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Netanyahu rejected Kerry’s Afghanistan-style solution for Palestinians

CM 18/08/2021

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Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected an offer from then-US secretary of state John Kerry to visit Afghanistan as a model for a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Netanyahu wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
“In 2013,” Netanyahu wrote, Kerry “invited me on a secret visit to Afghanistan to see, in his words, how the US established a local military force that can stand up to terror on its own.”

A senior official in Netanyahu’s government at the time, who was privy to the prime minister’s talks with Kerry, confirmed Netanyahu’s statement, adding that Kerry had suggested Netanyahu travel in disguise.
According to the opposition leader, “the message was clear. The ‘Afghanistan model’ was the model the US wanted to implement for the Palestinian matter, as well.”
Netanyahu said he “politely declined,” and that he thought at the time that Afghanistan would fall apart once the US left.
“That, unfortunately, is what is happening now: An Islamist extremist regime conquered Afghanistan and will turn it into a terror state that will endanger the world,” he wrote. “We will get an identical result if, God forbid, we give parts of our homeland to the Palestinians. The Palestinians will not establish Singapore, they will establish a terror state in Judea and Samaria, a short distance from Ben-Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, Kfar Saba and Netanya.”
Netanyahu also warned that the international community will not protect Israel from the Iranian nuclear threat, and that, if not for his vocal opposition to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and work to persuade former US president Donald Trump to leave it, Iran would already have a nuclear weapon.
The opposition leader said that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid are too quiet about Iran’s nuclear advances because they are doing what other countries’ leaders want.
“The conclusion is clear: The correct doctrine is the one I led, that we cannot depend on others to protect our security. We must protect ourselves, by ourselves, against any threat,” he added.
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs President Dore Gold, who was Foreign Ministry director-general under Netanyahu, said it is important for Israel to study the US pullout from Afghanistan.
The message of the situation in Afghanistan “is that Israel’s doctrine of self-reliance has no replacement,” Gold said.
“Israel understood all along that its defense doctrine cannot be based on foreign forces, but the ability of Israel to defend itself by itself,” he stated. “That became the mantra of those defending Israel’s right to defensible borders, which were chiefly based on the Jordan Valley. The idea that Israel could rely on foreign forces was firmly rejected by Israeli prime ministers from [Yitzhak] Rabin through Netanyahu.”
American diplomats had long tried to convince Israel to allow international forces to stop a terrorist threat from the Palestinians, but “Netanyahu was very firm in rejecting this idea,” Gold added.
Gold said that the American retreat from Afghanistan could also lead countries in the Middle East, including Israel, to work together to defend themselves.
“Israel is one of the few countries that has no [hegemonic] ambitions and is therefore a more trusted ally than the other powers of the Middle East,” such as Turkey or Iran, Gold explained.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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