Incendiary comments made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have sparked outrage from Jewish, U.S. and other international leaders. Kerry cautioned that Israel could become an “apartheid state” if a two-state solution is not reached.
During a closed meeting on Friday, Kerry reportedly told senior officials and experts from the U.S., Western Europe, Russia, and Japan that a two-state solution is the “only real alternative” for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
“A unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens,” Kerry stated, “or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.”
Secretary Kerry’s racially-charged remarks have prompted a firestorm, and several are now calling for his resignation. Here are a few examples of the negative reactions he has received:
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) April 28, 2014
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and any linkage between Israel and apartheid is nonsensical and ridiculous.
— Sen. Barbara Boxer (@SenatorBoxer) April 28, 2014
Secretary Kerry should offer President Obama his resignation, and the President should accept it.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 28, 2014
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) April 28, 2014
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki defended the secretary’s words as merely a statement that “the only way to have two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two-state solution.”
However, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an international Jewish organization, said that Kerry’s comments “used the repugnant language of Israel’s adversaries and accusers” and were “not seen as expressions of friendship and support.”
“It is startling and deeply disappointing that a diplomat so knowledgeable and experienced about democratic Israel chose to use such an inaccurate and incendiary term,” said ADL National Director Abe Foxman.
“[T]o compare that in any way with the systematic discrimination against black Africans in South Africa is truly appalling and hurtful,” Fox News contributor and analyst Charles Krauthammer said on panel for Bret Baier’s Special Report. “I think Cruz is right. This is beyond something requiring an apology. I think this is a resigning-type statement. This is an injury to an ally that will echo, because it will be repeated. And people will say, ‘I’m not saying this, it’s the secretary of State of the United States.’ It is untrue, pernicious and it’s truly something that the demands, at the very least, an immediate apology.”
To date, neither Kerry nor the State Department have issued an apology for the remarks. The Secretary of State’s comments have drawn fire from both Democrats and Republicans.
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