John Kerry’s Passion for Appeasement

September 9, 2015 | Rick Richman
About the author: Rick Richman is the author of Racing Against History: The 1940 Campaign for a Jewish Army to Fight Hitler and And None Shall Make Them Afraid: Eight Stories of the Modern State of Israel, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in Biography.  

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.

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