John Kerry’s Passion for Appeasement

In a speech last week extolling the nuclear deal with Iran, the American secretary of state used the words “Israel” and “Israeli” a total of 26 times. To Rick Richman, he seemed to be “protesting a bit too much about his concern for the ally put at existential risk” by the agreement. Richman also notes some striking similarities between Kerry’s speech and Neville Chamberlain’s defense before the British parliament of the 1938 Munich agreement with Hitler—though Chamberlain emerges favorably from the comparison:

In the debate on the Munich agreement, Chamberlain’s claims were actually more modest than Kerry’s. . . . He said he knew “weakness in armed strength means weakness in diplomacy” and that he had a program to accelerate Britain’s re-armament. . . . At least Chamberlain did not wax on [as did Kerry] about “the builders of stability” overcoming “the destroyers of hope.” At least he did not compliment himself for insisting that Hitler adhere to “the best” in himself. At least he did not assert that such insistence would “shape a safer and a more humane world.” And he had the good grace to admit that his extemporaneous remark about “peace for our time” resulted from a long day and cheering crowds.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Adolf Hitler, Iran nuclear program, John Kerry, Neville Chamberlain, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security