Israelis aren't interested in peace is
that we have too much money to care, we didn't take offense. Because
really, why take anything he says seriously? And aside from that, they
ask, what can the Obama administration do to us, at this point? Every
single day it becomes more mired in scandal.
Guardian's revelation Wednesday that the US government has been
confiscating the phone records of tens of millions of Americans who use
the Verizon business network since April is just the latest serious,
normal-presidency destroying scandal to be exposed in the past month.
And every single scandal - the IRS's unlawful harassment and
discrimination of conservative organizations and individuals, the
Justice Department's spying on AP journalists and attempt to criminalize
the normal practice of journalism through its investigation of Fox News
correspondent James Rosen - makes it more difficult for President
Barack Obama to advance his agenda.
foreign policy, the whistle-blower testimony that exposed Obama's
cover-up of the September 11, 2012, al-Qaida attack on the US Consulate
and CIA annex in Benghazi has caused massive damage to Obama's
credibility in foreign affairs and to the basic logic of his foreign
Ambassador Chris Stevens was tortured
and murdered by al-Qaida terrorists who owed their freedom of operation
to the Obama administration. If it hadn't been for Obama's decision to
bring down the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, who had been largely harmless
to the US since he gave up his illicit nuclear weapons program in 2004,
those al-Qaida forces probably wouldn't have be capable of waging an
eight-hour assault on US installations and personnel in Benghazi.
the Benghazi scandal hounding him, the Syrian civil war and, for the
past week, the anti-government protests in Turkey all exposing his
incompetence on a daily basis, these Israeli leaders take heart, no
doubt in the belief that Obama's freedom to attack us has vastly
Although this interpretation of events is attractive, and on its face seems reasonable, it is wrong.
And it would be a devastating mistake for Israeli leaders to believe it.
Since he entered office, Obama has responded to every defeat by doubling down and radicalizing.
in 2009 public sentiment against his plan to nationalize the US
healthcare industry was so high that Republican Scott Brown was elected
senator from Massachusetts for the sole purpose of blocking Obamacare's
passage in the US Senate, Obama did not accept the public's verdict.
he used a technicality to ram the hated legislation through without
giving Brown and the Senate the chance to vote it down.
now, as his Middle East strategy of appeasing Islamists lies in the
ruins of the US Consulate in Benghazi and in the cemeteries interning
the Syrians murdered in sarin gas attacks as Obama shrugged his
shoulders, Obama is again doubling down. On Wednesday he announced that
he is elevating the two architects of his policy to senior leadership
roles in his administration.
appointments of UN Ambassador Susan Rice to serve as his national
security adviser, and of former National Security Council member
Samantha Power to serve as ambassador to the UN, are a finger in the eye
to his critics. These women rose to national prominence through their
breathless insistence that the US use force to overthrow Gaddafi in
spite of clear evidence that al-Qaida was a major force in his
Power is reportedly the author of
Obama's policy of apologizing to foreign countries for the actions of
past administrations. Certainly she shares Obama's hostility toward
Israel. And she has been outspoken in expressing her negative opinions.
a nutshell, Power's vision for US foreign policy is a noxious brew of
equal parts self-righteousness, ignorance and prejudice. And now she
will be responsible for defending Israel (or not) at the most hostile
international arena in the world, where Israel's very right to exist is
subject to assault on a daily basis.
decision to appoint Rice and Power in the face of the mounting scandals
surrounding his presidency generally and his foreign policy particularly
is not the only reason Israeli leaders should not expect for his
weakened political position to diminish Obama's plan to put the screws
on Israel in the coming years. There is also the disturbing pattern of
the abuse of power that the scandals expose.
date, all administration officials questioned have denied that Obama
was in any way involved in directing the IRS to use the tax code to
intimidate with the aim of discrediting and destroying conservative
organizations and donors. Likewise, they say he played no role in the
Justice Department's espionage operations against American journalists,
or in the intentional cover-up of the al-Qaida assault on US
installations and personnel in Benghazi. But mounting circumstantial
evidence indicates that this is not true.
House visitor records show that IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman visited
Obama's White House 157 times. His predecessor Mark Everson who served
under president George W. Bush only visited the White House once.
too, as Andrew McCarthy reported last month in National Review, White
House Press Secretary Jay Carney admitted that Obama spoke with then
secretary of state Hillary Clinton at 10 p.m. on September 11, 2012,
during the al- Qaida assault in Benghazi.
was after that phone conversation that the administration changed its
talking points about the nature of the assault, purging details on the
identity of the perpetrators and blaming an unrelated Internet movie
trailer for inciting the attack.
The one thing
all the scandals share is a single-minded willingness to pursue radical
goals to the bitter end. The IRS's targeting of conservatives was an
appalling abuse of executive power, unlike anything we have seen in
recent history. The passage of Obamacare in the face massive public
opposition was another means to the end of destroying his opponents.
cover-up of the Benghazi attack was a bid to hide the failure of a
policy in order to double down on it - despite its failure. The only
reason you would want to double down on an already failed policy is if
you are ideologically committed to a larger goal that the failed policy
The similarities of the pattern of
behavior in all of these actions, as well as the circumstantial evidence
already unearthed, indicate strongly that despite the denials, Obama
was in fact involved and may have directed the actions of all of his
underlings in all of the scandals now unfolding.
this means for Israel is we cannot be lured into complacency by Kerry's
buffoonery or Obama's apparent political weakness. This is a man who is
most dangerous when attacked. And this is a man who is absolutely
committed to his ideological agenda. We had better be ready, because if
we are not, we won't know what has hit us.