While the press were going insane over Trump’s tweets, one of the most significant historical explanations of the abject failure of the Kerry led peace plan was published. David Gerstman, has a good summary at Legal Insurrection and mostly draws the same conclusion I did. This was barely reported anywhere because the report doesn’t blame Netanyahu (enough).
Last week Gen. (ret.) Michael Herzog (brother Israel’s opposition leader Isaac Herzog) wrote a remarkable article (.pdf) in The American Interest.
Herzog, who has been involved in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations since 1993 didn’t write his article to place blame (though he does) for the failure of the 2013-2014 talks overseen by then-Secretary of State John Kerry but “it is my sincere hope that this analysis will inform a meaningful policy debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
But if you Google Herzog’s name for the past week, precisely one news organization covered the article: The Times of Israel. Some blogs such as The Tower and Yaacov Lozowick have written about it too. One would think that an insider’s view of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians would draw a lot of attention, but it didn’t.
Presumably that is because Herzog didn’t blame Bibi first.
Herzog has some criticisms of specific actions Bibi took, but structurally and in his approach to the whole process, he comes out squeaky clean.
Herzog wrote, that Netanyahu “by contrast [to Abbas], was immersed in the process. Every call with Kerry was preceded by a thorough preparatory meeting that he himself led, and was followed by one as well. It was evidently not an easy journey for him. He came under tremendous and conflicting pressures, yet he stayed the course.”
The main fault lies with Abbas and the Palestinians pretty much equally with Kerry who seems to have failed in every significant way possible as a mediator.
But perhaps his most surprising criticism is of Kerry. Reading Herzog, I was struck by two things: 1) he was unfailingly polite to Kerry 2) he was describing an absolute idiot when it comes to negotiations. The Times of Israel captured this nicely in the headline of the summary written by its diplomatic correspondent Raphael Ahren, “In politely devastating critique, Israeli negotiator skewers Kerry for dooming peace talks.”
You can read Legal Insurrection’s entire report. In line with my feelings on the matter, the most significant part is the complete lack of reporting on this. There is absolutely no desire in the mainstream media to present their audiences with enough information to make a balanced view on Israel. Anything that runs counter to denigrating Israel and Israelis will not make it past the old gatekeepers. This is lethal journalism.