It should come as no surprise to anyone that our secretary of state, John Kerry, was caught on a hot mic bashing Israel during a commercial break while in an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Kerry sarcastically characterized the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza as a “hell of a pinpoint operation” while on speaker-phone with an adviser.
After all, it was less than three months ago that Kerry said Israel could become an Apartheid state if a Palestinian state were not established. This comment, made behind closed doors during a sitting of the Trilateral Commission, put Kerry on the defensive for a few days before he issued a classic non-apology apology.
Kerry said he “would not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes.” In one breath he denied saying Israel was an Apartheid state, then in the next said, “If I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way, in the long term, is to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples, living side by side in peace and security, is through a two-state solution.”
This time around Kerry didn’t have seventy-two hours to craft a self-serving statement, as Wallace confronted him about his hot mic remarks only minutes after he made them. Kerry looked visibly uncomfortable in his botoxed state. He tried to say the right things:
I think it’s very difficult in these situations, obviously very difficult, Chris. You have people who have come out of tunnels. You have a right to go in and take out those tunnels. We completely support that. And we support Israel’s right to defend itself against rockets continuing to come in.
Hamas has started this process of rocketing, after Israel was trying to find the people who killed three young—you know, one American kid, three young Israeli citizens. It’s disgraceful.
And so, yes, it’s tough. It’s tough to have this kind of operation. I reacted obviously in a way that, you know, anybody does with respect to young children and civilians.
But war is tough, and I said that publicly and I’ll say it again. We defend Israel’s right to do what it is doing in order to get at those tunnels. Israel has accepted a unilateral cease-fire. It’s accepted the Egyptian plan which we also support.
And it is important for Hamas to now step up and be reasonable and understand that you accept the cease-fire, you save lives, and that’s the way we can proceed to have a discussion about all of the underlying issues which President Obama has clearly indicated a willingness to do.
But the damage was done. Kerry has given aid and comfort not only to Hamas, but to the Palestinian body politic at-large, which seeks to delegitimize Israel. Mustafa Barghouti, who leads the Palestinian National Initiative, has cited Kerry’s remarks as evidence that the IDF is deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians. This is but the latest in decades of useful idiocy on the part of Kerry.
One would be tempted to call for Kerry’s resignation. But what good would come of it? Has anyone checked the depth chart at the Obama administration’s State Department lately? If Kerry goes, the choices are UN Ambassador Samantha Power or National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Power once suggested that the U.S. military invade Israel. As for Rice, all I need say is, “Benghazi.”
Indeed, John Kerry is but the tip of the iceberg. As long as the Obama administration is in office, it really does not matter who the secretary of state is. It will not withdraw its recognition of the State Department-designated terrorist organization Hamas in its coalition with Fatah. It will not stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. It will not do right by Israel. It is true that President Obama leaves office in less than two-and-a-half years. But by then the damage he and his administration have caused Israel could be irreversible.