Playing the blame game

Some in the American Jewish community may be waking up to the implications of a possible Kerry failure

By
June 26, 2013 12:41
4 minute read.
US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, May 23, 2013.

Abbas and Kerry meet in Ramallah 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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As US Secretary of State John Kerry prepares for a final round of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to try to reopen peace negotiations, Israel and its US backers are already positioning themselves to blame the Palestinians should Kerry fail.

In tepid public statements mid-June, issued reluctantly in response to Kerry’s call on American Jews to get behind his initiative, several senior US Jewish figures suggested that the sole holdup came from the Palestinian side. For example, David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, told the Daily Forward that he hoped the Palestinians will return to negotiations “in good faith to hammer out the tough issues.” And Rabbi Steve Gutow, president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, said he saw the Palestinian leadership as the barrier to negotiations and saw no need for American Jews to push Israeli leaders.

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