Opinion |

In Historic Address, Kerry Tells Israelis They're Committing Suicide

In a typical Anglo-Saxon speech there’s always a villain. In John Kerry's it was Netanyahu's kingdom of evil.

Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher

As soon as John Kerry started talking it was clear that this would be a historic speech. In simple words and plain logic, he laid out the systematic way Israel is turning itself into an apartheid binational state. He provided data and described the reality: In the West Bank an Israeli occupation deprives Palestinians of basic human rights, expropriates their land and sentences them to a life of misery and poverty.

>> Get all updates on Israel, Palestinians and the U.S.: Download our App, sign up to Breaking News Alerts, and Subscribe >>

When was the last time Channel 2 viewers heard the truth? With his long face and sad look, Kerry spoke of values American values that contrast with those of the Israeli government and Channel 2’s Jewish viewers.

The speech was clearly too little, too late. The world now belongs to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, not John Kerry. A few minutes before the speech, Erdan was in a Jerusalem studio chastising Arad Nir, the impudent journalist who dared call Donald Trump a liar. Erdan repeatedly condemned Nir with an arrogant fury. Trump’s spirit inflated Erdan before our very eyes.

Read more: Kerry's speech was superbly Zionist, pro-Israel, and three years late / Analysis | Kerry’s eulogy for peace marks transition to Twilight Zone Trump / Analysis

The world now belongs to Erdan, under the umbrella held up by Trump. And the world belongs to the mendacious Trump. This is a world where journalism as practiced by Nir, who insists on telling the truth on Channel 2, is a dangerous profession that requires courage, one that Nir possesses.

Kerry told Israelis exactly how they’re committing suicide in the name of the settlements and annexation of the West Bank. He did so in a clear, thorough and convincing manner, better than any Israeli opposition politician could. He talked about values, morality and justice.

Kerry's six principles for a future final status agreement.Credit: /Andrew Harnik/AP

Almost 400 years of history stand behind him. Ever since Cromwell’s revolution in the middle of the 17th century, England, then Britain, then the United States have ruled the world. They've emerged victorious from all global conflicts while building the strongest and greatest empires in human history.

The United States has never lost a global conflict (Britain lost only once, to the United States). This Anglo-Saxon axis, as it were, defeated all its rivals: Spain, Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin. It was always done in the name of personal liberty and property rights. These are the rights now being taken from Palestinians in the West Bank.

In a typical Anglo-Saxon political speech there’s always a villain. Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel was depicted as a kingdom of evil. This kingdom is doomed to fail. Kerry’s values will triumph; Kerry the naive idealist, so Anglo-Saxon. One day his values will triumph.

This may happen when Israel is no longer Jewish or Zionist, after we’ve gone through much suffering and a civil war. It was therefore so chilling and painful to watch Kerry. He’s departing, leaving the opponents of the occupation in Israel to the world of Trump and Vladimir Putin an authoritarian world hostile to democracy.

In the first “election campaign” that Putin won in 2000, he coined a brilliant phrase, stating that “democracy is the dictatorship of the law.” He used this as a reason to crush it. “Democracy is the dictatorship of the law.” Could any sentence better summarize the reason Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked are crushing Israel’s democracy?

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism