THE TRUTH HURTS ISRAEL’S IMAGE

By Haaretz
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department last week. Photo by AFP

John Kerrys statement that Israel will risk becoming an apartheid state if a two-state solution isnt reached soon is one of a series of statements that call into question the Obama administrations ability to act as an honest broker, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon wrote in an opinion piece for Politico.

Time and again, Secretary Kerrys erroneous declarations have come dangerously close to suggesting moral equivalency between Israel and its adversaries, wrote Danon. They call into question his administrations ability to act as an honest broker in our region.

Danon said Kerrys apartheid comment, which he made while speaking at the Trilateral Commission before senior officials from the United States, Europe, Russia and Japan, was just the latest in a series of destructive statements.

Kerry, who has since clarified that he in no way considers Israel to be an apartheid state, responded to a question in July about why the peace talks were so important by asking whether Israel wants a third intifada. By insinuating that if we do not give in to every Palestinian demand to ensure a successful end to the talks, we would return to the era of suicide bombers murdering hundreds of civilians in Israeli city centers, the secretary basically asked the state of Israel to negotiate with a loaded gun to our heads, wrote Danon.

Kerrys remark in February that the risks of failed peace talks were high for Israel because people are talking about boycott was another veiled threat at Israel that attempted to scare the Israeli public into capitulation, wrote Danon.

The suggestion that the Jewish people would ever establish an apartheid regime was particularly hurtful, wrote Danon, because it was made public on Holocaust Remembrance Day, the solemn day when we remember the more than six million victims of our people murdered in the Holocaust last century in Europe.

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And, whether Israel likes it or not …

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Apartheid label will stick

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In a world characterized by the ubiquity of rapid mass communication the apparent degree of coordination among members of the American Zionist leadership shouldn’t be very impressive. Yet, it is impressive. And it also indicates something about those leaders’ perspective on strategy.

John Kerry’s decision to identify apartheid for what it is – the qualifier, “could be,” is just so much ornamentation – is commendable. And it’s already drawn bilious condemnations from the ADL, AIPAC, Congress and other Zionist strongholds in America.

The condemnations read:

ADL: “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.”

AIPAC: ‘”Any suggestion that Israel is, or is at risk of becoming, an apartheid state is offensive and inappropriate. The Jewish state is a shining light for freedom and opportunity in a region plagued by terror, hate and oppression.” AIPAC also said that is “shares President Obama’s perspective that while there is a political conflict between Israel and the Palestinians that needs to be resolved, the use of the term “apartheid” to characterize Israel is inaccurate and unhelpful.”‘

Eric Cantor: “The use of the word apartheid has routinely been dismissed as both offensive and inaccurate, and Secretary Kerry’s use of it makes peace even harder to achieve.”

Is the statements’ similarity coincidental? The answer is almost certainly No.

Moreover, one word, “inaccurate” recurs more frequently than any other. That suggests something about the logic that underpinned the frantic discussion that preceded the distribution of talking points to members of the leadership. Mainly, that the “danger” here is that the charge will stick – and that the word “apartheid” may come to be regarded as more-or-less accurate shorthand for what the Jewish-Israelis are perpetrating in Palestine.

Finally, J Street, the center-right Zionist lobby organization, lauded Kerry’s recognition while exhibiting a fundamental inability to abandon life beyond the Looking-Glass. Running fast to go nowhere they seem to remember the future:

“Israel today is not an apartheid state, and that’s not what John Kerry is saying,” said Ben Ami. “For over a year now, Kerry has argued that, without a two-state solution, Israel is risking its future and its values as it moves toward permanent rule over millions of Palestinians without equal rights. Former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert have used the ‘apartheid’ term as well to describe this possible future.”

 

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