An official Guardian editorial on January 1, 2014, titled ‘Israel-Palestinian talks: perpetual motion‘, which predictably blamed Israel for the lack of progress in talks between the two parties up until that time, included this brief comment on US special envoy to the negotiations, Martin Indyk:
Mr Kerry has made a new start but he has made it with advisers like Martin Indyk, who lean toward the Israeli view
This throwaway line about Indyk – who previously served several diplomatic roles under Bill Clinton - struck us as a bizarre allegation given Indyk’s political sympathies and past statements. These include his enthusiastic support for New Israel Fund - an NGO which funds groups engaging in BDS and other delegitimization campaigns - and comments he reportedly made that ‘Israeli intransigence’ was contributing to US military casualties in Afghanistan. In 2004, Indyk also publicly urged the Israeli government to cede the Golan Heights to Syria in order to achieve ‘peace’.
More recently, Indyk has been identified as the anonymous source in a report by Yedioth Aharonoth columnist Nahum Barnea last week in which an unnamed American official slammed Israel for allegedly sabotaging peace talks.
Here are a few of the comments by the official believed to be Indyk:
Settlements are to blame
“There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort’s failure, but people in Israel shouldn’t ignore the bitter truth – the primary sabotage came from the settlements. The Palestinians don’t believe that Israel really intends to let them found a state when, at the same time, it is building settlements on the territory meant for that state. We’re talking about the announcement of 14,000 housing units, no less. Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this is also about expropriating land on a large-scale. That does not reconcile with the agreement.
‘We need another intifada’
“At the end of a war there is a sense of urgency,” they said. And then one of them added bitterly: “I guess we need another intifada to create the circumstances that would allow progress.
The Jewish people are supposed to be smart; it is true that they’re also considered a stubborn nation. You’re supposed to know how to read the map: In the 21st century, the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation. The occupation threatens Israel’s status in the world and threatens Israel as a Jewish state.”
So, according to Indyk: the settlements (and Jewish stubbornness) were the primary reasons the negotiations failed, and only a new violent intifada would create the circumstances by which talks could succeed.
Tell us: Does this sound like the musings of an American diplomat “who leans toward the Israeli view”, as the Guardian claimed?
- Senior Israeli official slams Indyk’s ‘hypocrisy’ (timesofisrael.com)
- Obama Administration Special Envoy Continues to Attack Israel (freebeacon.com)