By Jonathan Greenberg, Originally published in the New York Post
n 1967, a British Petroleum ship called the Torrey Canyon wrecked off the coast of Cornwall, England. With 100,000 tons of crude oil pouring into the ocean, the authorities decided the best thing to do was to spray large amounts of toxic chemicals in a (failed) attempt to disperse the oil.
Then they tried napalming it. Really.
Watching Secretary of State John Kerry meddle in Israeli politics again, I’m left hoping against hope that we’ve entered the Torrey Canyon napalm phase of this administration’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict-resolution disaster.
Sure, it doesn’t end well. But at least it ends.
Last week, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to expand his razor-thin parliamentary majority, a report surfaced that Kerry had participated in a plan to push the opposition Zionist Union party, led by Yitzhak Herzog, into the governing majority. Kerry and others apparently believed peace talks with Palestinian leaders were more likely to restart and to bear fruit with Herzog in a national-unity government.
Perhaps sincerely, perhaps to placate Kerry, Netanyahu entered into negotiations with Herzog. Within days, however, Netanyahu felt the Israeli right’s consternation and sensed an opportunity to grow his coalition while pleasing his base by bringing in former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beiteinu party.
The abrupt switch to Lieberman strengthens the Netanyahu coalition, makes it more right-wing than before and embarrassed Herzog to the point that his leadership position is now in jeopardy.
In other words, precisely the opposite of what Kerry was attempting.