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Thursday, December 29, 2016

What's Really Un-American About Kerry's Speech

It's remarkable how Secretary of State John Kerry, in the name of "America's values," skillfully excludes from consideration the only real Middle East solution, modeled on America's own example. Here's what I wrote in response to NPR's story:

The most strikingly false note in Kerry's speech -- repeated implicitly thereafter -- is his statement that Israelis can't achieve peace by choosing democratic pluralism over ethno-religious nationalism within a one-state framework. Why on Earth not? That's precisely how we've (more or less) kept the peace here in the States for the past 150 years.

One has to wonder what he has in mind when he says, "We have long known what two states, living side by side in peace and security looks like." Really? That's not how we've done it ourselves, so to what could he be referring?

He similarly misleads by omission when he says, "It is not in U.S. interests to help anyone on either side create a unitary state." This is the fallacy of the excluded middle: what is in the interests of Americans and all humanity is to help people on both sides, working together, to create a unitary state. This is already prefigured in binational Israeli-Palestinian groups working against the occupation and the apartheid wall.

Indeed, there can be no more effective way of "working to change perceptions and build up belief in the possibility of peace" between populations that "no longer see the other side as people, only as threats and enemies," than for unity-minded members of both to work together in a common political movement whose logical endpoint is a common state.

Kerry's speech (rough transcript): http://time.com/4619064/john-kerrys-speech-israel-transcript/

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