Who didn’t see this one coming?
Secretary of State John Kerry seems to be terribly confused. Yesterday, in the wake of the forced resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (a direct snub to Kerry and the president, who had urged Fayyad stay) he proclaimed at the House Foreign Affairs Committee: “I’m committed to this because I believe the window for a two-state solution is shutting. I think we have some period of time: a year, a year and a half to two years — or it’s over.”
This is daft on so many levels that it’s hard to know where to begin. Fayyad just quit. The United States has no leverage with the Palestinian Authority. There is no successor to Fayyad, who has the confidence of the EU and the West. Fatah and Hamas are still joined in a unity government. And Kerry thinks this can all get wrapped up in a year or two? Moreover, the “year or two” formula has been in vogue since the 1990s. The parties have never been all that close (contrary to Clinton officials’ insistence after Camp David collapsed); and there is no evidence anything significant can be accomplished anytime soon. Kerry is repeating the exact same error of his predecessor and so many secretaries of state in setting expectations that can’t be met. …
He sounds immensely unserious when he spouts off like this, all the while showing no signs of coherent thinking on the things that really should be at the top of his list. And the president? Rather than pursuing fruitless anti-gun legislation, he might turn his focus to creating a robust, effective foreign policy. That might be the avenue to reviving his second term. More to the point, it might prevent a set of nuclear dominos from falling that will make North Korea the least of our worries.