The American-Israeli Political Affairs Committee has once again tripped over itself, inviting to speak Secretary of State John Kerry to speak at its annual conference. (Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, whose department has actually been diligent in enforcing sanctions, was an understandable choice.
Kerry, of course, has bludgeoned Israel on settlements, talked cavalierly about boycotts should Israel not reach a peace deal with the Palestinians and made a perfectly awful interim agreement with Iran. But, but he’s secretary of State! Exactly why the person enabling a failing approach to Iran, Syria and the Middle East more generally shouldn’t be feted. AIPAC may be trying to butter up the administration, but the spectacle of Kerry presenting himself as a great defender of the Jewish state is gag-worthy.
If he is to come, AIPAC executives and/or other speakers should address a number of Kerry’s disastrous decisions, making clear that he is there because he occupies an important post, not because he is doing it well. They might ask him to explain:
Is our Syria policy a failure?
Was it a mistake to set a “red line” for the use of WMDs or a mistake to rub it out?
Was it smart to invite Russia into the WMD issue, given Vladimir Putin’s international aggression and support for Assad?
Is it a genocide? (Susan Rice said on Sunday it’s just a situation where a lot of people died.)
Do Kerry and his wife regret going to Syria to wine and dine the bloody dictator and his wife?
Why would you think Assad would come to Geneva and agree to give up power?
Was the president wrong when he said the fighting is someone else’s civil war?
Was it a mistake not to support Iran’s Green Revolution?
Is Iran’s economy recovering? Is it making more commercial deals, and will the value of the sanctions relief exceed what the administration projected?
Iran says — and the language of the deal suggests — that it will get to maintain the right to enrich. Is this wrong? And if so, how can a deal this important be so misunderstood?
Why did you agree to allow Iran to proceed with ballistic-missile development and advanced centrifuge research?
Iran says it won’t dismantle anything, so isn’t the interim deal a failure?
With fewer sanctions, why would Iran be more compliant?
If there is no deal within the six-month period, will you consider the talks a failure? Would you then support sanctions?
Are settlements the central issue in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute?
If the Palestinian Authority won’t recognize Israel as the Jewish state, what is the point of further talks?
Kerry should hear a loud and defiant response from the American Jewish community. The Obama policy, to the extent that he has one, is a failure. Guest or not, Kerry should hear so.