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Secretary of State John Kerry recently made a comment about Israel that is causing many to call for his resignation. Kerry now seems to be backing off his statement, but given that the irony of his comment is lost on him, one can't help but wonder whether he really is anti-Israel and therefore, should resign.
On Sunday, The Daily Beast reported that Kerry had told a closed-door meeting of the Trilateral Commission in Washington on Friday that Israel risked becoming an "apartheid state" with two classes of citizens if negotiations to forge a peace deal fail and a two-state solution is not reached.
The Merriam Webster defines Apartheid as:
"a former social system in South Africa in which black people and people from other racial groups did not have the same political and economic rights as white people and were forced to live separately from white people."
Kerry was clearly talking about second class treatment of Palestinians or Arabs in general in Israel. But here's the irony; Israel has been subjected to treatment in the Middle East as not second class, but as not having a right to exist in the eyes of many in the Middle East, since its very inception. In other words, the threat of genocide trumps the threat of apartheid.
Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California was also critical of Kerry's comment, saying on Twitter, "Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and any linkage between Israel and apartheid is nonsensical and ridiculous." Kerry has invested significant time and energy into bringing Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table, with the goal of reaching a deal in nine months. That deadline expires Tuesday with the parties having failed to reach that settlement, a less ambitious framework deal or even an agreement to extend the negotiations.
Kerry claims to be pro-Israel and has backed off the statement that he claims was an unfortunate choice of words that as a result were open to misinterpretation. That bit of obfuscation does not hide the fact that despite John Kerry's history of pro-Israel statements, there is an undercurrent of suspect behavior in that regard. For example, in 1993 he did not co-sign a letter (signed by 55 others in the Senate) urging Secretary of State to include Hamas in terrorism report.
As American Thinker points out, that since it became clear that Kerry would not run for president again, his pro-Israel statements were soon overrun by his anti-Israel actions:
Even Kerry's failure to sign the December 20, 2012 letter in support of continuing sanctions against Iran has not been a matter of concern for pro-Israel activists. And this even though 73 of Kerry's fellow senators signed the letter.Kerry's Israel problem goes back much farther than his troubling attitude towards Iranian sanctions.When Kerry decided to take over for former President Jimmy Carter as the front man for Democratic criticism of Israel, he enlisted the U.S.'s first Muslim member of Congress for help...Kerry's idea that the settlements are the main problem echoes the rhetoric of Yasser Arafat's successors Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad. In his March 2009 remarks, Kerry even adopted the Arab view that Jerusalem is one of "the big three issues." Jerusalem is no issue -- it is Israel's capital.The view that Israel and the Palestinian Arabs equally share blame for the continuation of a decades-old conflict is just another part of Kerry's troubling perspective.
Kerry doesn't need to resign because of a stupid statement - he needs to apologize for it. But Kerry is not the right man to push a peace process since his views on Israel do not reflect the position that Israel is an American ally. He clearly seems them differently and as an instigator rather than a prosecuted community in a sea of its enemies. Kerry is anti-Israel. He doesn't belong at State.