By Schmoel Yitzhak
With friends like these who needs enemies? -- Anonymous.
Much as I dislike opening a column with a cliche, when it comes to evaluating American-Israeli relations, the above bromide is appropriate because it neatly describes the John Kerry-Benjamin Netanyahu relationship.
While theoretically, America's Secretary of State is believed to be Jerusalem's ally, in practice he has been more like a Nazi U-Boat commander firing torpedo after torpedo at Flagship Israel.
That same Kerry returns to Israel on Tuesday after his boss has succeeded in botching up relations with yet another ally -- Saudi Arabia. Dreamily, the sadly-mistaken (over and over again) Secretary of State believes that by dropping by the Saudis he instantly can mend the tattered fences.
Likewise, he'll be trying it again with Bibi, hoping to get the fictitious "Peace Process" back to some state of reality which, of course, will never happen..
While left-wingers such as the bamboozled Tzipi Livni quixotically believe that in Mahmoud Abbas the Israelis have a peace partner, the facts on the ground, over the airwaves and in the rhetoric prove otherwise.
Here's what Livni, et. al. just don't get; the Arabs do not want a peace treaty that comes anything short of Israeli capitulation.
Mind you, this is not -- not -- a one-shot statement. By their acts, the Palestinians have proven their intransigence over and over again. The Arab version of a "peace" treaty goes like this:
* The Palestinians gain control over water and at their sides of the Dead Sea and border crossings.
* That a Palestinian state be able to sign agreements with other states without Israeli intervention.
* That Israel release all Palestinian prisoners it holds.
* That Israel should relinquish its presence on the Jordan River, leaving its Eastern border defenseless.
* That all Palestinian refugees and their descendants be granted the right to choose to live in Israel or the Palestinian territories as part of a final agreement.
* That Israel will not be recognized as the Jewish state.
And that, my friends, is just for starters. Needless to say, any agreement would stipulate that not a single Jew be allowed to live in Judea or Samaria. Meanwhile, Arabs can live freely in Israel -- as they do very successfully now and have for decades -- but the other side must be Judenrein.
One reason why Abbas feels secure in making these outrageous, unrealistic demands is because of the sad state of the Department of State and DOS's leader.
Time and again, Kerry has ham-fistedly forced Bibi to make concessions that the Prime Minister knows he should not have made, starting with the release of Arab murderers from Israeli prisons. Such unnecessary moves merely whet Abbas' appetite for still more and more Israeli concessions.
The Palestinian leader -- I use the term leader as loosely as possible -- figures that the more he pushes Kerry to jerk more concessions from Netanyahu, the more the PM will give in; as he has in the past.
But Bibi must have a STOP sign somewhere.
As Jonathan S. Tobin writes in Commentary magazine, "Terms offered by Palestinians make it hard to believe that they are doing anything but going through the motions."
Either that or Abbas believes that his constant threats will continue to move Israel to points of no return.
What puzzles me is why Bibi has allowed himself to dismiss history. All he -- or Livni -- have to do is postulate a possible scenario that starts with this: What if a treaty actually is hammered out; what about Hamas in Gaza? What about the Israel-hating Iranian leaders? What about the nuclear threats from Teheran?
Tobin: "The fact that Gaza is ruled by Abbas' Hamas rivals makes any agreement unlikely since signing it might give the embattled Islamists a boost at Abbas' expense."
There's no way Hamas can be subtracted from any "peace" equation. Discovery of a sophisticated, Hamas-built tunnel into Israel is proof-positive of that. The Hamas preparation for another war is another example.
Netanyahu must be stronger than ever in his meeting -- I'd prefer it be a confrontation -- with Kerry.
Bibi must determine once and for all what kind of "friend" he has in the Obama presidency. What will Kerry say when the PM points out that Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that the Zionist regime is an
illegitimate and bastard regime.
Were Kerry a true friend rather than a spineless diplomat, he'd once and for all tell the America-hating Iranian government to go shove it and give Israel the green light to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.
Meanwhile, the Arab "warnings" continue to be delivered from Ramallah. Saeb Erekat is threatening to resign from the Palestinian negotiating team over Israeli settlement construction. Although Erekat's ridiculous "resignations" now number in the dozens over two decades, they do persuade the anti-Israel Kerry to push Bibi even harder to capitulate one more time.
Can Bibi stand his ground? I hope so but it really won't matter much in terms of winning over our "friend" at State and the White House.
After all, wasn't it Obama who -- against Israel's wishes -- leaked the info that it was the Israeli Air Force that struck a military base near the Syrian port city of Latakia last week? That was yet another devastating leak that harmed the Jewish State.
We'll see how this latest Kerry visit evolves but, based on past performances -- and unless we learn differently -- the Secretary of State remains the Chief Underminer of Israel.
That is, right behind his president.
Bottom Line: With friends like these who needs enemies!