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If Press Reports Are Correct, Kerry Peace Plan Is a Joke

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It is possible that the details of Secretary of State John Kerry's peace proposal (as reported in the New York Times) are wrong. However, assuming the report is correct, the Palestinians would be out of their minds to accept it. It is bad for Israelis and Palestinians and demeans the United States by reducing us to the role of Benjamin Netanyahu's stenographer.

Here are the key points as reported in the Times.

First: The Israeli concessions:

It will release over 400 high profile Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails (the prisoners will be chosen by Israel not the Palestinians.)

Israel will agree to "show restraint" in building and expanding West Bank settlements. (Projects under way will continue and the restraint will not apply to expanded East Jerusalem, which Israel defines as extending well east of the city itself and where Palestinians are being evicted from homes and neighborhoods).

Israel will agree to keep the Kerry mission going through 2015.

Next: The Palestinian concessions:

They will agree not to join any of the 60 United Nations agencies which they are entitled to join, preventing them from having any venue to protest the occupation of the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza and any and all other issues relating to their status as occupied. Most significantly, they lose their right to take their case to the International Criminal Court. All Palestinian complaints would be heard and decided upon by the Obama administration!

They will agree to an Israeli policy on settlements that amounts to nothing more than it saying it will "show restraint" and not even that on Jerusalem where it won't. In short, they agree to a deal with no settlement freeze whatsoever, not even for 24 hours.

They will agree to keep the Kerry mission going through 2015.

Last: The U.S. concession to Israeli and American right-wingers:

The United States will free the spy, Jonathan Pollard, enabling him to go to Israel, collect his million dollars in back pay, and -- most important of all -- become the country's loudest and most strenuous opponent of peace with the Palestinians, not to mention the country he spied on.

That's it. There is no need for any further elaboration by me except to say that I cannot imagine any Palestinian accepting a deal like this. No Jew would have, which is one reason there is a Jewish state. The Kerry "offer" is an offensive joke.

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