We’ve seen this before

In the last months of the U.S. President’s last term in office, he wants to leave a legacy of having negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu (June 27, 2016, in Italy). They discussed a range of issues including efforts to advance a two state solution, Syria, and developments in the region.

Of course, Mr. Netanyahu would want to discuss events in Syria and “developments in the region” – whatever this refers to.

As for a “two state solution” – that boat sailed about ten years ago.

Jews evacuated Gaza during August and September 2005. This was an Israeli disengagement – Gaza was no longer occupied by the Israeli military.

Gazans regularly had been firing Qassam rockets before the Israeli withdrawal, and the frequency of Qassam attacks increased after the withdrawal.

Neither the U.S. or the UN paid attention to how each rocket was a violation of Israel’s sovereignty. I’m not researching the details of other violations such as tunnels and incursions by terrorist troops.

Israel attacked Gaza with full force several times since 2005 between periods of patience over Gaza’s aggression.

On what basis does Gaza deserve to be a nation state?

Now let’s examine the possibility of a pluralistic Palestinian state. Just as Israel has Arab citizens, a pluralistic Palestine would have Jewish citizens.

This is unimaginable for Palestinians. Jews must go.

What this amounts to is an evacuation of 100-120 Jewish villages (called settlements) whose combined population was about 104,000 (as of 2011). We see that the average population of each village is about 1,000 Jews.

Israel on its part has no intention of evacuating the handful of cities along the east side of the 1949 cease-fire line. The Camp David negotiations proposed that these cities or blocs of towns would become part of Israel, be annexed. Since then, no diplomatic proposals have considered anything other than annexing these urban regions to Israel. The population of these blocs of cities is about an additional 148,000 (as of 2010).

The idea of a Palestinian state – the two state solution – was never a proposal for peace. It has been a resolve by Palestinians to reverse time, moving back almost 50 years. Each American president knew this or should have understood this.

In the last months of President Obama’s last term in office, it seems that he wants to leave a legacy of having negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

In the last months of President Clinton’s last term in office, he wanted to leave a legacy of having negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians. That was the abortive Camp David Summit of July 2000 – an effort to end the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

For some reason, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel agreed to attend this summit. What was he thinking?

Now, 16 years later, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

What are Mr. Kerry and PM Netanyahu thinking? A new president will be elected in a little more than four months from the time of the Kerry-Netanyahu talks (as I write this).

In a little more than four months from now, Mr. Kerry will be transitioning the State Department for a new administration.

Every Representative in Congress faces an election except for the few who have chosen not to run for reelection.

One third of the Senators face an election except for the few who have chosen not to run.

For Mr. Clinton, in his time, the summer until the election and then the period before the inauguration the next winter were his play time.

President Obama hasn’t been much of a player, and he and Mr. Netanyahu don’t play well together. But, Secretary of State John Kerry discussed efforts to advance a two state solution.

Haven’t we been here before?