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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘apartheid’

Kerry Does NOT Apologize for the ’Apartheid’ Word

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry does not apologize for suggesting that Israel might become an apartheid state but simply regrets not having used a different word to say the same thing, his spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday in a half-hour tragic-comedy media briefing.

At least five different reporters hounded Psaki on Kerry’s statement earlier in the day that he “if he could unwind the tape,” he would have used a different word when saying that a two-state solution is necessary to keep Israel from becoming guilty of apartheid.

Coincidentally or not, today is what was supposed to be the last day of nine months of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to bring about a final status agreement to establish a new Arab country smack in the middle of Israel. Kerry took the lead last July to resurrect the dead and buried peace process, which the Obama administration says is needed for the security of the United States.

Supposedly, the United States is in more danger now because there is no Palestinian Authority country.

Reporters questioned Psaki why Kerry retracted the word “apartheid” when that is exactly what he meant, and the  only explanations they received was that a whole bunch of Congressmen, including Democrats, “distorted” his comment and that his public record shows he really is pro-Israel.

Psaki constantly defended Kerry be arguing that several Israeli politicians have previously said that Israel will become an apartheid state if it does not accept a Palestinian Authority state, which would not be apartheid for the simple reason that Mahmoud Ababs won’t let Jews live there, in direct contrast to United Nations conditions for admission.

So does Kerry still believe Israel can become an apartheid state, in a very loose definition of the word, one reporter asked Kerry’s spokeswoman?

Well, she said, Israel will face “challenges” without “two states for two peoples living side by side.” Perhaps she meant Ashkenazim and Sephardim.

Once again the reporters asked, “He does not intend to apologize?”

Psaki answered -he made it clear he would use a different word… The use of the word is a problem.”

Now that it is settled that Kerry apologizes for using the word apartheid and does not apologize for saying that is what he meant, what does the State Dept. have to say for the peace talks that, as reporters noted, have left things a lot worse than they were nine months ago?

Well, actually progress was made because both sides talked about the core issues, according to Psaki.

The Palestinian Authority has shunned the talks in favor of going to the U.N. for recognition, it has announced it and the Hamas terrorist organization are two of a kind in a new unity regime, it failed to win the release of the last batch of murderers – the only reason that Abbas agreed to talks to begin with – and Israel plans to build thousands of more homes in Judea and Samaria where the United States does not recognize Jews as illegitimate or legal residents, but not to worry because both sides talked.

How’s that for progress?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry does not apologize for suggesting that Israel might become an apartheid state but simply regrets not having used a different word to say the same thing, his spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday in a half-hour tragic-comedy media briefing.

At least five different reporters hounded Psaki on Kerry’s statement earlier in the day that “if he could unwind the tape,” he would have used a different word when saying that a two-state solution is necessary to keep Israel from becoming guilty of apartheid.

Coincidentally or not, today is what was supposed to be the last day of nine months of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to bring about a final status agreement to establish a new Arab country smack in the middle of Israel. Kerry took the lead last July to resurrect the dead and buried peace process, which the Obama administration says is needed for the security of the United States.

Supposedly, the United States is in more danger now because there is no Palestinian Authority country.

Reporters questioned Psaki why Kerry retracted the word “apartheid” when that is exactly what he meant, and the only explanations they received was that a whole bunch of Congressmen, including Democrats, “distorted” his comment and that his public record shows he really is pro-Israel.

Psaki constantly defended Kerry be arguing that several Israeli politicians have previously said that Israel will become an apartheid state if it does not accept a Palestinian Authority state, which would not be apartheid for the simple reason that Mahmoud Abbas won’t let Jews live there, in direct contrast to United Nations conditions for admission.

So does Kerry still believe Israel can become an apartheid state, in a very loose definition of the word, one reporter asked Kerry’s spokeswoman?

Well, she said, Israel will face “challenges” without “two states for two peoples living side by side.” Perhaps she meant Ashkenazim and Sephardim.

Once again the reporters asked, “He does not intend to apologize?”

Psaki answered -he made it clear he would use a different word… The use of the word is a problem.”

Now that it is settled that Kerry apologizes for using the word apartheid and does not apologize for saying that is what he meant, what does the State Dept. have to say for the peace talks that, as reporters noted, have left things a lot worse than they were nine months ago?

Well, actually progress was made because both sides talked about the core issues, according to Psaki.

The Palestinian Authority has shunned the talks in favor of going to the U.N. for recognition, it has announced that it and the Hamas terrorist organization are two of a kind in a new unity regime, it failed to win the release of the last batch of murderers – the only reason that Abbas agreed to talks to begin with – and Israel plans to build thousands of more homes in Judea and Samaria where the United States does not recognize Jews as illegitimate or legal residents, but not to worry because both sides talked.

How’s that for progress?

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Jewish Democrats Blast Kerry for ‘Apartheid’ Remark

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Jewish Democrats called on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Monday to apologize for warning that the failure to achieve a two-state solution could lead to apartheid.

“We express our deep disappointment that the Secretary of State has chosen to invoke the specter of ‘apartheid’ in discussing his concerns about the failing peace process,” the National Jewish Democratic Council said in a statement.

Kerry made the remarks during a meeting of the Trilateral Commission, which includes senior officials from the United States, Europe, Russia and Japan.

“A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative,” Kerry said, according to the Daily Beast, “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.”

The remarks drew sharp criticisms from Jewish groups, chief among them the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but the NJDC statement was notable in that partisan groups rarely criticize party leaders.

“We reject entirely that racially-based governance inherent in that word in any way describes Israel, as well as the implication that the government of Israel uses such prejudice to formalize disadvantages for any of its citizens or neighbors,” the NJDC said. “It is surprising that Secretary Kerry would use this term and he should apologize and eschew the use of that formulation in the future.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who is Jewish and who has strongly defended the Obama administration’s Israel record, also slammed the remarks on Twitter. “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and any linkage between Israel and apartheid is nonsensical and ridiculous,” she said.

 

 

JTA

State Dept. Can’t Explain Why Kerry Used ‘Apartheid’ Word

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The State Dept.’s Excuse Branch was not able to answer a reporter’s question on Monday if it was wise for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to use the word “apartheid” when referring to Israel even to a possible situation in the future.

Kerry said on Friday, as reported here, that Israel could become an “apartheid” state if it doesn’t follow his script to give the Palestinian Authority whatever it takes so that the globe-trotting secretary can score at least one artificial success before the Obama administration goes home in two years.

One reporter asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki, the director of the Excuse Branch, if Kerry really thinks Israel is an apartheid state.

Gosh, no, she said. “Israel is a vibrant democracy,” Psaki explained, and hastily added that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert – you know, the one convicted for bribery – and his former defense minister Ehud Barak – you know, the one who is married to the military-industrial complex – have made similar comments.

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee then stepped up to the mike and asked specifically if it was wise for Kerry to use the “apartheid” word, even if he was referring to a future situation in which the word could be applied to Israel.

The Excuse Branch director danced around the questioning until she finally was pinned in the corner, where she simply ruled that it was time to move on to less interesting subjects, such as the American concern for Egypt’s “preliminary death sentences against 683 defendants and the upholding of death sentences against 37 defendants from a March 25 decision.”

Lee asked, “Can you acknowledge that using ‘apartheid’ is offensive for many,” including Israelis? “Is the Secretary aware of this?”

Psaki went back to the defense that Israeli officials have used the word, but Lee argued, “You are supposed to be neutral” and asked if any other American officials ever used the “A” word during negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Doesn’t Kerry understand that using the word, whether referring to the past, present or future, would cause “angst and indignation.” Lee asked.

After Psaki’s comment that she has “no other comment,” Lee turned the tables and argued that from the Palestinian Authority point of view, Israel is an apartheid state..

“Kerry is getting it from both sides” and was it really “smart” for Kerry to use the word,” he continued.

Lee was followed by Said Arikat, correspondent for Al-Quds, who asked why Israel cannot be defined as an apartheid state since it has checkpoints [then again, so does the United States and every other normal and even abnormal country] and separate roads [which is rarely true except where the Palestinian Authority decides who can use the highways].

Psaki then abruptly put an end to the discussion and stated, “I think we are ready to move on.”

So the questions still stands:

If Kerry really did not mean that Israel is an apartheid state, didn’t he understand that using the “A” word is not very smart?

After all, he is Secretary of State of the United States of America and therefore is very smart.

Isn’t he?

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Apartheid Redux: American Sour Grapes When Shuttle Diplomacy Fails

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Here we go again, with another round of dealing with set of sour grapes topped off by the “A” word delivered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

It’s getting really tiresome when every time the Palestinian Authority reverts to form – and Israel refuses to lay itself on the sacrificial altar – the U.S. responds by waving international threats at us both. Especially when one of the flags waved at Israel is the silly “A” word.

It’s a plain fact that 99.9 percent of American diplomats and political leaders simply don’t “get” the reality of the Middle East.

The diplomats who are sent into the fray to “develop” or impose the latest solution to the complex problems existing between Israel and her neighbors are simply not equipped.

So they fail. It’s not their fault. It’s just not their ‘hood.

John Kerry is having a problem with this. Instead of accepting this reality gracefully, has collected his marbles and gone home to his boss with sour grapes.

But for the second time in less than a year, he has turned around and decided to fling the “A” word (apartheid) back at Israel. At least this time he included the Palestinian Authority in some of his recriminations.

Kerry told the Trilateral Commission in a closed-door meeting on Friday that if Israel doesn’t make peace soon, it could become an “apartheid state” like South Africa once was. A recording of the remark was obtained by The Daily Beast.

He also warned that a failure of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority — which basically were dead on arrival in any case — could lead to a ‘resumption’ of PA Arab violence against Israeli citizens. He then went further and hinted that only a change of leadership on both sides could make a peace deal more likely.

The latter reveals his total ignorance of the region — since succeeding leaders on the Arab side generally just brush away the decisions of predecessors — or their own if the prevailing mood of the people doesn’t suit — in any case. Arab promises are rarely kept beyond a generation, if that long. Witness the numerous attempts at maintaining a unity government between Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian Authority over the past seven years.

With regard towards the risk of ‘resuming’ PA Arab violence against Israelis, the man is living in a bubble because that violence never ended. Ask anyone who lives in Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria or drives on roads in any of the areas. I personally know people who were unable to make it to the Mount of Olives to visit the graves of loved ones this year due to the the violence — and that, while talks were supposedly in place. I know tour guides who could not take friends to certain market places in the Old City — a place we all agree is supposed to be an open tourist safe place — because of the risk to their safety.

As for apartheid, he is wrong on all counts, and even his own boss knows it. In 2008 then-Senator Barack Obama bluntly stated in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, “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 does not advance that goal. It’s emotionally loaded, historically inaccurate and it’s not what I believe.”

Of course, Obama may have changed his mind since then, but personally I doubt it. If anything, there are more examples today than ever before of integration between Arabs and Jews, on both sides of the 1949 Armistice Line.

Hana Levi Julian

ECI Statement: “Time for Kerry to Go”

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The Emergency Committee for Israel released the following statement on Secretary of State John Kerry’s use of the term “apartheid state” to threaten Israel:

On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry raised the specter of Israel as an “apartheid state.” Even Barack Obama condemned the use of this term when running for president in 2008.

Yet this was no gaffe. Secretary Kerry’s musings on the Jewish state’s dire future have become a regular feature of his public remarks. His latest prediction follows other statements in recent months that have in effect threatened Israel — never the Palestinians — with a list of disasters should his diplomatic efforts fail: violence, isolation, delegitimization, boycotts — and now “apartheid.”

It is no longer enough for the White House to clean up after the messes John Kerry has made. It is time for John Kerry to step down as Secretary of State, or for President Obama to fire him. And it would go a long way toward repairing the damage Kerry has done if his predecessor as Secretary of State, who is the likely Democratic Party nominee for president, explained why this kind of rhetoric had no place in her State Department and why it will have no place in her presidential campaign.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Scarlett Johansson: I’m Called ‘New Face of Apartheid’

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Scarlett Johansson told Vanity Fair magazine that anti-Semitism is behind condemnation of her sponsoring Israeli-made SodaStream products.

In a wide-ranging interview that focused mainly on Hollywoody subjects, gossip and social media, she was asked about her rejecting criticism for signing up as ambassador for SodaStream which runs a factory in the Jewish city of Maaleh Adumim in the Judean desert, where the Palestinian Authority imagines it will rule one day.

“[I’m being called] the new face of apartheid. There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there,” she commented.

Johansson, who is Jewish, also was ambassador for Oxfam, but when the group demanded she break her ties with SodaStream, she stood up and said that the Israeli-based company does more for peace than anyone else by employing Palestinian Authority Arabs at equal wages with Israel.

BDS has unsuccessfully campaigned for a universal boycott of SodaStream, which gives people the opportunity to make soda in their own homes and add flavors instead of buying bottle carbonated drinks.

Johansson has been a lead punch in the stomach of the Boycott Israel crowd, which is not used to an apolitical figure, especially one from Hollywood, proving to the world that the anti-Zionist case is null and void.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

UK Architects Vote Against Israel

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is advocating to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the International Union of Architects (IUA).

According to a report on the BDS movement website, RIBA voted 23-16 with 10 abstentions on March 19 to boycott the Israeli organization.

The motion called on the IUA to suspend the Israeli organization’s membership “until it acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, and the IUA Accords and Resolution 13….[which] states that ‘The IUA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention.’ “

There is rich irony in that motion, given the definitions of “ethnic purification” and “cultural discrimination” and the countless examples of its lack of relevance anywhere in Judea and Samaria, let alone in Jerusalem.

The land referred to in the motion is polka-dotted throughout Judea and Samaria with Arab and Jewish farming villages and towns – so much so, in fact, that negotiators on both sides still cannot figure out a realistic way to separate them. That’s because they live ‘cheek-and-jowl’ – the truth is, many of those communities are close neighbors and if they would have been left alone, would have remained at peace.

Anyone who has driven through Judea via Highway 60 and stopped off to shop at the Rami Levi supermarket also knows how ridiculous the accusation is. The bustling enterprise, owned by Israeli Jewish businessman Rami Levi, employs both Palestinian Authority Arabs and Israeli Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, most of whom are observant Muslims, Christians and Jews. Moreover, the store is crowded from morning till night likewise with shoppers of the same ilk: Palestinian Authority Arabs and Israeli Jews, all of whom are residents of Judea and Samaria – all intent on one thing: making sure they get what they need for their families and getting home in time for dinner.

In Jerusalem, the accusation of “discrimination” is even sillier: there is not one major Israeli hospitality industry institution in which Arabs do not play a major role. Step into any hotel, be it rated at two stars or five, and see if you can find any staff without at least several high-ranking Arab employees. Likewise the health clinics, hospitals and other offices in the holy city. Hadassah Medical Center is headed by an Arab professional, in fact.

The word “apartheid” in the British Oxford dictionary is defined as “a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race” that historically began with South Africa. Although it has been flung at Israel over its security and defense policies, nevertheless the facts on the ground belie the charge – as anyone with clear eyes can see.

Perhaps United Nations personnel should step out of their white cars once in a while, rather than simply drive through Arab villages, and up and down Highway 60 in the night. Were they to do so, the BDS movement would have a lot less traction.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/uk-architects-vote-against-israel/2014/03/24/

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