In case you missed it yesterday, the Daily Beast's Josh Rogin reported on comments made by Secretary of State John Kerry saying that if Israel doesn't come to a two-state agreement with the Palestinians, it will become an apartheid state. Kerry also said Israel needed a change in leadership.
The secretary of state said that if Israel doesn’t make peace soon, it could become ‘an apartheid state,’ like the old South Africa. Jewish leaders are fuming over the comparison.
If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state,” Secretary of State John Kerry told a room of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting Friday.
Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term "apartheid" in reference to Israel, and President Obama has previously rejected the idea that the word should apply to Jewish State. Kerry's use of the loaded term is already rankling Jewish leaders in America—and it could attract unwanted attention in Israel, as well.
Now Kerry is walking back his comments and even flat out denying he even made the "apartheid" comment in a statement released last night by the State Department. In the same statement denying the comments, Kerry said he should have used different words to describe the situation. He also berated critics for daring to question his support for the Jewish State.
"I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes, so I want to be crystal clear about what I believe and what I don’t believe," Kerry said in a statement.
"First, Israel is a vibrant democracy and I do not believe, nor have I ever stated, publicly or privately, that Israel is an apartheid state or that it intends to become one. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that without a shred of doubt. Second, I have been around long enough to also know the power of words to create a misimpression, even when unintentional, and if I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two state solution."
While Kerry whines about people daring to question his support for Israel, now is a good time to remind everyone that the 2012 DNC convention refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Now the Orthodox Union, whose executive director for public policy, Nathan Diament, at times has doggedly defended the administration) sends me a statement from the OU: “The platform released late Monday, to be voted upon today in Charlotte, NC, makes no mention of Jerusalem or of the issue of Israel’s capital. By contrast, the 2008 platform stated that ‘Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.’?” The statement continues: “At a time when Arab leaders persistently assert falsehoods about Jerusalem’s history, and deny the ancient Jewish connection to our holy city, the decision of national leaders of the Democratic Party to go silent on this issue is extremely disappointing.” It then caustically adds: “Facts are facts; Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, and America’s national leaders do no service to the people of the Mideast or the world by refusing to acknowledge these crucial facts.”
I'll leave you with this:
Thank God John Kerry was never elected president.— Kevin Eder (@keder) April 29, 2014