Brain Bush’s Blog

Kerry Is Back

  • By : Brian Bush
  • May 24, 2013
  • 9:01 am

Hello All,

US Secretary of State John Kerry is back in the region to try and start up the seemingly un-revivable Peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, who has been widely viewed as the block in the process, has come out saying that peace with the Palestinians is Israel's top goal.

But having said that, Secretary Kerry, it has been revealed, made a direct call this week to Mr. Netanyahu protesting the approval of further West Bank settlement construction.

Mr. Kerry is being described by the Israeli media as naive in his approach to Middle East peace – but he has made some substantial gains in areas of concern for Israel.

This is particularly seen in the efforts to get the militant wing of Hezbollah labeled as a terrorist organization in Europe.

This week we saw Germany get behind the call for the European Union to label them as such.

But maybe even more important for Israel right now, is Kerry's strong words against Hezbollah (and Iran) for, as he says, interfering in the Syrian conflict.

Mr. Kerry says that there are thousands of Hezbollah fighters who come from Lebanon who are in Syria, and that they are significantly contributing to the violence – and that it is Iran that is making this possible.

Hezbollah says that it has members of the party who are Syrian and are being persecuted in the conflict and thus need to be defended.

This is the message Israel wants the world to hear, as it monitors the numerous stockpiles of chemical agents and advanced weaponry to prevent them being transferred from Syria into Lebanon.

Hezbollah has said it will happen – Israel has said they will prevent it, and have demonstrated it three times recently by carrying out covert attacks in Syria.

Doing so is risky business because such actions can potentially tip the internal crisis in Syria over to a regional conflict for the Middle East – the center of which would be Israel.

All this makes Iran happy because while the Syrian conflict rages, it serves as a distraction from their understood intentions to create a nuclear weapon.

Secretary Kerry wants to see progress on the peace talks because many here in the Middle East and in the West believe that it will be easier to 'go after' rouge parties if there is stability between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel will prosper, as would many Arab states, should a peace come under the Arab initiative that the US administration favors.

Many gulf states have encouraged Secretary Kerry to continue pushing for dialogue, which he appears to be trying to do with appeasing the Israelis on two of their major concerns away from the Palestinians; illustrating the situation in Syria as Israel sees it, and pushing the EU to label Hezbollah's militant wing as a terrorist organization.

With these successes, Kerry will feel he has political leverage to make Mr. Netanyahu move forward for peace.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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