The surprising thing about this controversy is not that Kerry used the word “apartheid” in connection with Israel, but that anyone is surprised or indignant. The ridiculous claim that Israel is an “apartheid state” has been a staple of Leftist antisemitic rhetoric for years (here is a good refutation of it). And the Obama Administration has parroted far-Left rhetoric on this and innumerable other issues for years. So only now people are waking up to that? A bit late.
“JOHN KERRY: ‘If I Could Rewind The Tape, I Would’ve Chosen A Different Word,'” by Brett LoGiurato, Business Insider, April 29, 2014:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement in “support for Israel” Monday night, after a day of high-profile controversy surrounding his weekend warning that Israel may become an “apartheid state” if Israeli-Palestinian peace talks fall through.
” 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,” Kerry said in the statement.
Kerry’s original comment, made at a closed-door meeting of the Trilateral Commission last Friday, spawned a wave of denouncement Monday from various U.S. politicians, along with Jewish leaders and groups. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called on Kerry to apologize, and Sen. Ted Cruz, the freshman Republican from Texas, said Kerry should resign.
His “apartheid” comment broke a longstanding taboo of American officials on using the loaded term to describe Israel — then-Sen. Barack Obama denounced using the term in a 2008 interview. Kerry is believed to be the most-senior U.S. official to have ever used it.
AIPAC, the powerhouse pro-Israel lobby, said Kerry’s reported remarks were “deeply troubling,” “offensive,” and “inappropriate.” The Anti-Defamation League said it was “startling” and “disappointing.”
Though apologetic, Kerry was also defiant in the statement, defending his record on Israel and repeating he won’t “allow his commitment to Israel be questioned by anyone.”
Here’s Kerry’s full statement:
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 s tate 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.