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.
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) April 26, 2014