Secretary of State John Kerry undiplomatically declared that Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state” if it fails to negotiate a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority. Josh Rogin of the Daily Beast reported that Kerry made the disparaging remark during a closed-door talk before members of the Trilateral Commission.
Kerry told the gathering “…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.”
Although the remarks may have gone down well at the pro-Arab Trilateral Commission—an organization that long has sought to subsume national sovereignty within a gauzy framework of European/Japanese/North American internationalism—Kerry’s warning is an inappropriate rebuke of a close ally.
The implication is not only that Israel would be responsible for any breakdown of the peace negotiations, but also that Israel’s security–related treatment of the Palestinians is indistinguishable from South Africa’s racist policies under apartheid from 1948 to 1994.
Kerry undoubtedly is frustrated that his high profile efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have crashed and burned.
But his ire is misplaced; the Palestinians deserve the bulk of the blame for the failure of negotiations. On April 23, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains committed to destroying Israel.
Hamas, which has a long and bloody record of terrorism, is a Sunni-supremacist organization fired with a deeply engrained anti-Semitism. In light of this unholy alliance, it is no wonder that Israel suspended negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
Kerry should be warning the Palestinian Authority against joining with Hamas, which will make a genuine peace impossible, rather than using emotionally charged words to criticize Israel.