John Kerry Fed Up With Stagnant Middle Eastern Peace Talks: It's 'Reality Check Time'
Secretary of State John Kerry is getting a little testy when it comes to America's involvement in Middle Eastern peace talks. On Friday, Kerry said the White House will reevaluate its role in talks between Israel and Palestine after negative actions from both parties threatened the process. He warned the talks aren't an "open-ended effort," and said it was "reality check time," according to the New York Times.
Kerry finally seems to be putting his foot down after spending more than a year shuttling between the two countries in an effort to foster good terms. Citing the willingness of the parties involved, he explained there are limits to the amount of the time U.S. can spend. Israel and Palestine haven't exactly made it easy.
The regions havebeen at odds in a long-standing conflict over borders and territory. On Thursday, Israel halted the already delayed release of Palestinian prisoners in response to Palestine's efforts to join international conventions. Meanwhile, President Mahmoud Abbas said his application for membership in UN agencies was only a reaction to Israel's prior refusal to let the final detainees go. The back-and-forth has placed them in a deadlock, with a frustrated Kerry in between. And let's not forget what else he has on his plate, what with Ukraine and Russia walking on eggshells.
Following the mutual breaking of promises between Israel and Palestine, the Secretary of State appealed to officials of both countries to lead, saying:
In the end, my friends, as all of you know, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions and compromises, the leaders have to lead, and they have to be able to see a moment when it is there.
And things are anything but peaceful. Confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli army have escalated in the past week, with soldiers firing tear gas rubber bullets at protesters.