After several days of heated debate over Secretary of State John Kerry’s statements that Israel will become an Apartheid State unless it not only permits the creation of a Palestinian State, but does so under a timetable set by the United States, made at the Trilateral Commission meeting on Friday, April 25, the State Department issued a statement late on Monday. The statement was an effort to clarify the situation.
What Monday’s statement says is that Kerry loves the Jewish State – everyone who knows him knows that. And not only does Kerry love Israel, but he – unlike those rogues who are now calling on him to resign or be fired or face a phalanx of paddles – has actually worked to help Israel save itself from its elected leader, er, no, save itself from those evil settlers, no, that’s not right, darn it, he’s worked hard to facilitate a Two State Solution in order to secure peace in the region at some point during his tenure.
And although Kerry may have used the words Apartheid State to depict what Israel will become unless it listens to Papa John, he now insists he neither believes nor has he ever said that Israel is now or intends to become an Apartheid State. Despite his claim that he did not use variations of the term, Kerry nevertheless regrets using the word “apartheid” at all in relation to Israel because “it’s a word best left out of the debate” by Americans.
What Kerry did not say that he did not say is that Israel will become an Apartheid State unless it follows the path chosen for it by the U.S. and the Europeans. And, of course, he felt compelled to blurt out a pouting, “but they said it!” Kerry specifically referenced that non-dynamic duo of losers Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak and the singular crook and about to be jailbird Ehud Olmert, the three (failed) Israeli politicians who have also suggested, as Kerry admits by omission he did, that Israel will become an Apartheid State unless it embraces his preferred
Two State Solution on his preferred timetable.
Whether or not Monday’s statement will smooth over the ruffled feathers of those who spoke out against Kerry’s use of the offensive epithet in connection to Israel will provide fodder for tomorrow’s news cycle.
This is the full statement from Secretary Kerry:
On Support for Israel
For more than thirty years in the United States Senate, I didn’t just speak words in support of Israel, I walked the walk when it came time to vote and when it came time to fight. As Secretary of State, I have spent countless hours working with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Justice Minister Livni because I believe in the kind of future that Israel not only wants, but Israel deserves. I want to see a two state solution that results in a secure Jewish state and a prosperous Palestinian state, and I’ve actually worked for it.
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.
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. In the long term, a unitary, binational state cannot be the democratic Jewish state that Israel deserves or the prosperous state with full rights that the Palestinian people deserve. That’s what I said, and it’s also what Prime Minister Netanyahu has said. While Justice Minister Livni, former Prime Ministers Barak and Ohlmert have all invoked the specter of apartheid to underscore the dangers of a unitary state for the future, it is a word best left out of the debate here at home.
Secretary of State
April 28, 2014
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com
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