“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,” according to Josh Rogin of the Daily Beast:
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 the 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.
It wasn’t the only controversial comment on the Middle East that Kerry made during his remarks to the Trilateral Commission, a recording of which was obtained by The Daily Beast. Kerry also repeated his warning that a failure of Middle East peace talks could lead to a resumption of Palestinian violence against Israeli citizens. He suggested that a change in either the Israeli or Palestinian leadership could make achieving a peace deal more feasible. He lashed out against Israeli settlement-building. And Kerry said that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders share the blame for the current impasse in the talks.
Kerry also said that at some point, he might unveil his own peace deal and tell both sides to “take it or leave it.”
Kerry and Obama bullying Israel. What could go wrong? In the meantime, “Kerry’s Apartheid Slur Sabotages Peace,” Jonathan S. Tobin writes at Commentary:
Identifying Israel as even a potential apartheid state is not only an incendiary slur; it demonstrates the fundamental flaw at the heart of Kerry’s effort. There is no comparison between apartheid South Africa and Israel. But that term is not merely an inexact analogy. Since the Palestinians allege that the desire for a Jewish state is racist, claiming that the lack of peace means apartheid is a tacit acceptance of the Palestinian refusal to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. Though this may not be Kerry’s direct intent, his resort to the ultimate slander in order to pressure Israel’s leaders to be more accommodating reinforces both Palestinians’ intransigence and their conviction that it is in their interest to keep saying no to Israeli peace offers. Rather than a mere expression of frustration, as Kerry’s apologists will insist, the use of the “A” word does more to doom the already dim chances of peace. As such, Kerry’s already dubious utility as a peace process facilitator is officially at an end.
Moe Lane wonders if Kerry’s boss will very publicly take him out to the woodshed — even though in Obama’s heart of hearts, he likely agrees with such rhetoric:
The Secretary of State has an obligation to watch his or her words that is pretty much unique in the American government (the only one who has to worry about it more would be the President). This is not a matter for excuses or explanations. This is a matter of Barack Obama bringing in John Kerry and verbally flaying him alive until John Kerry gets the point. Assuming, of course, that John Kerry isn’t sending Barack Obama’s message to the Israelis in the first place.
At the start of the post, I quoted Josh Rogin of the Daily Beast, who wrote, “Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term ‘apartheid’ in reference to Israel.” Well, not until they leave office at least, if they’re Jimmy Carter. As National Review’s Rich Lowry responded in 2006, when Carter wrote a book disgustingly titled Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid:
Yes, there are two sides to every dispute, and heaven knows the Palestinian people have suffered throughout the past six decades, but Carter apes the Palestinian position and calls it evenhandedness. He is such a rabid partisan that his next logical step after the publication of his rant of a new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, can only be to follow the example of the late Israel-hater Edward Said and be photographed throwing rocks at Israeli security forces.
Carter’s inflammatory title accords with attempts to delegitimatize the existence of the Jewish state by equating Zionism with racism. Carter thinks he’s being charitable because what he is criticizing “is not racism but the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonize choice sites in Palestine, and then to forcefully suppress any objections from the displaced citizens.” Oh, is that all?
The book marks Carter’s further disgraceful descent from ineffectual president and international do-gooder to apologist for the worst Arab tendencies. “It is imperative,” Carter writes, “that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel.” In the meantime, presumably, the slaughter of Jews can continue.
The slow response from Israel could be due to the nation marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, a 24-hour commemoration filled with nationwide memorial ceremonies and the sounding of air raid sirens bringing traffic to a stop in memory of those killed by the Nazis during World War II.
The front pages of the major Israeli news sites Monday morning showed Holocaust survivor tributes positioned starkly next to reports about Kerry’s comments. Here are several examples:
Click over to the Blaze to see these larger versions of these images.
Speaking of awful timing, according to the Daily Beast, Kerry’s remarks were spoken this past Friday. The previous day, Jen Psaki of the State Department was busy tweeting out, “The world stands #UnitedforUkraine. Let’s hope that the #Kremlin & @mfa_russia will live by the promise of hashtag.”
As Scott Johnson of Power Line wrote in response, “Obama administration foreign policy long ago passed the stage of self-parody…Long story short: the Obama administration has opened up another front in which it is losing to Russia.”
It’s been evident since January of 2009 that this administration is not run by grownups. It’s one thing to understand this as Americans, but just imagine how badly Barry, Kerry and Psaki are playing to our allies — current and former — outside the US.