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Another game-changer for US foreign relations. John Kerry, in a speech that was leaked to the Daily Beast, said that Israel could become an Apartheid State.

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.

Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel, and President Obama has previously rejected the idea that the word should apply to the Jewish state. Kerry's use of the loaded term is already rankling Jewish leaders in America—and it could attract unwanted attention in Israel, as well.

While John Kerry put windowdressing on his remarks and subsequently walked them back, it is clear that Israel's policies of perpetual warfare have gotten the US so fed up that it is now affecting relations between the two countries.

It wasn't the only controversial comment on the Middle East that Kerry made during his remarks to the Trilateral Commission, a recording of which was obtained by The Daily Beast. 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 was laying out the alternatives for the two parties. One is a one-state solution, which would destroy Israel's identity as a Jewish state. The other is a two-state solution, which is supported by the West as a means of respecting the international right to self-determination. The third alternative, which is where the two parties are headed thanks to Israel's policy of perpetual warfare and treating the Palestinians as second-class citizens, is the apartheid state.

Maintaining an apartheid state is a violation of international law.

According to the 1998 Rome Statute, the “crime of apartheid” is defined as “inhumane acts… committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” The term is most often used in reference to the system of racial segregation and oppression that governed South Africa from 1948 until 1994.
Already, relations were strained, as evidenced by Israel's abstention of the UN General Assembly vote against Russia for its aggression in Ukraine. Israel has tried to strike Iran over its alleged nuclear program; however, even George Bush, in the waning days of his term, refused to grant them permission to fly over Iraqi airspace to do so. And the US has refused to carry out airstrikes on Iran or permit Israel to do so.

The problem is that Israel has nobody to blame for this deterioration of this relationship but themselves. They have a foreign minister who has openly advocated for the forcible transfer of Palestinians living within Israeli territory. Nobody with those sorts of views would ever have a place of power in our society, as evidenced by the current uproar over Donald Sterling, in which even his own players protested against his racist remarks. When the Israeli government puts in power someone who is a known racist, it is obvious that they are not interested in peace with the Palestinians.

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Comment Preferences

  •  wow (7+ / 0-)

    move over Jimmy Carter, there is another brain trying to fix this mess.  That is amazing, super news.  

    And accurate, it's already a slim majority for the Jewish citizens in Israel proper, and slimming, which is why I suppose the demand that it be recognized as a "Jewish" state.  Now I happen to be one who thinks that the Jewish people need a homeland, that gives Jewish people constitutional protections against discrimination, for very good reasons, but that can't mean it's defined as Jewish only and that anyone else who happened to live there can't have equal rights, whichever is the  majority or minority.

    And now Kerry is warning of the inevitable outcome.

    Good for him, good for Israel, a rational American position.  

    plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

    by anna shane on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 01:53:12 PM PDT

  •  when Jimmy lost to Ronald (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, oblomov

    he said, "may he have four years of Menachem Begin.  Our secret service wants that spy Jonathan Pollard locked away forever, he cost us lives.  But Obama would give him back for a mutually agreed two-state solution. Which is very big thing to do, imagine our own ally not just spying, sharing what he got? We give them more military aid than anyone, by tons, and the joke is they are the 51st state.  But influence over rational foreign policy that wouldn't bite the nation that has propped them up?  Nope.

    I am all for Israel, and all for a two state and all for equal rights within Israel proper.

    plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

    by anna shane on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 02:04:28 PM PDT

    •  I almost hope they let Pollard go, as long as they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anna shane

      film in detail and with sound the crazy popular hero-worship, the parades and speeches made in his honor, and the faces of the right-wing Israeli politicians as they gaze adoringly upon their new king.

      He's up for parole in 2015 anyway, if he will deign to apply for and accept it.

      Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

      by oblomov on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 09:21:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that guy who killed Rabin (0+ / 0-)

        has thousands of ladies writing him, he's a folk hero.  It's a minority, but how embarrassing?  

        No one wants to give the message that it's okay to spy and share the results with enemies.  That's espionage with dead bodies, not a good message.  

        plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

        by anna shane on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:04:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's about time. In Israel the term is used all (5+ / 0-)

    time in their still (for how long?) free press, and it's undeniable that "apartheid" (or even forced transfer, which has been part of Zionism from Day One) is the agenda there.

    Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

    by oblomov on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 02:23:17 PM PDT

    •  No, it's not "undeniable" at all (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JNEREBEL, Kane in CA

      No, "apartheid" is not Israel's agenda.  Israel has repeatedly and loudly supported a two-state solution, and has been willing to accept real offers for two-state solutions, only to have them rejected by the Palestinians.

      This has been true since partition in 1948:  Israel accepted the partition, which created separate Israeli and Palestinian states, but the Palestinians didn't accept it.  And since then, the Palestinians have rejected other peace proposals that would have given them a separate Palestinian state.

      And, by the way, Israel has a free press, and that's not going away any time soon, despite your insinuation.  In fact, Israel is the most democratic nation in the Middle East, by far, with the strongest free press and the most rights for women and minorities.  

  •  "One is a one-state solution, which would destroy (7+ / 0-)

    Israel's identity as a Jewish state."

    Maybe they'll suggest counting non-Jews as 3/5ths of a person?

    Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

    by oblomov on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 02:29:14 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the informative post Eternal Hope. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anna shane, Lepanto, dskoe, Eternal Hope

    Late last night several Israeli newspapers reported on Israeli government minister calling for the final annexation of Area C,  
    which includes the 60% of the West Bank that Israel wants,as punishment for President Abbas' reuniting Palestine by including Gaza and its leadership, Hamas.  

    What this minister advocated was so clever and noble about this plan is that this boundary has been so cleverly drawn if they annexed it they could give all the citizens within that area full citizenship with the right to vote by "only taking on 100,000 Arabs," who he felt could be easily absorbed without any significant loss of Israel's Jewish identify.

    Some suspect this has been P.M. Netanyahu's goal all along and he was only pretending to go along with peace talks to buy time to establish "facts on the ground" by continuing the steady building of settlements.

    The same article reports that since phase of the peace talks has been going on Israel has built 14,000 settlements.

    It may be time for the U.S. to step back and let Europe, and other countries take the lead, and see how serious the rest of the world is about supporting the idea of a peaceful two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

    It appears as if Israel is no longer willing to accept the U.S. position that the 1967 borders be the starting point for negotiating mutually agreed upon land swaps. What else can we do.

    Instead of endlessly dragging the current stalemate on forever, providing protective cover for the Greater Israel expansionist to accelerate their "facts on the ground expansion strategy" would it be fair and perhaps a quicker, safer, and more probable road to a two state solution for the US to step back and let Europe step forward to advance BDS focused exclusively on having Israel pull back to 1967 borders, and advancing recognition of Palestinian statehood to the 67 borders with the contingency for mutually agreed upon swap, in bilateral recognition agreements with the 145 countries that voted for Palestinian membership in the UN.

    Push membership in all remaining UN organization, including resubmitting Palestine application for full members ship on the above terms to both the General Assembly and Security Council with much more pressure on the United States not to veto based on principal and the idea that all other paths to the two state solution have been tried and have failed.  

    This may be the last remaining chance for a two state solution that allows Israel to remain both Jewish and democratic.

    PM Netanyahu and the Greater Israeli expansions have probably miscalculated if they believe the world will stand by and do nothing while they annex Area C and perhaps even select parts of Area B as has been proposed last night in Israeli newspapers, and  fence off the remaining 20% to 40% of the West Bank in non-contiguous Bantuland-like islands. I don't believe the world will stand for this and attempts to do this will induce widespread global BDS focused against all Israeli banks, corporations, travel, and other institutions until they withdraw to 67 borders or mutually agreed upon land swaps.

    But, if this is the road we are headed to and the only language Netanyahu and the extreme right will listen to and understand can we afford to wait? If the very survival of the two-state solution and the possibility of an Israel that is both  Jewish and democratic?

    What does one do if a friend seems set on a suicide run? Let's hope I am wrong. But I find it painful to see Secretary of State John Kerry make such sacrifices and take such slander and abuse from so many while he is trying his best with virtually no cooperation form either side.

    I hope we see a peaceful two state solutions the above scenario is the last possibility I can imagine and I'll be the first to admit it seems like such an impossible long-shot as to barely be worth typing.

    The tragic fatal flaw seem to be the lack of motivation and back bone by both the Europeans, Russians, and Arab countries.

    I had proposed this plan several years ago, and so have others, and I sort of thought it was Plan B for the Quartet, or at least the stick part of the "carrot and stick" approach behind the scenes with Bibi.

    But, Ukraine has screwed this possibility by throwing  the Quartet off, especially Putin so Netanyahu doesn't believe this threat is real. Maybe also the French has back down somewhat.

    And, Saudi Arabia and some other Arabs may have discovered, a tacit alliance with Israel against Iran's nuclear ambition and containing Shiite expansion.'

    So does the world care enough about the Palestinians to up the ante or not? I guess we are about to find out.

    At, the core day to day level when right-wing American groups align with right-wing Israeli groups to denounce Secretary of State noble efforts to pull all the stops to try to keep the two state solution alive, as Bill Kriistol's and his group did yesterday, I believe all progressive Democrats should stand behind SoS Kerry and denounce Kristol.

    I support John Kerry's effort. What is the alternative for creating a two-state solution. Does this not appear to be the last chance?  

    We should at least be clear with ourselves what the situation. It is so complicated I would not be surprised if I have it completely wrong. From my point of views it is better to advance a completely explicit mental model and hypothesis that can be shot down or replaced by a superior completely explicit and testable hypothesis.

    What does not work any longer is merely taking potshots at any proposed solution as a stalling tactic to build and additional 14,000 settlements in the West Bank territory which will eventually make a two state solution impossible.

    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 02:42:32 PM PDT

  •  There is no solution to the I/P issue. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, Eternal Hope, corvo

    The 2-state solution is dead: a Palestinian State is no longer viable given the extent and distribution of the illegal settlements in the Palestinian Territories as well as the Israeli appropriation of water resources there.

    The 1-state solution is not acceptable: for such a 1-state would be either a democratic but not Jewish state, or a Jewish state but an apartheid one.

    The present situation suits Israel just fine. As long the Palestinian Territories are not annexed by Israel the Palestinians have not rights, and as long as the Palestinian Territories are militarily occupied by Israel there is nothing to stop Israel from continuing its policy of expanding its illegal settlements.

    I suspect that even Kerry has come to see this by now...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:17:21 PM PDT

    •  easy solution (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, WattleBreakfast

      Apply International law, the fourth  Geneva accord and common decency. Israel has no rights in the west bank so what is there to negotiate?  God is not in the real estate business and bronze age texts are not title deeds.

      •  Israel has a few hundred nukes (0+ / 0-)

        and one of the best armed forces on the planet, so what is there to negotiate?

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:32:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My only problem (9+ / 1-)

    The use of the future tense. It already is an apartheid state.

    Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.

    by jsfox on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 03:37:23 PM PDT

    •  hey, Kerry's a politician. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WattleBreakfast

      You can't expect total honesty from a politician.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:33:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So it appears (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Anorish

        Jnerebel has issues with the truth or is in denial

        Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.

        by jsfox on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:30:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Kerry stepped in a steaming pile of shit. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto

    And I find it ironic that the top diplomat in the US had to backtrack on something he said. It is in the job description to be careful with his words.

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:31:35 AM PDT

  •  Only one solution: De-certification of Israel (0+ / 0-)

    There is one, and ONLY one, pragmatic solution available: De-certification of the Israeli state

    Israel needs to be internationally de-certified as a country, with progressive Arabs forming the bulwark of a new democratic or other form of non-republican party like entity. It must let the people decide where everyone should live, and imprison all Israeli hardliners for their terrorist activities against Palestine, Hamas, and the neighboring Arab states. I would suggest naming the country Palestine, with a consortium of progressive Arab interests running things, and a demilitarization of the region. ONLY when that happen will there be peace in the Mideast, though it must also work in conjunction with a US ban on the republican party to ensure no military meddling on our part.

    Israel is 100% at fault, and must be taken to account and de-certified. Pure and simple.

    •  umm . . . (0+ / 0-)
      it must also work in conjunction with a US ban on the republican party to ensure no military meddling
      our military meddling tends very much to be a bipartisan project.  

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:32:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In my opinion this is a vile comment. (0+ / 0-)

      Supporting the terror group Hamas that has murdered Israeli civilians as well as other Palestinians is reprehensible.

      In my opinion, calling for the destruction of the state of Israel is a perverted fantasy where the ultimate outcome is likely to be the mass murder of Jews with the 'progressive' Hamas in power.

      "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

      by JNEREBEL on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:05:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Vile"?? And the US support of Israel is NOT?? (0+ / 0-)

    This is beyond incomprehensible rhetoric. It approaches a parity with US-republican backed atrocities that Israel has unleashed in the region. Hamas may have responded inappropriately in many instance, but their grievances are the same as other progressives, both Arab and non-Arab, in the region.

    Having said that, though, what part of the de-certification of a terrorist-inspiring state like Israel do you not agree with?

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