“A unitary state either winds up being an apartheid state with second class citizens or it winds up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.” – US Secretary of State John F. Kerry
There’s that magic word, that lightening rod, much akin to calling someone a racist – apartheid. That Kerry would suggest Israel could become such a state is demonstrative of his sheer ignorance; his abject lack of knowledge of history of both apartheid and the Middle East.
For all the clamor for Kerry to resign, make no mistake, he will not be asked to step down by Barack Obama because Kerry speaks for Obama, represents the administration, and this has long been the belief of Obama, who has also proven to be obtuse pertaining to Israel and Middle East affairs. Remember this is the same Obama suggesting Israel return to its pre-1967 borders, an absolutely moronic notion. And the same Obama who appointed Chuck Hagel Secretary of Defense and Samantha Power US Ambassador to the United Nations – both virulently anti-Israel. And the same Obama who rudely disrespected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a recent visit to the United States.
The outrage against Kerry’s words has been bi-partisan – from Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) on the left to House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), US Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on the right.
“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and any linkage between Israel and apartheid is nonsensical and ridiculous,” said Boxer.
Begich’s statement nailed it spot on, saying Kerry’s remark “implies Israel should ignore the pact between [Palestinian President Mahmoud] 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.”
Kerry’s pronouncement that Israel needs to come to some sort of an agreement with the Palestinians completely exhibits his complete obliviousness to the continuing fact that, call them whatever you prefer, Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Authority, or any other group, their main goal – it’s the several charters – is to eliminate Israel and the Jewish people. To wipe them from the face of the earth.
There is no negotiating with people whose end goal is total annihilation. There is no two-state solution with a people who first and foremost want the total eradication of a specific people and nation. Would the United States partner with an enemy that is a known terrorist group? Of course not. Neither should Israel.
As for the notion that Israel is in any way, shape, or form inching toward an apartheid state, that is ludicrous. Israel affords more rights – civil and legal to Arabs than any Arab nation. Women and gays have more rights and freedoms than in any Arab nation. Literacy and graduation rates, income, as well as medical availability and coverage are higher in Israel than in any Arab nation. There are even Arabs in the Israeli government and Supreme Court. Apartheid? Not even close.
“The use of the word ‘apartheid’ has routinely been dismissed as both offensive and inaccurate, and Secretary Kerry’s use of it makes peace even harder to achieve,” said Cantor, then calling on Kerry to “apologize to the Israeli government and people.”
Senator Cruz not only took Kerry to task but went a step further. “I fear with these most-recent ill-chosen remarks, Secretary Kerry has proven those concerns well founded. 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.”
For all his attempted back-tracking, Kerry offered nothing productive toward the peace process that, as long as annihilation is on the table, will never come to fruition. A two state solution is not the answer. Those who wish to live peacefully in Israel, under Israeli laws should be able to continue to do so. As for the so-called Palestinian peoples/Arab refugees, they should have been absorbed by the dozens of Arab countries decades and generations ago when they chose to flee Israel upon its founding in May 1948.
But for political purposes, they were not. Claims have been made that the land of Israel is “Palestine,” when in fact were the Palestinians to have a homeland it should be what is present day Jordan.
Yes, Kerry should resign because of his ignorance and inability to be the kind of Secretary of State the United States needs in dealing with friend and foe alike. As continues to be typical of the Obama administration, friends are too often admonished and foes bowed down to. Kerry’s suggestion of apartheid is deleterious to US-Israel relations as well as how other nations see and treat Israel. Even the hint is too much and Kerry must pay the price for the sake of diplomatic relations and the future of the Middle East peace process.