Former US Secretary of State John Kerry will publish a new book in the coming days, including memoirs of the time he served under President Barack Obama and his failed attempt to achieve peace between Israel and the PA.
From excerpts of the book published over the weekend by Jewish Insider, a clear picture emerges: The Kerry and Obama duo sought to evacuate Judea and Samaria and abandon Israel's security, and only Prime Minister Netanyahu's steadfastness prevented the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes.
Kerry reveals that Netanyahu rejected the plan presented by US General John Allen to then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, according to which when Israel evacuated Judea and Samaria, the United States would place American troops on the border of a future Palestinian state, while the IDF would be stationed in close proximity and ready to respond to any threat.
According to Kerry, Netanyahu insisted that the IDF must maintain a long-term presence in Judea and Samaria, the duration of which would be left up to Israel.
“It was now clear to all of us that Bibi was not interested in actually addressing the security questions in a way that could allow for the eventual withdrawal of the IDF,” he wrote.
“I concluded that this wasn’t about security [...] I let him know I thought he was creating an insurmountable stumbling block if he couldn’t accept the best advice of one of his ally’s most brilliant military minds. He smiled and said we’d table the discussion for now.”
Kerry noted that Netanyahu agreed to release terrorists who had been in Israeli jails since before the Oslo process, in order to renew the negotiations with Abbas for nine months. “I told Bibi in no uncertain terms, ‘If you’re not willing to release them, I understand — but this won’t work and I’m done with it.’ When he was confronted with this deadline, for the first time, he said, ‘Okay, let me see what I can do.'”
“Bibi’s attitude was ‘I’m open to solving this problem if I can have all my needs met.’ That included his political needs with his coalition,” Kerry also wrote
Kerry and Netanyahu met at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem a few days after Obama's speech in Israel in 2013. Kerry wrote about this encounter: “He looked me dead in the eye and said, John, I’m willing to give this effort a try, but there are two things you should know: first, everyone in this region lies all the time and you Americans have a hard time understanding that; second, the most I can do may be less than the least Abbas could ever accept.’ That statement really stayed with me. Bibi was raising the bar, perhaps impossibly.”
Kerry also reveals in his book what stood behind Obama's decision not to exercise the veto power of the United States in the United Nations and to prevent Resolution 2336, which states that the "settlements" in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem are illegal.
According to him, the announcement by President-elect Trump on the appointment of David Friedman as the next ambassador to Israel is what caused Obama to refrain from imposing the veto. “President-elect Trump had announced he was going to appoint an ambassador to Israel who was a hard-core proponent of the settlements and an avowed opponent of the two-state solution.”
“At the same time, the Israelis had shown themselves to be completely disdainful of our policy by starting a process of formally legalizing outposts… We could not defend in the UN Israeli actions that amounted to a massive and unprecedented acceleration of the settlement enterprise.”