The ferocity of Friday’s unanimous rejection by the Israeli government of Secretary of State John Kerry’s cease was kept quiet to prevent a formal rupture of relations between the two erstwhile allies, reports Israel’s Channel 2 Television.
The popular and widely-watched Saturday evening newscast quotes several unnamed high officials in the Israeli government who claimed that Kerry’s cease fire proposal represented a “complete cave-in” to Hamas’s demands for an end to fighting in its war against Israel.
The official, and others cited in The Times of Israel, claimed that Israel was “stunned” and “absolutely horrified” that Kerry’s ceasefire proposal, which contained no demand that Hamas dismantle or destroy its terror tunnel network. It demanded that both Israel and Egypt open their border crossings with Gaza, from where all the devastating weapons of war were initially imported. Furthermore, the Kerry plan did not simply call for Hamas to be allowed to build a seaport on its Mediterranean coast; but that Israel and Egypt should help pay for it.
Fearing an open breach in US-Israel relations, Channel 2 reported that Israel’s outraged ministers decided to leak the terms of the Kerry proposal rather than formally respond to them. Israeli officials were enraged not just about the totally unexpected terms contained in the Kerry proposal but deeply offended by what they thought were the underhanded tactics he used to push it.
Kerry flew to Paris and held talks Saturday without representatives of Israel, the Palestinian Authority or Egypt. The talks instead occurred with Qatar and Turkey, which Israel’s Communications Minister Gilad Erdan said showed “we’re a long way from a political solution.”
It wasn’t just Israel that found itself outraged that Kerry was working secretly with Turkey, a country whose president twice this week called Israel a “terrorist state” whose crimes are worse than Hitler’s and Qatar, the only Arab state that openly allies itself with the genocidal terrorist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the murder of all Jews in it.
Egypt too, according to these Israeli sources, was opposed to Kerry’s position.
Kerry claimed Friday that his ceasefire proposal was not pro-Hamas, but was in fact constructed on top of the Egyptian proposal he submitted last Tuesday. Israel hotly disputes this. They claim Kerry’s latest missive breaks entirely from the Egyptian proposal, which called for an immediate ceasefire after which negotiations would commence, whereas Kerry’s document accepts Hamas’s demands for concessions prior to accepting a cease fire.
Israel’s multi-party security cabinet was so taken aback by the pro-Hamas scope of the Kerry proposal, they initially refused to believe they were real. “It must be a misunderstanding,” the source told Channel 2. Israel’s security cabinet was in fact meeting at this writing late Saturday night in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, inside Israel, pressure is building not to cease operations, but to complete them. Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told Israel radio that the IDF needed to be given more time to insure it could prevent Hamas from waging a “fourth war” against Israel.