Kerry calls for an Apartheid state in Israel

mandela_israeli_apartheidThe US Secretary of State said that if Israel doesn’t make peace soon, it could become “an apartheid state”, like the old South Africa. Many are fuming over the ill-informed comparison.

Kerry is clearly confused about apartheid, since the two-state solution implies apartheid rather than a single state containing both Jews and Arabs.

Kerry warned that if there was no “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state”.

Secretary of State Kerry confused a room of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting Friday about seperate development, ethnic selfrule and notions of Jewishness.

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 because it is bound to attract unwanted attention to Israel.

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.

Kerry told his audience that 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”.

The US nevertheless imposed a unitary state solution on South Africa, strangely, to “end apartheid”. They have now changed course 180 degrees on the matter it seems.

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.

A two-state solution and claims of Jewishness imply racial segregation however.

Former president Jimmy Carter came under fire in 2007 for titling his book on Middle East peace Palestine: Peace or Apartheid.

Carter explained after publishing the book that he was referring to apartheid-type policies in the West Bank.

“Apartheid is a word that is an accurate description of what has been going on in the West Bank, and it’s based on the desire or avarice of a minority of Israelis for Palestinian land,” Carter said.

Israel’s leaders have employed the term as well. In 2010 former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak used language very similar to Kerry’s. “If this bloc of millions of ­Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”

Kerry suggested in March that if peace talks fail, it would bolster the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Time and demographics are on the Palestinian side, and Israel has to confront notions of the Jewishness of the state, Kerry implied, further strengthening the notion that the US would like to see apartheid being applied to Israel sooner rather than later.