This week, America went back to its policy of blaming the other side for its own failures. Secretary of State John Kerry is making every effort to advance the peace process. But he’s ignoring the fact that his policies are dictated by his worldview. But his worldview is not accepted by the other partners to the agreement. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told this to him personally and publicly.
The Americans were offended, both by Yaalon, and this week, when they discovered that the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are simply stuck. Instead of wondering why things aren’t moving, the American statement, with the threat, was issued: “We will take our hands off this issue.” This kind of statement is not characteristic of the world’s biggest superpower.
The United States has, in the past, used its power to advance its goals. But during President Obama’s term, declarations and words have replaced the stick that was once used. It happened with Iran, Syria and the Palestinians. And when Washington’s allies in the world, from Saudi Arabia to the Gulf States and Israel, tell the administration the truth, they have a hard time accepting it.
Friends don’t like sanctimonious criticism. We’re allowed to tell America the truth: They’ve become naïve, worthless, weak, afraid of themselves. Washington has built around itself a virtual reality that does not exist, and is trying to lead a policy of escape, of running away. Israel is not willing to accept this approach, which is why the Americans were so angry this week when they failed to execute the agreement between them, the Israelis and the Palestinians.
It’s very easy to come to both sides and say “we’ve done what we can.” It’s the easiest thing for a person who has failed in the task he has undertaken to say.
Obama is in serious trouble. He’s stuck with the Ukrainian crisis, with Russian President Putin doing things that in the past, would have triggered American missile mobilizations and fighter jet deployments. The Crimean Peninsula is not the end of the story. Washington has no good solutions to the Syrian crisis, and the disarmament of its chemical weapons is also at a standstill. Meanwhile, the Iranians are continuing to develop their nuclear arsenal. The border between the Koreas flared up this week. And yes, the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations hit a rut, too.
America is unable to solve a single one of the crises it is involved in. Its allies are disappointed and frustrated. The White House’s image is at a nadir.
John Kerry sits in his office and wonders: Is there a solution to the Syrian crisis? The Iranians? Korea? Ukraine? And he quickly realizes that without real force, there is no way to attain the solution the United States wants. Then he remembers the marginal dispute in the Middle East, and boards another flight to attend another series of meetings where he knows he won’t hear anything new, but with the hope that somewhere, he will achieve something. For himself, and even more so for his president. And he’s not succeeding.
Is it any wonder he is frustrated?