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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/28/13

Kerry Stumbles Into a Peace "Bully" Role

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Kerry Abbas WAFA photo

Nicola Nasser, a blogger from Bir Zeit, Palestine, has delivered a stinging rebuke to John Kerry on the eve of the meetings with the U.S., Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

Nasser's blog, allarabi, exposed a "new tactic" in Kerry's preparation for the peace conference scheduled to begin Monday.

When preparations for the talks began, Kerry asked Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas not to comment on the conversations they had with Kerry prior to the Washington meeting.

Sorry, Mr. Secretary, but If the Edward Snowden/NSA fiasco has taught us anything, it is this: There are no secrets in the internet age.

The U.S. Secretary of State cannot meet with a delegation from the 22-member Arab League in Petra, Jordan, as Kerry did on July 17, and expect his strategy to remain confidential.

Certainly not with bloggers like Nasser writing under this blunt headline, "Kerry Uses Arabs to Bully Palestinians."

This is how Nasser began his posting:

"A new tactic by US Secretary of State John Kerry is causing a split within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) ranks regarding further talks with Israel. Kerry is apparently using the Arab League's Follow-Up Committee on the Arab Peace Initiative (FCAPI) to bully the Palestinians into accepting new ground rules for the talks to which they had objected in the past.

"In his sixth tour of the region as secretary of state, Kerry did something unusual. Instead of visiting Israel, as he always does, he left it out of his itinerary, deciding instead to hold most of the talks in the Jordanian capital Amman. While there, he conferred with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as well as members of the FCAPI.

"As the talks progressed, it became clear that Kerry was no longer focusing on Israel, the country that has torpedoed all previous attempts at peace, but on the PLO. His aim is to get the latter to offer more concessions than any they have accepted in the past. ...

"The tactic is not totally new, for it resonates with the manner in which US diplomats have used the Arab League to justify foreign intervention for the sake of regime change in countries such as Iraq and Libya in the past."

The Petra meeting was hosted by Jordan's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs Nasser Judeh. When the Jordan News Agency reported on the meeting. It remained faithful to the western narrative:

"The delegation, which included Arab foreign ministers and permanent representatives at the Arab League of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Secretary General of the Arab League, praised the efforts made by US President Barak Obama and Secretary Kerry, and their commitment to achieve peace."

The FCAPI delegates also remained in western mode:

"Speaking after a meeting with Kerry in Amman, FCAPI diplomats voiced their 'great support' for Kerry's efforts to revive the talks. Their remarks were seen as a 'victory' for Kerry, said the Associated Press. It was a 'success' for his diplomacy, added The New York Times."

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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