Now Peace Talks, John Kerry, are “Anti-Semitic” in Eyes of Israeli Far Right

(By Juan Cole)

The Likud-led Israeli government doesn’t like US Secretary of State John Kerry at all. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon ridiculed him as “obsessive” and “messianic.” Economy Minister Naftali Bennett earlier this week slammed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as being under Kerry’s influence, when Netanyahu was said to be considering leaving Israeli squatters on Palestinian land under the authority of the Palestine government in a peace deal leading to Israel relinquishing its current annexation project.

This week the largest Danish bank divested from Israel’s HaPoalim Bank because the latter funds squatter firms on Palestinian territory, in contravention of international law. This step is the latest in a rash of European moves to divest from Israeli economic enterprises located on Palestinian land in the West Bank and illegally exploiting Palestinian resources. (The 1949 Geneva Convention forbids an Occupying power from flooding its citizens into militarily occupied territory or from altering the lifeways of its people. Also just stealing their stuff is frowned on.) European firms complicit in West Bank Israeli crimes are increasingly exposed to legal action in European courts. Kerry is apparently acting on behalf of some section of American Jewry that is more clear-eyed than rightwing Israelis and sees this writing on the wall, and is trying to save Israel from Apartheid isolation with some version of a two-state solution.

Naftali Bennett is from the small religious Jewish Home Party that is in coalition with the largely secular Netanyahu government. Jewish Home is dead set against returning to pre-1967 borders or allowing the emergence of a Palestinian state, and has been threatening to withdraw from the government if Netanyahu signs a Kerry-brokered peace treaty with the Palestinians.

Now Israeli parliament member Motti Yogev, also from the Jewish Home Party, has attacked Kerry, this time as bigotted against Jews. He said, “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is acting under Kerry’s obsessive pressure, which may have anti-Semitic undertones . . . Kerry is not here to reach a compromise. He wants to decrease the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel and create a Palestinian state.”

Yogev himself lives in an Israeli squatter settlement on Palestinian territory.

It is one of the less appealing characteristics of Zionist bullies that they engage blithely in stealing Palestinian land and resources in complete disregard for international law and then use the fig leaf of charges of “anti-Semitism” to deflect any criticism of their actions. (The Jewish Home Party, though religious, characterizes itself as “Zionist.”) This distasteful ploy has increasingly jumped the shark as simple human rights law has become “anti-Semitic” insofar as the current rightwing Zionist enterprise violates international norms, and yet its proponents maintain that criticizing Israel or Zionism is not allowed. All this is not to mention that the United States gives (underline gives) Israel billions of dollars a year in its taxpayers’ money, as well as trade privileges worth further billions. It doesn’t do that for any other country at that level. If Kerry is anti-Semitic now, what would he have to do, make it trillions?

Housing Minister Uriel Ariel of the same party led a protest of some 2000 on Thursday, with rabbis praying that Netanyahu will stand firm against Kerry.

Palestinians fear that the talks are a mere smoke screen, allowing Israeli aggressive expansionism while falsely reassuring the outside world that a peace process is in train.

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Related video:

AFP reports, “Israel barrier threatens to split West Bank villages”

18 Responses

  1. EU Court decision plus UN Report makes B-Divestment-S for large European corporations, banking and pension funds imperative.

    Dutch Boycott Enforced Based on UN-OHCHR Report OPT

    Chapter 5. CONCLUSIONS

    100. The facts brought to the attention of the Mission indicate that the State of Israel has had full control of the settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) since 1967 and continues to promote and sustain them through infrastructure and security measures. The Mission notes that despite all the pertinent United Nations resolutions declaring that the existence of the settlements is illegal and calling for their cessation, the planning and growth of the settlements continues both of existing as well as new structures.

    101. The establishment of the settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem62 is a mesh of construction and infrastructure leading to a creeping annexation that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian State and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

    102. The settlements have been established and developed at the expense of violating international human rights laws and international humanitarian law, as applicable in the OPT as notably recognised by the 2004 ICJ Advisory Opinion.

    Etc., etc.

    My earlier post: Israel ignores EU’s anti-settlement sentiment at its own peril, an analysis

    (JPost) – Most people in Israel paid no attention to paragraph 4 of the conclusions issued by the European Union’s foreign ministers following their meeting on 10 December 2012 in Brussels, chaired by Catherine Ashton.

    The paragraph read:
    “The European Union expresses its commitment to ensure that – in line with international law – all agreements between the State of Israel and the European Union must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”

    International law caught up with Israel, its binding economic package with the European Union and illegal occupation/annexation of Palestinian Territory. It’s not the old testament that establishes states or boundaries. Years ago, Secretary Panetta warned Israel is becoming ‘Isolated’.

  2. It pains me deeply to note that this is a “dog bites man” story. The far right in Israel will be the seeds of her destruction, unless they acquire some sense, and quickly.

  3. Anti-Semitic: A pejorative hastily applied by Israel’s right wingers and their neocon supporters to anyone who has the impertinence to disagree with them, no matter how slight the difference in opinion.

    • I wonder if it’s possible to encourage reporters to report stuff like this with the observation that the actual adjective or gerund is “Anti-Likudic.”

  4. An obscure fact, not secret, but not frequently noted, is that John Kerry is actually half-Jewish, on his father’s side, even though most people think he is Irish Catholic and he had a close relationship with the Kennedy’s, even dating Jackie’s sister at one point briefly. He looks like a WASPy Boston Brahmin, and that is what he is on his mother’s side, related to John Adams. But his father, whose family took that nice Irish name, were Jewish, although Kerry was not raised that. I think he was raised Episcopalian, although I am not sure about that. In any cas,e it may be that his family background is why he thinks he mght be able to make the deal, but to the extent these critics even know of his family background, they would probably label him a “self-hating Jew.”

    • Barkley, if it is “on his father’s side” then as far as Israel is concerned he isn’t “half-Jewish”, he is in fact “a goy”.

  5. The BDS movement is still pretty small but it is really terrifying the ultra-nationalists who run Israel these days – they know very well how much it did to bring down apartheid in South Africa. And the Scarlett Johansson debacle has given it the kind of publicity money just can’t buy.

  6. This is reminiscent of the debate over slavery in the United States, 1830-1860. There was a gag rule in House of Representatives in the 1830s to the effect that slavery could not even be discussed. Ex-president John Quincy Adams, then a Rep, fought major battles just to have anti-slavery petitions from his constituents placed on the table. Lincoln addressed this towards the end of the Cooper Union speech in 1860, that it wasn’t enough to just shut up about slavery – to satisfy the South you had to sing its praises.

  7. “the United States gives (underline gives) Israel billions of dollars a year in its taxpayers’ money, as well as trade privileges worth further billions”
    Indeed, and not to mention the extensive SPYING that Israel conducts on it’s patron

  8. Uri Avinery, a journalist and former member of the Knesset, has described the future rise of the “Israeli Second Republic” via the J-14 social reform movement. He had his photo taken with Daphni Leef, that movement’s leader (with her bandaged wrist after having her hand broken by Israeli police). Ms. Leef, in an interview, described a “Five-Year Plan” in which her group was going to restructure the current Israeli government. She has denounced the victimization of Israeli society by the Netanyahu government. There are many within her group that want to see Israeli apartheid dismantled as disgraceful.

    Dr. Marek Edelman, one of the commanders of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, before his recent death, had felt that the Israeli Left and moderate Palestinian groups should unite into a single movement to promote a binding peace agreement. He frequently communicated and met with Palestinian activists from his Lodz apartment. Dr. Edelman had joined the Polish Resistance after escaping the Warsaw Ghetto and later was lauded by Lech Walesa for joining the Solidarity Congress as a delegate. He was awarded thr Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest honor, however drew anger in Israel among Jews for authoring an open letter to Palestinian militants encouraging them to engage in a peace dialogue with Israel.

  9. These antisemitic accusations are getting stale and used in ridiculous ways. It is now overused and totally inappropriate in this regard. Kerry has stated the obvious, and it is almost definite that BDS will increase should these peace talks fail. The outrage is overdone…it I seems so easy for Israel to push for sanctions against the Palestinians,and refuse to release their own funds, when they attempted to get recognized at the UN, and urged their servants in congress to do the same, but when it comes to their world condemned land theft and illegal settlements, hey sanctions are antisemitic! Israel sounds more desperate and ridiculous by the day. I hope Americans are finally getting the real picture here.

  10. It is certainly time to end those US subsidies of Israel, which subsidize their campaign bribes and other wrongful political influence here, and grant major aid to the Palestinians. Those politicians who have accepted such foreign-source campaign contributions should be imprisoned for failing to register as foreign agents.

    The whole idea of creating an ethnic state where the in-migration was already an explosive issue in the 1930s (as it would have been here if proportionate) was a foolish right wing escapade, and Palestine was the worst place for it. No other group has asked or been granted such discriminatory measures, and no other group demands or is granted a special word for discrimination against themselves, a golden opportunity for their right wing to define unique threats and propagandize their own people. Their right wing charade should be ended.

  11. When even Abe Foxman, whose life is devoted to digging up anti-Semitism where it doesn’t exist, condemns the Israeli comments on Kerry, you know you’ve got extreme extremism.

  12. I’m not a scholar, just an obscure old guy deeply concerned about these inhuman travesties now for decades. This wonderful thread by serious, knowledgeable people all in one place makes me believe that I will live to see a just resolution.

  13. “Kerry is apparently acting on behalf of some section of American Jewry”…pol’s of both parties are always acting on behalf of some section (take your pick) of American Jewry.
    . It doesn’t do that for any other ethnic group at that level. If Kerry is anti-Semitic now, what would he have to do, to outdo John McCain or Mitt Romney or Hilary Clinton??
    OMG that’s ‘anti-Semitic’!

  14. I guess I’m just another obscure old guy. I realized several years ago however the depth of the problem when former president Jimmy Carter was accused of anti Semitism after his book “Palestine , peace not Apartheid” was released. The former president had proven himself under fire decades earlier when he managed to secure a peace deal between Egypt and Israel. That deal cost the Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat his life.

  15. Anyone following closely the Kerry initiative I-P negotiations knows that Kerry has bent over backwards to accommodate Israeli “security concerns”. Anyone following Obama diplomacy vis-a-vis Israel and the Israel lobby knows the US President has also presented same aspect. But here is a case where US is not giving Israel 100% of what Israel wants, so naturally, the American Secretary of State is “anti-semitic”. I think it may be some kind of variation on “the last refuge of a scoundrel”.

    Kerry has taken a lot, a whole lot of sh*t from right wing Israeli Jews lately. The US State Dept. and WH has responded with admirable restraint, playing a very good game along with the European boycotters. I think the Israelis will be the first ones to blink and a peace treaty is in the offing, which is very satisfying to me as an anti-war type. But even more personally, as someone who has engaged in battle with hasbara and been wounded by their poisoned arrows, when they get to the point of naming someone like Kerry anti-semitic — that releases the last of the poison for me.

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