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John Kerry and Israeli apartheid

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US and Israel see eye to eye on Israel’s demand to recognized as a “Jewish state.” (Matty Sher / US Embassy Tel Aviv)

Anti-Palestinian advocates are up in arms over US Secretary of State John Kerry’s warning that Israel could become an “apartheid state” in the absence of a “two-state solution.”

The Anti-Defamation League declared itself “startled and disappointed” that Kerry would use the “offensive term ‘apartheid’ to warn what might become of Israel should an agreement not be reached with the Palestinians.” The neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel has meanwhile demanded that Kerry be sacked.

Caught on tape

Kerry made his “apartheid state” comment in a closed meeting of “influential world leaders” on Friday and lashed out at Israeli and Palestinian leaders, blaming both for the failure of negotiations. Kerry’s comments, caught on tape and reported by The Daily Beast, included:

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 … . 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 [Israeli and Palestinian] leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.

Philip Weiss at Mondoweiss has already made the obvious point that the “apartheid” description has long applied, although Kerry posits it as a hypothetical future scenario.

Weiss wonders: “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)?”

Can’t be Jewish and democratic

And Kerry has previously warned about the grave danger and indeed the supposed impossibility of a one-state solution – which he refers to in his latest comment as a “unitary state.”

But Kerry’s concerns are revealing in what they leave out: he makes no mention whatsoever of Palestinian rights. His only concern is preserving Israel as a “Jewish state.” That is the only solid commitment he and the administration he represents have.

And this is why Kerry’s reported positions in the US-brokered negotiations have hewed so closely to those of Israel on the most substantive issues.

Kerry is implicitly stating that a state based on equal rights and democracy would be “a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.”

Is he admitting then that Israel’s “right to be a Jewish state” is indeed incompatible with democratic principles, a case I make in The Battle for Justice in Palestine (read an excerpt from the chapter “Does Israel have a right to exist as a Jewish state”).

Ignoring Palestinian rights

By contrast, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) puts the rights of all Palestinians front and center. These include ending the occupation and colonization of all land Israel conquered in 1967; ending all the forms of discrimination Israel practices against Palestinian citizens of Israel; and respecting, promoting and implementing Palestinian refugee rights, including the right of return.

As I’ve explained previously, a two-state solution is theoretically compatible with the full implementation of all the Palestinian rights set out in the BDS call. And the BDS call does not take a position on one or two states.

But the kind of two-state solution envisaged by Kerry and his boss President Obama, and by “liberal” Zionists everywhere, is not designed to respect and restore Palestinian rights, but to negate them in order to pursue the overriding goal of protecting a Jewish majority and therefore Jewish political supremacy throughout most of historic Palestine.

Kerry’s goal is to get Palestinians to legitimize this kind of discrimination as quickly as possible in the form of a “state” that would leave the vast majority of Palestinians – refugees and Palestinian citizens of Israel – permanently shorn of their basic rights solely because they are not Jewish.

Opposing Palestinian rights while supporting a state

Indeed Kerry’s comments closely echo the immortal words of The Crisis of Zionism author Peter Beinart, explaining to ex-Israeli prison guard and The Atlantic blogger Jeffrey Goldberg in 2010, how he simultaneously forcefully opposes rights for most Palestinians while strongly supporting a Palestinian “state.” Beinart said:

I’m not asking Israel to be Utopian. I’m not asking it to allow Palestinians who were forced out (or fled) in 1948 to return to their homes. I’m not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state. I’m actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel’s security and for its status as a Jewish state. What I am asking is that Israel not do things that foreclose the possibility of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, because if it is does that it will become–and I’m quoting Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak here–an “apartheid state.”

Kerry, like Beinart, supports the discrimination and racism necessary to maintain Israel’s status as a “Jewish state.” He just wants it to be hidden behind a “two-state solution” with Palestinians blessing their own subjugation.

Comments

I'm no big fan of the Obama Administration, but to be honest, they are trying their best without pushing too far. If they do, it will cost more than is imaginable, for all parties.

By this morning Kerry had already caved in. 'John Kerry Sorry for Israel 'Apartheid' Warning: Diplomat Sorry for Using Morally Charged Language' http://forward.com/articles/19...

Buy the man a backbone for his birthday.

Thank you for highlighting what John Kerry statement really meant between the lines. You are right--he is, in effect, assuming that "Jewish" and "democratic" are incompatible in a modern state. No one knows this more than liberal Zionists like Beinart, for whom the Jewish identity of Israel overrides all other concerns. Their solution is two states--another form of apartheid, since any nascent Palestinian "state" rising from the rubble of the Palestine Authority will inherit the chains of the PA, as Kerry has made abundantly clear.

There is, however, another meaning we can draw from his statement: the fate of an Israel that shuts the door on minimal accommodation with the people they have been dispossessing is now sealed. There is no way that the world will accept a borderless, race-based Zionist Jewish colony with 200+ nuclear warheads. This, too, is part of Kerry's message. No matter how hard it pushes with its allies--"Jewish" race supremacists everywhere, "Christian" Born Agains and Wahhabi "Muslim" clones, who have already sold Syria's Golan Heights to PM Netanyahu--Israel has two possible exits out of its bind: by air or by owning up to its open secret. As a movement, Zionism (it no longer makes sense to speak of Israel, which has renounced the very notion of borders) will simply have to renounce the Zionist myth. The notion of a Jewish right to Palestine has been demonstrated by numerous historian and archaeologists, both in Israel and outside, to be not just myth, but a willful, well-orchestrated lie. It has never ceased to grow. Now Israel is demanding everyone adopt a fool's narrative about a pure Jewish state. That would turn race self-worship into a worship of another "race" for the rest of us. But then race is also a myth!

The only way there can be peace is if Israel accepted the inevitable and renounced the Zionist myth for something more worthwhile. Sadly, the Zionists' core leadership will never accede to that. They are now on a fool's errand.

The secret of the Zionist myth is indeed bubbling into full public view. Here is the actual history of how today's Israel began.
http://examine.webs.com

D. Roth, the link you provide is for a Zionist site filled with racist language and ugly depictions of non-Jews. I don't think this is appropriate at all!

The late Reverend Michael Prior (1942-2006) has written extensively about
"THE EXODUS PARADIGM" in his work. Prior maintains that this unfortunate
tradition is not exclusively of Israeli ("Jewish") manufacture but is a misreading of the
words on the Exodus which pervades almost all of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
A brief but excellent article is his brief essay "THE RIGHT TO EXPEL : THE
BIBLE AND ETHNIC CLEANSING" which is the first essay in a collection
edited by Naseer Aruri, PALESTINIAN REFUGEES : THE RIGHT OF
RETURN" (Pluto Press, 2001)---pp 9- 35.

EI wrote a remembrance of Prior on his death.

-----Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

Israeli politicians' defense of the ethnic cleansing may reflect a good portion of Israeli citizens, BUT here in the US it is the OPPOSITE. The further US politicians dig themselves into the same garbage heap with the Knesset, the faster BDS will appeal to all here. For those of us who have been campaigning against US-supported ethnic cleansing of Palestine for a decade or more, the mood on the street of the general public is CLEARLY ready for BDS like never before.
Everyone gets it, like the Saturday Night Live "donkey dick" segment - if Kerry puts his head back in the donkey's lap as Congress is telling him to, they will all be seen this way. It can't go on.

It may have skipped our minds completely that Kerry was addressing a Trilateral Commission meet, of all venues, and speaking to top world learders in Washington. It was something like a report back to the parents. Kerry is himself a member of that exclusive club, I believe.

This is extremely significant and indicates that his "slip" about Israel's apartheid "future" was, without a shred of doubt, quite deliberate. His message about what will follow the recognition of Israel as an apartheid state is one that all Israelis, not just their leaders, ought to reflect deep on.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security advisor, has been warning Israel for years that the time will come when the United States may not be able to rescue Israel out of the next mess it creates for itself. That day has arrived. Kerry was speaking to the cream of the elite and, basically, to three continents from where this elite has been picked. This is the very Trilateral Commission for which Eurasia figures as the central piece in its projected "new world order." That project has been policy since the 1960s, when the "West" was still busy trying to resuscitate itself after the WWII slaughter. And it represents the selfsame policy and arrogant mindset that has precipitated the crisis in Ukraine, which the West considers a beachhead against the Russian Federation.

Israel is simply not in the same league as those fellows, and its hour is fast approaching, regardless of the grotesque relations it currently maintains with Western states.