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Kerry says that Israel could wind up being ‘an apartheid state’

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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Matt Bors cartoon

Matt Bors cartoon, at the Medium

The Daily Beast has published an exclusive based on a taperecording it got of John Kerry speaking to world leaders. Josh Rogin:

If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state,” Secretary of State John Kerry told a room of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting Friday.

Kerry said the status quo is unsustainable and hinted that the only way to get a two-state solution is to impose it.

Kerry also repeated his warning that a failure of Middle East peace talks could lead to a resumption of Palestinian violence against Israeli citizens. He suggested that a change in either the Israeli or Palestinian leadership could make achieving a peace deal more feasible. He lashed out against Israeli settlement-building. And Kerry said that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders share the blame for the current impasse in the talks.

Kerry also said that at some point, he might unveil his own peace deal and tell both sides to “take it or leave it.”

“A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. 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,” Kerry told the group of senior officials and experts from the U.S., Western Europe, Russia, and Japan. “Once you put that frame in your mind, that reality, which is the bottom line, you understand how imperative it is to get to the two-state solution, which both leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.”

Matt Bors has already weighed in with the above, at the Medium. It is an illustration of Max Blumenthal’s great line on this very issue: “That’s like saying this table could become a table” — as he thumps a table.

How long are you allowed to issue dire predictions of future apartheid when there have been two sets of laws for different ethnicities under Israeli sovereignty for 47 years of the occupation (and different sets of laws inside Israel from the jump)? Ehud Olmert warned about apartheid, prospectively, in 2007. When does the egg timer go off? How long can you cook a hard-boiled egg? A former leader of the Israel lobby stated in the Nation that it’s apartheid on steroids three years ago. Charney Bromberg said it was apartheid four years ago. Ali Abunimah got there before they did– I heard him use the a-word at Columbia in ’07 or so.

Matt Lee of the Associated Press echoes Kerry in saying the table could become a table: Kerry is stating the “possible” not “the actual,” he writes.

“Has the DC foreign policy community gotten so pathetic and petty that a statement of the possible – not the actual – is offensive?”

I love Matt Lee, but he hasn’t spent much time in Palestine.

The Emergency Committee for Israel has weighed in, saying that it’s time for Obama to stop cleaning up after Kerry’s “messes” and get him out. By messes, they mean his last outrageous prospective statement– “talk of boycotts.” The Emergency Committee is in Orwellian denial. You’re not allowed to even imagine apartheid or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

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.

The ADL has also weighed in angrily.

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….

[I]t was undiplomatic, unwise and unfair. Such references are not seen as expressions of friendship and support.

Matt Lee is much better at noticing no Palestinians on the Sunday talk shows.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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85 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    April 28, 2014, 11:08 am

    2009: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2461 US Campaign Steering Committee Member Bill Fletcher, Jr. Addresses UN General Assembly on Israeli Apartheid http://mondoweiss.net/2009/12/like-jim-crow-and-south-africa-before-it-israel-must-be-pressured-to-abandon-apartheid.html (includes full transcript)

    2006: Fletcher on Apartheid in South Africa and Israel

  2. Justpassingby
    April 28, 2014, 11:14 am

    Become apartheid? There is already some apartheid!

    • Krauss
      April 28, 2014, 2:15 pm

      This entire episode is, in a nutshell, an illustration of just how lagging Washington is on this issue. Kerry is not even controversial.

      This is how political progress is made. First it must be made on cultural grounds. Afterwards, slowly, it will trickle up to the political echelon.

      The next shoe to drop will be the fact that a 2SS is now de-facto impossible.
      Kerry won’t be that guy. I’m guessing we’ll have to wait until Hillary’s 2nd term.

      Israel will do unilateral annexation before that, and pretend the conflict is solved.
      Good luck!

      • Hostage
        April 28, 2014, 8:14 pm

        Kerry is not even controversial.

        In the real world maybe, but not the USA: See U.S., Jewish groups slam Kerry over ‘apartheid’ comment: AIPAC, ADL criticize remarks by Secretary of State; House majority leader Eric Cantor calls on him to apologize.
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.587899

      • James Canning
        April 29, 2014, 7:19 pm

        And Eric Cantor is a real piece of cr*p, in the opinion of some of us.

  3. amigo
    April 28, 2014, 11:23 am

    Sorry, slightly off topic but the Irish Times is running a report by Jodi Rudoren on her claim that the West views Hamas as the “Devil”.Didn,t the NYT retract that name ???.

    And yes , The IT does it again.They hired another pro Israel reporter.Bye bye , balance. Go figure.

  4. amigo
    April 28, 2014, 11:33 am

    This is a momentous occasion.

    Jimmy Carter can now write a sequel to his last book but this time title it ” Israel chooses Apartheid over justice and equality”.They are not going to back off.They cannot.They are stuck in that Zionist quicksand and is keeps sucking them further in.

    I just bet the candles are burning in Hasbara central tonight.

    The Big “A” word is out and about.

    • eGuard
      April 28, 2014, 2:40 pm

      Just to remember, former president Carter in his book used “Apartheid” for the West Bank only.

      That is not to deny him courage.

  5. Kathleen
    April 28, 2014, 11:34 am

    Prof Cole has another zinger up
    http://www.juancole.com/2014/04/israeli-apartheid-understating.html#comment-259293

    Rolling rolling
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.587698

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/28/israel-apartheid-state-peace-talks-john-kerry
    “Kerry has had a sometimes strained relationship with some senior Israeli officials as the peace talks have become gridlocked. In January Israel’s defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon, described Kerry as “obsessive and messianic”.

    Nothing up at Aipac’s page or fb page in response……yet

    • pabelmont
      April 28, 2014, 12:11 pm

      Kathleen: thanks for the link to Juan Cole.

      Juan Cole tells us of a meeting of the “Trilateral Commission”. Interesting. A book called “Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management” (South End Press, 1980, Holly Sklar, ed.) introduced me to the notion, and it’s still going strong, It appears.

      Add that to my usual ranting about Oligarchy/Plutocracy, noting that Trilateral Commission is not appointed or elected by anyone, was started by David Rockefeller in 1973 as an elite discussion group, and has (or so it seems) plutocratic reach and impact, rather like AIPAC but with a more general (if not necessarily contradictory) agenda.

      Could people with strong Tri-Lats be part of the USA’s oligarchy which, occasionally, stands in opposition to BIG-ZION? Is its round table the table around which Jimmy Carter and Zbig Brzezinski meet?

      • surewin
        April 28, 2014, 2:11 pm

        It’s silly to think, as Norman Finkelstein apparently does, that this round of two-state talks is all about Obama’s and Kerry’s preoccupation with their personal legacies. Since about 2006, a deeper American establishment than the neocon one has reasserted itself. They waited until their new President was re-elected and then launched the current two-state process.

        There are various motives, but my strong sense is that some of the main ones have to do with domestic U.S. politics. I don’t think the ongoing Sheldon Adelson spectacle, for example, is good for the Republicans. Some voters notice it, but more importantly the political class does, and it’s repulsive to most of them.

        It will be interesting to see how Hillary behaves in the meantime. Assuming she runs, I don’t think she’ll reveal much in the way of support for a solution to the conflict before the election, but I think she very much wants the conflict to be resolved.

    • Betsy
      April 28, 2014, 12:13 pm

      AIPAC’s fb page has this exciting announcement tho’ — under a theme of “I heart Israel” (even tho’ it’s mum on Kerry)

      Israel’s Latest Invention: The Heart-Shaped Cucumber!

      http://nocamels.com/2014/04/israels-latest-inventi

      Nothing says “I love you” more than a salad. No. Not really. But a new Israeli crop, the heart-shaped cucumber, is a good start. Grown in the Israeli desert using Spanish methods, the uniquely-shaped vegetable will soon be available in supermarkets throughout the country.

      Hmm, is such fluff a symptom of psychological denial? This fb page has a strange fixation on technological ‘breakthroughs’…

      • amigo
        April 28, 2014, 12:27 pm

        “Israel’s Latest Invention: The Heart-Shaped Cucumber!” Betsy.

        What,s the Barcode , so we can be on the lookout.

      • Susan A
        April 29, 2014, 6:16 pm

        It used to be 792 but that appears to have changed….(as crafty as ever?) I think it could now be 882. I’ll check it out a few times and get back to you.

      • tree
        April 29, 2014, 6:34 pm

        729, not 792.

  6. pabelmont
    April 28, 2014, 11:58 am

    Well, you know, people understand things in different ways, especially where Oligarchic (Plutocratic) controls are in operation. After all, “who pays the piper calls the tune.”

    So we know that AIPAC (BIG-ZION) has called the tune on I/P for all these years, just as — to maintain a semblance of context — BIG-DEFENSE and BIG-BANKS have called the tune on America’s ridiculous over-armament and military imperialism and on lax banking regulations (other than the far from lax regulation called “too big to [f|j]ail”).

    OK, so NOW who’s paying the piper? And since they seem to be paying Kerry/Obama to keep apartheid in the future, how long (O lord!) will that slice of future last?

    Will Matt Lee kindly inquire:

    Mr. LEE: Is there, possibly, a trigger, and if so, what will be the trigger, for USA’s declaration that Israel-in-Palestine is (at long last) actually and finally an apartheid state?
    Ms. PSAKI: ???

  7. brenda
    April 28, 2014, 12:25 pm

    (thanks to Kay for the link and Phil for following up)

    Yes, I love it when Kerry talks like this. The one thing that rings an ominous note:
    from the Daily Beast piece, “Kerry on Friday repeated his warning that a dissolution of the peace process might lead to more Palestinian violence. “People grow so frustrated with their lot in life that they begin to take other choices and go to dark places they’ve been before, which forces confrontation,” he said”

    There are prominent elements in Israeli politics and society who would love to see another violent intifada because in this milieu they could finally achieve the goal. Naftali Bennett and others further to the right, and their followers, have been openly calling for annexation of WB, less openly outright no-holds-barred war against Palestine. There is already a lot of Israeli/IDF incitement towards such a scenario, goading the Palestinians to break the non-violence, non-retribution policy of Abbas. It’s funny how no one seems to notice that Hamas rhetoric, action, and policy is mirrored in Israeli society. The IDF is more effective than Hamas but otherwise similiar.

    The clock is running down. Tomorrow is formal ending of US peace talks — unless the two principals agree to extend the talks. Abbas, bless him, yesterday stated for publication that he is willing to extend the talks. For good measure he threw in a statesman-like acknowledgement of Holocaust Memorial Day. Again he was spurned by that idiot Netanyahu. As far as the Europeans are concerned, they can back Palestine unconditionally in the UN. It looks like it will be Ending #2.

    Let’s hope Hamas and Abbas can keep their beleaguered population dampened down for another little while until the Europeans get their ducks in a row. We really do not want another intifada at this stage of the games.

    • Feathers
      April 28, 2014, 1:27 pm

      Provoking an intifada is precisely the agenda.

      Creating a situation in which the Black Hats bear the blame for the bad acts that the White Hats are itching to carry out was Dennis Ross’s stock-in-trade http://www.cnas.org/files/documents/publications/MillerParthemoreCampbell_Iran%20Assessing%20US%20Strategy_Sept08.pdf

      For example, provoking Iranians to rise up against their government and overthrow it — Kermit Roosevelt being dead & all — is precisely the goal of sanctions on Iran. Ed Royce said as much 7 years ago http://www.c-span.org/video/?200726-3/us-policy-toward-iran

      When we see the same tired tactics & rhetoric re Russia/Putin/Ukraine, what we know for sure is that US-Israel diplomatic intelligence hasn’t had a creative thought in decades; it is bankrupt; stuck on stupid; overdosed on Ziocaine.

      • James Canning
        April 29, 2014, 7:21 pm

        I think many of those who promote sanctions against Iran see it as very unlikely those sanctions will cause an overthrow of the government. Part of the PR is the claim this is what might happen.

    • James Canning
      April 29, 2014, 6:21 pm

      What a surprise! Neocon liars who helped to set up the idiotic US invasion of Iraq do not want Kerry saying Israel must get out of the West Bank for its own sake.

  8. Kay24
    April 28, 2014, 1:37 pm

    Things are changing fast folks, Haaretz reports:

    “White House: Hamas-Fatah reconciliation ‘isn’t necessarily a bad thing’
    In closed briefing, presidential adviser Philip Gordon tells Jewish leaders that while timing of deal was ‘unhelpful’ it was hard to see how peace could be reached with only ‘half a Palestinian entity.’

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.587869

    Looks like Israel may begin to lose some of that American support….they are furious at John Kerry’s statement too. Must be hard to realize your grip and control of the US might be slipping at this point. They have also lost the EU as of yesterday on this issue.

    • James Canning
      April 28, 2014, 4:40 pm

      Philip Gordon is doing what someone in the GW Bush administration should have done years ago: tell American Jewish leaders that a unity government for Palestine is a good thing.

  9. Kay24
    April 28, 2014, 2:00 pm

    Here is an old but interesting article from Jewish Press. John Kerry tells senators (Israel’s servants) to “stop listening to the Israelis on this” regarding the Iran issue. They were appalled. Go John Kerry.

    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/senators-appalled-by-kerrys-anti-israel-remarks-in-iran-briefing/2013/11/14/

    • James Canning
      April 28, 2014, 7:48 pm

      John Kerry was quite right to say: stop listening to Israel on this score.

      • Kay24
        April 29, 2014, 10:07 am

        It is like a flash in the pan, 24 hours later he apologizes for using the Apartheid word. Shame, that we are in the palms of zionists hands.

      • James Canning
        April 29, 2014, 2:12 pm

        Aipac cracks a vicious whip.

  10. traintosiberia
    April 28, 2014, 2:12 pm

    Tony Blair for Palestine!
    Here how he was bought –
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/oct/01/uk.labourconference2

  11. James Canning
    April 28, 2014, 2:21 pm

    I have been arguing that a resolution of Israel/Palestine must be imposed, for many many years now. 2002 Saudi Peace Plan is excellent starting point.

    • libra
      April 28, 2014, 7:09 pm

      James Canning: I have been arguing that a resolution of Israel/Palestine must be imposed, for many many years now.

      Imposed by whom? You need to be careful about creating false hope that only prolongs the ‘peace process’ and sees Palestine get smaller every day.

      • James Canning
        April 29, 2014, 6:19 pm

        @libra – – My assumption is that Palestine IS NOT getting smaller day by day. Yes, more and more illegal Jews come to live in Palestine. The fact they are living in Palestine, rather than Israel, needs to be the point driven hard into the Israeli head.

      • libra
        April 29, 2014, 6:55 pm

        @James Canning

        Get real James, the land available to the Palestinians to live on gets smaller every day.

      • James Canning
        April 29, 2014, 7:15 pm

        @libra – – Only because Israeli army etc are in control. I assume Palestine would not allow “Jews only” subdivisions, blocks of flats, etc etc etc.

  12. James Canning
    April 28, 2014, 2:25 pm

    At Lobelog.com today, Marsha B. Cohen has a fine piece on the theft of US nuclear materials in the 1960s by Israel in collusion with American officials, and the ensuing ccover-up.

  13. traintosiberia
    April 28, 2014, 2:30 pm

    How does everything work in Zionism?
    No one other than the Zionist presses on the Jewishness of Israel,Jewishness of theological negotiation, Jewishness of the future border and citizenship. The administration does not pick it up, does not even go there,does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. So the Zionist asks the ambassador to insert the phrase in a speech of Powell . Bingo! Now the profane becomes sacred by unofficial decree . The untouchable becomes Brahmin .it is now a reality . Now the Zionist can always refer back to this speech. As Sharon did by referring to the promises of Bush2 about border and settlement . Who knows how that charade was inserted in Bush mind contradicting US policy of last 7 presidents.

    Now comes the apartheid and boycott. Everybody is talking and discussing. Israeli PM is saying. The Zionist leader of yesteryear is saying. The leaders and the scholars are saying . All of them are looking into the reality and the facts on the grounds and coming to realize the inevitable. A US leader sees the same and hears what other have long ago determined. He agrees. No body forces him. No one inserts into in his speech. His basic IQ and moral compass lead him down to the conclusion.
    The same folk who got rid of the ‘ Arabist” in State Dept are horrified and angry. So they return with fury asking for the raw scalp of the Secretary of State.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/01/AR2010100104177.html

    • MHughes976
      April 29, 2014, 5:05 am

      Sullivan, writing with great force as usual, makes the agony and disgrace of the current situation clear. He ends by saying that if the situation cannot be changed it can at least be recognised. In a sense this is too pessimistic because if the situation were generally recognised for what it is it would have to change. In another he is too optimistic, I think, because he says that it was plausible only a matter of 15 years ago to blame the Palestinians whilst also saying, in effect, that the whole idea of Zionism has from the beginning been that the Palestinians had to go. It couldn’t have been plausible to believe something in the wake of and in the teeth of decades of the plainest evidence: we didn’t believe something plausible, we told ourselves lies. People who are deceiving themselves don’t necessarily change because another decade’s worth of evidence has piled up, they just work harder at the self-deception – and self-deception can be very easy work when the main thing is just thinking about something else. And even easier when we’re trying to conceal our own huge responsibility for what has happened.

  14. Henry Norr
    April 28, 2014, 2:32 pm

    Phil wrote: “there have been two sets of laws for different ethnicities under Israeli sovereignty for 47 years of the occupation…”

    With all due respect, Phil, I don’t think that’s the heart of the problem. The real issue is not that the laws are different, but that the Palestinians (in the West Bank – Gaza is different at this point) have no legal protection from the arbitrary power of the settlers and Israeli authorities.

    In principle, of course, that power is regulated by all kinds of laws – Israeli civilian law and military decrees, supplemented by Ottoman, Jordanian, and British law. In practice, that wide range lets the Israelis apply whatever laws provide the best cover for their objectives – or no law at all if they can’t find a convenient one.

    This may seem like a quibble, but I think it has some importance in making the case against Israel: saying there are different laws for different groups is a pretty abstract way to describe the situation, and while it may sound problematic to anyone with genuine democratic sensibilities, it’s not half as problematic as the brutal and essentially lawless realities of the occupation.

  15. Kathleen
    April 28, 2014, 2:55 pm

    Just sent my thank you to Secretary of State Kerry for going as far as he has. While we know he was hesitant to say what we know Israel is an apartheid state…amazing that he has gone as far as he has. Please take the time to thank him
    http://www.state.gov/contact/

    • James Canning
      April 28, 2014, 2:59 pm

      Bravo, Kathleen.

    • Justpassingby
      April 28, 2014, 3:13 pm

      No way thanking that warmonger.

      Rather he should be criticized for letting apartheid live today in Palestine.

      • Kathleen
        April 28, 2014, 7:00 pm

        I hate sucking up JPB but hey who else in that position has stuck their neck out that far? James Baker. Going to let Kerry know there are folks who appreciate that he has gone as far as he has. Do the Palestinians deserve far more…hell yes. Is Kerry being Israel’s good friend hell yes. Anyone who will tell you where it looks like you are headed is a very good friend

    • Kay24
      April 28, 2014, 4:47 pm

      Thanks Kathleen, I was thinking about doing that too.

    • Justpassingby
      April 29, 2014, 3:16 am

      Actually he now denies he said it Kathleen..

      • Kathleen
        April 29, 2014, 2:48 pm

        Still needs to hear that there are many of us who support his statement and want more honesty about the facts on the ground

      • James Canning
        April 29, 2014, 6:04 pm

        John Kerry should hear loud cheering for his comment. Even if he has to say he did not make it.

  16. Kathleen
    April 28, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Great comments over at the Daily Beast. One of the top comments “Argonne18 6 hours ago

    Could be become an apartheid state??? Brother, when you have roads for Jews only, towns for Jews only, laws for Jews only, rights for Jews only, just what do you call that. The dictionary definition of apartheid should have a picture of the Israeli flag. Israel was founded on it”.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      April 29, 2014, 6:57 am

      Kerry might be interpreted as meaning something like this. The “peace process” makes it possible to regard the situation as provisional. There may be elements of apartheid, but they don’t define the long-term nature of the state. The end of the “peace process” also ends the appearance of provisionality and then there is no choice but to define Israel as an apartheid state. It’s like he’s saying: “So far I’ve called this table a pumpkin, but I may soon have to call it a table.”

  17. Krusty
    April 28, 2014, 3:25 pm

    (This ran longer than I expected it to, it’s still a touch embryonic.) I don’t really think it’s an accident that this leaked. I don’t really think Kerry’s assessment is wrong, either.

    As the Occupation continues and deepens, a two state solution grows more and more imperiled. With that comes the choice: a Jewish state or a democracy. Plans to annex Area C only add to this problem, as would the “Autonomy on Steroids” Bantustan proposed by Naftali Bennett today. Given the events of the last week (Fatah-Hamas unity involving Gazan leadership, Hamas’ de facto acquiescence to the Quartet’s demands, Abbas’ acceptance in Arabic of the Holocaust), I don’t see how anybody can take Bibi Netanyahu’s commitment to a 2 state solution at face value anymore. Much like when the PA had a friend in Salaam Fayyad, Abbas has delivered gift which Netanyahu is determined to look in the mouth. Even if you accept that there is a 2 state vision he’d get behind, it is as far removed from reality as Hamas’ unitary solution.

    Andrew Sullivan (in a piece I disagree with for reasons I’ll get to in a moment) just posted this well-written bit: http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/04/28/john-kerry-tells-the-truth/

    Sullivan’s analysis isn’t out of place with anything you’d see here. Probelmatically, it also ignores Yesh Atid, Hatnuah, or the desperate-for-peace Israel left led by Labour’s Bougie Herzog. I suppose, by Sullivan’s analysis, Americans were all pro-torture warmongers in 2004? Roger Cohen’s piece in the Times was essentially true: the status quo is sustainable for Israel, and however odious it may seem, most Israelis appreciate their safety and economic growth. That’s the real problem, particularly as Netanyahu pivots towards being a Russian client due to common ethos and the growing influence of the Soviet bloc.

    My hope is that the Obama admin’s pressure cracks up the Netanyahu coalition, that Lapid bolts to the opposition along with Livni, and that a newly installed Prime Minister Herzog meets with the moderate new Palestinian President (al-Masri? Fayyad? Dahlen?) Even if you think that’s Utopian (and even I’m inclined to say that my hope might be…) I think the likelihood is that Michael Oren is right and there will be a unilateral disengagement in the near-future contemporaneous with PA efforts towards UN recognition that the US may well support. The moment that a two state solution is impossible and a one state solution is inevitable (which I contend is still a little ways off), the position of the Israelis will shift from immoral Occupier to apartheid governor.

    One final bit: The Daily Beast (which also hosted Andrew Sullivan and Peter Beinart) just released the American Secretary of State saying this after Barack Obama spoke with similar frankness to Jeffrey Goldberg a mere month ago. There is no war with Iran. Apartheid is a loaded word meant to scare the Israeli public and government, a sort of step up from the mention of BDS a few months back. These are not things that puppets say. At what point can we speak frankly on this blog about the nature of the “Israel Lobby”: that it’s not some all powerful tail that wags the dog, but rather the more obvious answer that the reflexive Likudnik tendencies of most Washingtonians are dulling due to a combination of the obstinacy and shameful governance of the Netanyahu coalition and the deeper influence of realpolitik retrenchment following the neocon adventurism of the Aughties (as embodied in Obama’s foreign policy)?

    • ritzl
      April 28, 2014, 7:17 pm

      Interesting. I disagree with about half, but just one question… Why do you believe that Lapid, et. al. will “bolt” when they very deliberately sought to be included in this coalition?

      Lapid does campaign speeches in settlements. Labor/Yacimovich was specific and stout in their ambivalence to “peace” and their focus on economics in the election campaign. Livni is, well, Livni. What makes you think that something has changed? Herzog (was he the co-leader of Labor last election)?

      What makes me think something has changed is that the leader of Meretz, finally has made unequivocal, courageous, political space-creating statements supporting Palestinian reunification because they see what is happening. But you don’t mention Meretz and it’s too little, too late anyway (though their poll numbers are up).

      OK, that was two questions. And Sullivan’s piece was spot on, imho (as you foresaw). I’m not sure you made your disagreements clear.

  18. Donald
    April 28, 2014, 3:26 pm

    I wouldn’t trust Kerry too much here–he’s frustrated that the Israelis are too stupid to play the game and join him in imposing a 2SS on the Palestinians, one which in all likelihood would be a step backwards even from what was discussed at Taba. It’s good that he’s using the word “apartheid”–perhaps even historic. But it doesn’t mean he gives a damn about a fair deal for Palestinians.

    On another note, I’ll be interested to see if the NYT finds this fit to print. So far as I can tell, they haven’t said a word yet. Maybe I’ve missed it. It’s hard to believe that in the internet era they would think they could simply suppress it. I’ll wait a bit longer and then write to Margaret Sullivan (who despite a recent failing is generally pretty reasonable on this issue).

    • Krusty
      April 28, 2014, 3:39 pm

      I haven’t seen a word of it in the Times, but there are a pair of interesting articles:

      A decidedly liberal Zionist piece about J Street: http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/28/who-speaks-for-pro-israel-americans/

      and this news on the suspension of talks which quotes Naftali Bennet of all people at length: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/29/world/middleeast/israel-appears-to-raise-new-peace-talks-issue-with-us.html

      • Hostage
        April 28, 2014, 5:35 pm

        and this news on the suspension of talks which quotes Naftali Bennet of all people at length: link to nytimes.com

        The US has obviously never given the Palestinians a commitment to support their position against negotiating or dealing with an Israel unity government, unless it has accepted the principles laid down by world powers to recognize Palestine’s right to exist, to renounce all violence and to accept all previous signed agreements:

        The Israeli official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the subject’s diplomatic delicacy, said that the commitment had been given to Israel during President Obama’s first term in office and that it had been restated since his re-election. The official would not specify whether the commitment had been given in writing or by the president himself.

        But he insisted that the Obama administration had backed Israel’s position against negotiating or dealing with such a unity government unless Hamas accepted the principles laid down by world powers after the Islamic group won Palestinian elections in 2006: to recognize Israel’s right to exist, to renounce all violence and to accept all previous signed agreements.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/29/world/middleeast/israel-appears-to-raise-new-peace-talks-issue-with-us.html

    • Kay24
      April 28, 2014, 5:20 pm

      I do think he has irked them to a large extent. An article in Haaretz states that Kerry’s use of the A word means it is here to stay:

      http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/west-of-eden/1.587895

      Israel has shown no cooperation with the US, and has disrespected the President and the Secretary of State, despite their efforts to bring peace to the region. Israel has consistently demanded more and more at every opportunity, and keeps blaming the other side for the failure of these talks, I do not blame John Kerry and our officials for being frustrated with the situation.

  19. chuckcarlos
    April 28, 2014, 5:01 pm

    Ergodan called it correctly, Israel is a terrorist state…

    and now, Kerry says that Israel “may” become an Apartheid State…

    and we support the Zionist Goons?

    Zawahiri listed the reasons for 9/11

    1. US support for the fascists in Egypt
    2. US support for the racist fascist regime in Israel (what a recruiting poster for every Muslim teenage freedom fighter who comes down the pike that one is…photos are readily available daily)
    3. US support for the two bit dictators who run Saudi Arabia
    4. US troops in or near Muslim cities of Mecca and Medina
    5. US support for every two bit dictator who comes along in the MidEast

    Sarkozy had it correct, “Netanyahu is one scumbag liar”…as are all his associates…

    the USA does not need Israel…

    • RudyM
      April 29, 2014, 11:42 am

      Bin Laden issued multiple statements denying responsibility for 9/11 and al Zawahiri is a western operative who regularly met with US/NATO and Turkish officials, per Sibel Edmonds, with some additional circumstantial evidence to support this claim (including the peculiar story of his arrest by Russia). The beginning of this just goes over the standard account of who al Zawahiri is, but it gets better past that section:

      The point of view on 9/11 apparently held by a majority of the world’s Muslims is, of course, beyond the pale to even discuss:

      This is what the Pew Forum said about its summer poll on Muslim tensions:
      “Nearly a decade after Sept. 11, 2001, skepticism about the events of that day persists among the Muslim public. When asked whether they think groups of Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., most Muslims in the nations surveyed said no. There is no Muslim public in which even 30% accept that Arabs conducted the attacks. Indeed, Muslims in Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey are less likely to accept this today than in 2006.”

      http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2011/08/15/most-muslims-dont-believe-arabs-behind-911-attacks-poll/

      (chuckcarlos, this second point isn’t primarily directed at you.)

      • James Canning
        April 29, 2014, 1:59 pm

        Osama bin Laden said his attacks on the US on “9/11” did far more damage than he had hoped for, due to foolish US response. But he also said he regretted some aspects of the foolish US response. And he could see that injuring the US as he did, brought catastrophe to large numbers of Muslims.

  20. Hostage
    April 28, 2014, 5:19 pm

    It’s good that he’s using the word “apartheid”–perhaps even historic.

    Not so much, since the Executive branch has always maintained that apartheid isn’t a crime against humanity or an offense that should be punishable under international law. As a matter of record, the United States was the only member of the UN General Assembly that spoke out against the adoption of the apartheid convention. See paragraphs 21-29 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/PV.2185

    When the question as to whether it was an offense under the customary law of nations for which a private right of action exists under the Alien Tort Statute, our own Supreme Court couldn’t bench a quorum of six judges who weren’t involved or conflicted in some way in the corporate torts that were alleged in the petition itself. So they had to let the lower court ruling stand.
    * ATS Apartheid Case Affirmed by Supreme Court
    http://opiniojuris.org/2008/05/16/ats-apartheid-case-affirmed-by-supreme-court/

    In the ATS case developments in the post-Kiobel era, the South African apartheid case is still on life support, but no one thinks it will survive a review from the Roberts Supreme Court.
    * The Case That Won’t Die: U.S. Court Revives South Africa Apartheid Alien Tort Statute Lawsuit
    http://opiniojuris.org/2014/04/18/case-wont-die-u-s-court-revives-south-africa-apartheid-ats-lawsuit/

    Frankly, Kerry’s framework to establish “two states for two peoples” is nothing more than the working-out of the Zionist plan of Grand Apartheid. It attempts to subvert family honor and rights to clan and tribal homelands and overturn the right of the refugees of the 1948 and 1967 wars to repatriation under the customary terms reflected in Article 46 of the Hague Convention of 1907 and Article 6 of the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949; to permit Israel to retain territory acquired by war in violation of Article 2 of the UN Charter; and to deprive the Palestinians the right of equality and self-determination in violation of Article 1 of the UN Charter and the full panoply of UN declarations and conventions on fundamental human rights.

  21. lysias
    April 28, 2014, 5:53 pm

    OT, Wall Street is so spooked by the possibility of Rand Paul becoming president that they’re even willing to consider supporting Hillary: Wall Street Republicans Looking To Support Hillary Clinton In 2016.

  22. stevelaudig
    April 28, 2014, 6:28 pm

    Like all real problems facing the Empire, such as the financial industry, climate change, economic inequality, infrastructure failure, the military budget, etc., etc, etc., the Zionism problem is too big to fix, but not too big to fail.

  23. unverified__5ilf90kd
    April 28, 2014, 8:14 pm

    Today Andrew Sullivan has one of the most devastating criticisms of Israel apartheid that I have ever read. Makes me proud to be British.

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/04/28/john-kerry-tells-the-truth/

    • Kay24
      April 29, 2014, 8:10 am

      You are lucky to have journalists brave enough to write so honestly, when it comes to Israel. It would be hard to find a brave, honest journalist in the US, write this way in any zionist controlled media. Even our leaders dare not criticize Israel. Today our Secretary of State apologized for using the A word. We seem to be afraid of Israeli lobbies, and facing the wrath of Israel in our side of the pond.

  24. radii
    April 28, 2014, 9:33 pm

    hey israel and zionists, that sound you heard is Kerry (and the U.S.) throwing down the Gauntlet … imagine Kerry took a white glove to the collective face of modern israel/zionism and slapped you across both cheeks

    Kerry has nothing to lose – he’s rich, he’s old, he’s had power forever, he can write books and chill out on yachts after his stint as Secretary of State is over

    … and Obama is thrilled to have Kerry running interference for him on israel and I/P – he can stay above the fray as the expression goes

    Kerry has already mentioned BDS and now he’s legitimized “apartheid” … see the writing on the wall israel/zionists?

    time to take America’s deal and pretty quickly

    • MHughes976
      April 29, 2014, 4:53 am

      The writing on the wall still says ‘You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting’: true of Kerry, maybe. Talking of possible future apartheid doesn’t seem to me to be much of a departure from what liberal opinion, even liberal Zionist opinion, has always said.

  25. Donald
    April 28, 2014, 11:49 pm

    The NYT gets around to reporting the remark now that Kerry has apologized for it.

    link

    No Palestinian opinions are welcome, of course.

    • Justpassingby
      April 29, 2014, 3:16 am

      Hah, latest is that he denies it! What a pathetic man..

      • James Canning
        April 29, 2014, 6:10 pm

        Actually, Kerry has shown a good degree of courage, on Israel/Palestine.

    • Kay24
      April 29, 2014, 8:05 am

      Well it look like AIPAC and other lobbies were busy yesterday making those calls, asking for an apology. They control our leaders and we know it.
      It is too late the A word is out there, and more will use it.

    • Boomer
      April 29, 2014, 9:30 am

      time to do the donkey again, and again, and again . . .

      • eljay
        April 29, 2014, 10:12 am

        >> John Kerry: “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… ”

        A unitary, bi-national state can be the prosperous state with full rights that the Palestinian people deserve. It can also be the prosperous state with full rights that the Israeli people deserve.

        What a unitary, bi-national and prosperous state with full rights can’t be is the supremacist “Jewish State” the (Zionist) Jewish people want. Given that no-one – not even (Zionist) Jews – deserves a supremacist state, there’s nothing wrong with this.

      • eljay
        April 29, 2014, 3:58 pm

        >> Given that no-one – not even (Zionist) Jews – deserves a supremacist state, there’s nothing wrong with this.

        To clarify: “this” means “a unitary, bi-national and prosperous state with full rights not being a supremacist ‘Jewish State'”.

      • Hostage
        April 29, 2014, 7:15 pm

        Given that no-one – not even (Zionist) Jews – deserves a supremacist state, there’s nothing wrong with this.

        Agreed. Kerry’s and Obama’s statements about “the Jewish state” have gotten obnoxious. It amazes me that US foreign policy, including our substantial foreign assistance, hasn’t been the target of an “establishment clause” Supreme Court case. The Executive and the Congress are creatures of the Constitution and aren’t permitted to do anything overseas which is prohibited by that document.

  26. W.Jones
    April 29, 2014, 12:33 am

    UPDATE: Mr. Kerry did not dispute he had used the phrase but said it had led to a “misimpression” about his views. “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,” he said.
    NY TIMES: “Kerry Apologizes(????????????????????) for Remark That Israel Risks Apartheid”

  27. Justpassingby
    April 29, 2014, 3:43 am

    Actually I was wrong, Kerry hasnt denied it, read his clever response.

  28. amigo
    April 29, 2014, 7:18 am

    Kerry did not retract his full meaning.Read between the lines.

    “Mr. Kerry added that he did not believe that Israel was an “apartheid state” or intended to become one.”

    Of course the zionists don,t intend to become one.They are convinced they are doing god,s work and therefore could not be accused of running an Apartheid Regime.

    Of course , those of us who are not brainwashed or asleep or are paid servants of AIPAC know better.

    The word Apartheid has now been inexorably associated with Israel and you cannot unwring a bell.

    So let,s just sit back and watch Kerry,s forecast come to full fruition.

    • Kay24
      April 29, 2014, 10:10 am

      No hope that the US zionist media will use it, but the rest of the world will now get bolder, and the word apartheid will now relate to that brutal occupier, Israel.
      Well deserved I say.

  29. amigo
    April 29, 2014, 8:10 am

    Planet zio inhabited by “Delusionalites”.

    Diet–Heavy helpings of hasbara.

    “The Jewish state is a shining light for freedom and opportunity in a region plagued by terror, hate and oppression,” the statement read.”AIPAC (Haaretz)

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.587899

  30. iResistDe4iAm
    April 29, 2014, 8:23 am

    “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.” ~ Emergency Committee for Israel

    Is that another Israel Lobby attempt at extortion, or merely an order?

  31. anthonybellchambers
    April 29, 2014, 9:57 am

    US Secretary Kerry, compares Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian land to the former S.Africa apartheid regime

    Having known both countries for very many years, there is little question that there are many similarities between the former ruling National Party in South Africa during apartheid and the current right-wing, Likud Party of Israel, the leader of which is the hard-line, Zionist premier, Binyamin Netanyahu.

    In both cases, there was, or is, an attitude of superiority that daily demeans those in the Occupied Territories. A palpable arrogance that proclaims those under occupation as inferior and unworthy of respect.

    Of course, there is, in reality, no difference whatsoever in the DNA/gene pool between an Israeli and an Arab; the inequality in performance being due to the education readily available to all Israeli children but usually denied to the Arab family, along with essential living supplies.

    Israel has maintained a blockade of essential medical, building, food and other supplies to 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza for now over six years in an unsuccessful attempt to effect an illegal regime change. In the West Bank, so-called ‘pricetag’ terrorists today burn-down olive groves and raze houses in scenes reminiscent of the dreaded SA Police who destroyed the multi-ethnic, District Six in Cape Town in, 1966, forcing its 55,000 inhabitants into ‘Bantustans’ as their district was declared a ‘White Only Area’ by the National Party government.

    The word ‘apartheid’ means the state of being apart and was a violent system of racial segregation in South Africa from 1948 to 1994 when global pressure forced a non-violent political change to majority rule.

    A near identical position of racial segregation applies throughout Israel today with the occasional Arab and/or Muslim being appointed to office as a token of ‘equality’ when that is patently absent. Virtually every month, the Netanyahu administration authorises yet more illegal housing permits in the Occupied Territories in gross violation of international law, the Geneva Conventions and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

    20 years ago, world opinion was instrumental in bringing about political change in South Africa to democratic rule by the largest indigenous people of the region, the Muslim Arabs. It is clear that it is a matter of time before similar pressure forces an identical outcome in former Palestine.
    ________________________________________

  32. Rusty Pipes
    April 29, 2014, 3:00 pm

    So, did a member of the Trilateral Commission leak an exclusive copy of Kerry’s speech to the Daily Beast or did one of the “senior officials and experts from the U.S., Western Europe, Russia, and Japan” at this closed-door meeting forget to take the batteries out of a cellphone?

  33. Felixio
    April 29, 2014, 6:55 pm

    Israel will survive without Zionistm, hard to believe other wise.

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