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by
Bridget Johnson

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April 28, 2014 - 2:51 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is in hot water with Jewish groups after telling a group of European and Asian officials Friday that Israel risks becoming an “apartheid state.”

As reported by The Daily Beast:

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.”

“A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state,” Kerry told the group of senior officials and experts from the U.S., Western Europe, Russia, and Japan. “Once you put that frame in your mind, that reality, which is the bottom line, you understand how imperative it is to get to the two-state solution, which both leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee fired off a statement calling Kerry’s reported remarks “deeply troubling.”

“Any suggestion that Israel is, or is at risk of becoming, an apartheid state is offensive and inappropriate. The Jewish state is a shining light for freedom and opportunity in a region plagued by terror, hate and oppression,” AIPAC said. “Israel is the lone stable democracy in the Middle East, and protects the rights of minorities regardless of ethnicity or religion. The Jewish state is proud to have a robust free press and elections, respect for women’s rights, and the representation of minorities across its government, including the twelve Arab members of its legislature and Salim Joubran on its Supreme Court.”

AIPAC reminded all of Obama’s words back in 2008: “There’s no doubt that Israel and the Palestinians have tough issues to work out to get to the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security, but injecting a term like apartheid into the discussion doesn’t advance that goal. It’s emotionally loaded, historically inaccurate, and it’s not what I believe.”

“At this critical moment, the true focus of those who support peace should be on urging President Abbas to revoke his destructive agreement with the terrorist organization Hamas, and continue peace negotiations with Israel without preconditions,” said the powerful lobbying group.

State Department press secretary Jen Psaki said at today’s press briefing that she would “obviously” not “confirm the accuracy of comments made during a private meeting.”

“But the secretary does not believe and did not state publicly or privately that Israel is an apartheid state, and there’s an important difference there. Israel is obviously a vibrant democracy with equal rights for all of its citizens,” Psaki said.

“…But certainly there are many, many officials, Israeli and American officials, who have stated that if we don’t pursue this path, if they don’t pursue that path, that it’s hard to see how the two states will be able to live side-by-side.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on the Senate floor today that Kerry should hand in his resignation.

“The fact that Secretary Kerry sees nothing wrong with making such a statement on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day demonstrates a shocking lack of sensitivity to the incendiary and damaging nature of his rhetoric,” Cruz said. “It is my belief that Secretary Kerry has thus proven himself unsuitable for his position and that before any further harm is done to our alliance with Israel, he should offer President Obama his resignation and the President should accept it.”

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) said he was “disappointed” with Kerry’s remarks.

“Secretary Kerry knows as well as anyone that negotiating lasting peace in this region of the world is difficult but it’s not productive to express his frustration in this way,” Begich said. “This remark also implies Israel should ignore the pact between President Abbas and the Hamas. Last time I checked, the U.S. didn’t negotiate with terrorist organizations and we shouldn’t expect the Israeli government to either.”

UPDATE: Kerry responds: “I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone…”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The problem with Kerry, Biden and Hagel is that Moe isn't around to slap them and poke them in the eyes.

Obama surrounds himself with mental midgets, hoping he will be the smartest guy in the room. He surrounds himself with women who push around his male clown car occupants.

Jarrett, Power, Rice have no love for Israel. Neither does Hagel or Malley.

Why would anyone be surprised at Kerry turning on Israel. Isn't that what Rashid Khalidi and Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Don Warden...all want?

What IS on that tape that the LA Times is hiding and holding hostage.

(The Answer: what Obama and this cabal REALLY think about Israel and Jewish people, otherwise it's never kept in hiding)
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kerry also said that at some point, he might unveil his own peace deal and tell both sides to “take it or leave it.”

-uh, I think they've already made that choice, Frankenstooge.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well - as if there weren't ample proof that Lurch is a fool he's gone and give us yet more proof - and iron-clad proof at that! The old adage "Keep quiet and the world suspects your a fool - open your mouth and remove all doubt." Kerry has removed all doubt. Many times over.

There simply are no good words to describe this arrogant buffoon.

38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Kerry is either the greatest anti-Semitic since Hitler or he is the most stupidest man in the world. After listening to him you get the idea that he is possibly both.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kerry is a revolting, craven politician - but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Isreal is a jewish state. If the muslims are given citizenship and their numbers grow sufficiently, how much longer will Isreal remain a jewish state? There is no reconciliation possible between islam and the jews. The jews want to be left alone but the muslims hate jews and will never rest until all jews are either subjegated or dead. No modern "ideals" will change this and there are no moderate muslims - only different tactics. It is dangerous folly to pretend otherwise.

As long as Isreal allows a large group of people who hate the very existance of Isreal to remain inside its borders, Isreal cannot allow these people the same rights and freedon it provide its citizens. An "apartheid" state is the only way and that is only a short-term solution. The internal conflicts this system creates in the good people of Isreal is a cancer and leads to self-doubt and a foolish willingness to compromise and appease.

The only long-term solution is for Isreal to establish its borders as it sees its fit historically and strategically. Then expel all muslims from within its borders. Build the wall and protect it zealously.

There are lots of places this "second state" can reside. Inside Isreal is not one of them.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
One in five of Israeli citizens are Muslim or Druze. To talk of "expelling" them is ridiculous and immoral. They can leave whenever they want but choose not to. They have much better accommodations as Israeli citizens than anywhere else they could go.

To do what you suggest would be wrong and would destroy the state of Israel. Can you imagine what that would entail?

There is an old Yiddish proverb "Besser a schlechter shalom vi a Guten krieg". Better a bad peace than a good war.

Like many Americans there is confusion because they do not understand the issues. The critical issue for Israel is not what you think it is. Read Caroline Glick.

Kerry is not anti Israel nor antisemitic. He clings to the notion of peace by negotiated two party agreement between Israel and non-Israeli Palestinian Arabs in West Bank and maybe Gaza. That is a very complex situation beyond the scope of a post like this.

He should have never used the loaded word "apartheid" and clearly is backing off from that.

38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
It started with his medals. Now he's tossing Israel over the wall.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is there any cabinet appointee,by obama,that isn't absolutely LAME.Only 32+ more months.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kerry's not "lame". To the contrary, he's actively pursuing policies which will harm both Israel and the United States.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hillary made statements just as stupid and offensive but the media did not report them. Kerry is just an iota stupider than Hillary.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kerry and his staff still think the man is a Senator. They just don't seem to get the fact that he isn't. But, hey, with this Administration I suppose that is the norm.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dear G-d,

John Kerry does not speak for the American people, he is sold out to the CFR global agenda. Please do not send any more strange weather on the world especially Oklahoma and the Midwest due to New Age fools harming Israel.

In Christ's name I beg you.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem with Kerry, Biden and Hagel is that Moe isn't around to slap them and poke them in the eyes.

Obama surrounds himself with mental midgets, hoping he will be the smartest guy in the room. He surrounds himself with women who push around his male clown car occupants.

Jarrett, Power, Rice have no love for Israel. Neither does Hagel or Malley.

Why would anyone be surprised at Kerry turning on Israel. Isn't that what Rashid Khalidi and Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Don Warden...all want?

What IS on that tape that the LA Times is hiding and holding hostage.

(The Answer: what Obama and this cabal REALLY think about Israel and Jewish people, otherwise it's never kept in hiding)
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't forget that Kerry's daughter, Vanessa, is married to an Iranian-American with family in Iran.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
This must be the "smart diplomacy" that Candidate Obama promised us in 2008.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
What Ketchup man says in private is not important even if he is on the public payroll?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
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