Well well. Looks looks like Lurch said something stupid and vicious which seems to be becoming a habit for him… But make no mistake – he wouldn’t say such a thing without his boss’s acquiescence.
Via Josh Rogin at The Daily Beast, this is getting quite a bit of attention, today:
The secretary of state said that if Israel doesn’t make peace soon, it could become ‘an apartheid state,’ like the old South Africa. Jewish leaders are fuming over the comparison.
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.***
“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,” Kerry told the group of senior officials and experts from the U.S., Western Europe, Russia, and Japan. “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 leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.”
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.
Here is how apartheid Israel is:
Arabs in Israel have equal voting rights; in fact, it is one of the few places in the Middle East where Arab women may vote. Arabs in 2011 held 14 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Israeli Arabs have also held various government posts, including one who served as Israel’s ambassador to Finland and the deputy mayor of Tel Aviv. Oscar Abu Razaq was appointed Director General of the Ministry of Interior, the first Arab citizen to become chief executive of a key government ministry. Ariel Sharon’s original cabinet included the first Arab minister, Salah Tarif, a Druze who served as a minister without portfolio. An Arab is also a Supreme Court justice. In October 2005, an Arab professor was named Vice President of Haifa University.
Arabic, like Hebrew, is an official language in Israel. More than 300,000 Arab children attend Israeli schools. At the time of Israel’s founding, there was one Arab high school in the country. Today, there are hundreds of Arab schools.29
The sole legal distinction between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel is that the latter are not required to serve in the Israeli army. This is to spare Arab citizens the need to take up arms against their brethren. Nevertheless, Bedouinshave served in paratroop units and other Arabs have volunteered for military duty. Compulsory military service is applied to the Druze and Circassian communities at their own request.
Some economic and social gaps between Israeli Jews and Arabs result from the latter not serving in the military. Veterans qualify for many benefits not available to non-veterans. Moreover, the army aids in the socialization process.
On the other hand, Arabs do have an advantage in obtaining some jobs during the years Israelis are in the military. In addition, industries like construction and trucking have come to be dominated by Israeli Arabs.
Although Israeli Arabs have occasionally been involved in terrorist activities, they have generally behaved as loyal citizens. During the 1967, 1973 and 1982 wars, none engaged in any acts of sabotage or disloyalty. Sometimes, in fact, Arabs volunteered to take over civilian functions for reservists. During the Palestinian War that began in September 2000, Israeli Arabs for the first time engaged in widespread protests.
In the early part of the century, the Jewish National Fund was established by the World Zionist Congress to purchase land in Palestine for Jewish settlement. This land, and that acquired after Israel’s War of Independence, was taken over by the government. Of the total area of Israel, 92 percent belongs to the State and is managed by the Land Management Authority. It is not for sale to anyone, Jew or Arab. The remaining 8 percent of the territory is privately owned. The Arab Waqf (the Muslim charitable endowment), for example, owns land that is for the express use and benefit of Muslim Arabs. Government land can be leased by anyone, regardless of race, religion or sex. All Arab citizens of Israel are eligible to lease government land.
In 2002, the Israeli Supreme Court also ruled that the government cannot allocate land based on religion or ethnicity, and may not prevent Arab citizens from living wherever they choose. 30
Meanwhile, in 1996, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mufti, Ikremah Sabri, issued a fatwa (religious decree), banning the sale of Arab and Muslim property to Jews. Anyone who violated the order was to be killed. At least seven land dealers were killed that year. 31
On May 5, 1997, Palestinian Authority Justice Minister Freih Abu Middein announced that the death penalty would be imposed on anyone convicted of ceding “one inch” to Israel. Later that month, two Arab land dealers were killed. A year later, another Palestinian suspected of selling land to Jews was murdered. The PA has also arrested suspected land dealers for violating the Jordanian law (in force in the West Bank), which prohibits the sale of land to foreigners. 32 An Islamic judge renewed the fatwa barring Palestinians from selling property to Jews in 2008 and, as recently as June 2010, a Palestinian was imprisoned for 10 years on charges of selling land to Israel. 33
|“The charge that Israel is [like old South Africa] is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.”
— Richard Goldstone, former justice of the South African Constitutional Court35
“Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is similar to the treatment of blacks in old South Africa.”
Even before the State of Israel was established, Jewish leaders consciously sought to avoid the situation that prevailed in South Africa. As David Ben-Gurion told Palestinian nationalist Musa Alami in 1934:
We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland. 36
Today, within Israel, Jews are a majority, but the Arab minority are full citizens who enjoy equal rights and are represented in all the branches of government. Arabs are represented in the Knesset, and have served in the Cabinet, high-level foreign ministry posts (e.g., Ambassador to Finland) and on the Supreme Court.
Under the discriminatory policies of old South Africa, skin color determined every aspect of your life from birth until death. Black South Africans could not vote and were not citizens of the country in which they formed the overwhelming majority of the population. Laws dictated where they could live, work, go to school and travel. And, in South Africa, the government killed blacks who protested against its policies. By contrast, Israel allows freedom of movement, assembly and speech. Some of the government’s harshest critics are Israeli Arabs who are members of the Knesset.
“To be sure, there is more de facto separation between Jewish and Arab populations that Israelis should accept,” observed Richard Goldstone, former justice of the South African Constitutional Court. “Much of it is chosen by the communities themselves. Some results from discrimination.” But, he added this is nothing like the situation in South Africa where separation was considered an ideal. “In Israel,” Goldstone added, “equal rights are the law, the aspiration and the ideal; inequities are often successfully challenged in court.”36a
“The difference between the current Israeli situation and…[old] South Africa is emphasized at a very human level: Jewish and Arab babies are born in the same delivery room, with the same facilities, attended by the same doctors and nurses, with the mothers recovering in adjoining beds in a ward. Two years ago I had major surgery in a Jerusalem hospital: the surgeon was Jewish, the anaesthetist was Arab, the doctors and nurses who looked after me were Jews and Arabs. Jews and Arabs share meals in restaurants and travel on the same trains, buses and taxis, and visit each other’s homes.Could any of this possibly have happened under apartheid? Of course not.”
— Benjamin Pogrund 37
The situation of Palestinians in the territories is different. The security requirements of the nation, and a violent insurrection in the territories, forced Israel to impose restrictions on Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza Stripthat are not necessary inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders. Israeli policy is not based on race, but is a result of Palestinian animosity. Palestinians in the territories dispute Israel’s right to exist, whereas blacks did not seek the destruction of South Africa, only the discriminatory regime.
Despite security concerns and the hostile attitude of many Palestinians, more than 40,000 Palestinians from the territories work in Israel every day. And most people are unaware that another 25,000 work in those “obstacles to peace” — Jewish settlements — and all Palestinian workers enjoy the same working conditions and rights as Israelis.37b
Many people discovered these facts for the first time when actress Scarlett Johannson was attacked for being the spokesperson for SodaStream because the company’s factory is in Maale Adumim. This city of roughly 40,000 people, which is ten minutes from downtown Jerusalem, is considered a settlement. Palestinian peace negotiators have already agreed the city will remain part of Israel if a Palestinian state is established. More to the point, the company employs hundreds of Palestinians, several of whom spoke out against the call to boycott the company: “Before boycotting, they should think of the workers who are going to suffer,” a young SodaStream worker said. He now earns nearly 10 times what he earned before joining SodaStream, which also provides transportation, breakfast and lunch for its employees.38a
Despite all their criticism, when asked what governments they admire most, more than 80 percent of Palestinians consistently said Israel because they can see up close the thriving democracy in Israel, and the rights the Arab citizens enjoy there. By contrast, Palestinians place Arab regimes, including their own Palestinian Authority, at the bottom. 38b
In fact, growing numbers of Palestinians in East Jerusalem have been applying for Israeli citizenship and, given the choice, many say they would rather live in Israel than Palestine. A poll of Arabs living in East Jerusalem, for example, found that 35% would choose living in Israel, compared to 30% who preferred to live in a future Palestinian state. Forty percent said they would consider moving to another neighborhood to become a citizen of Israel rather than Palestine and 54% said that if they their neighborhood was part of Israel, they would not move to Palestine. 39
Seeking to defuse the controversy, Jen Psaki tweeted that the Daily Kos was reporting that prior left-leaning Israeli PM’s had made the “apartheid” prediction first, so it’s no big deal.
Just another example of the Obama Administration’s disregard for real-world foreign relations, contrasted with their laser-like focus on winning the Twitter Hashtag wars.
Churchill’s “Fight Them on the Beaches” speech, adapted for the Age of Obama: (continue at link.)
Showing what a crude bastard he is (which is separate from his being a stupid, malevolent, narcissistic gold digger), John Kerry chose Yom Hashoah as the day on which to announce that Israel is on the verge of becoming an apartheid state. This is is the same John Kerry, of course, who has been repeatedly stating that it’s all Israel’s fault that his misbegotten peace talks failed, never mind the fact that Palestinians demanded concessions before negotiations began, refused to give up anything, refused to negotiate, continued to celebrate mass murderers, and recently allied themselves with a terrorist group.
This is also the same John Kerry who appears incapable of realizing that the only reason that the Palestinian territories, Gaza, and the surrounding Arab nations aren’t apartheid nations is because they skipped the whole “discriminating against minorities” part. Instead, they simply slaughtered or expelled their Jews and are now working towards the same end with their Christians.
John Kerry has gone from being merely a pathetic buffoon to becoming a grave national embarrassment, at least from the viewpoint of ordinary Americans who value freedom and recognize Israel as a light unto nations, especially situated as it is in the heart of the globe’s darkness. Sadly, the only thing keeping Kerry in office is the fact that the Democrat Party power structure, from the President on down, wholeheartedly (and with increasing openness) agrees with Kerry’s sentiments.
Although Obama et al are becoming less coy about their old-fashioned, virulent antisemitism, they are not entirely immune to public pressure, provided that enough of the public puts pressure on them. We are the public and it’s time for us to raise our voices. The Emergency Committee for Israel has issued a good statement to that point:
The fallout from the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement continues, but in reality it’s more symbolic than realistic so far.
For his part, President Obama made sure that we know he considers Israel equally responsible for the collapse of the talks, that the Palestinian Authority will continue to get its jirzyah from the American taxpayer and that pressure on Israel by the Obama Administration will continue.
“The fact that recently President Abbas took the unhelpful step of rejoining talks with Hamas is just one of a series of choices that both Israel and the Palestinians have made which are not conducive to solving this crisis,” Obama said.
Obama added that his administration would not be deterred by Israel suspending the peace talks on Thursday in response, and would instead continue backing US Secretary of State John Kerry’s push to force through a peace deal, reports AFP.
State Department spokesmouth Jen Psaki made sure to continue the theme of mild criticism of Abbas and the PA for linking up with an internationally recognized terrorist group coupled with making sure Israel was blamed equally for the fiasco:
“There have been unhelpful steps from both sides throughout this process, whether it’s settlements or the UN or whatever it may be. So they are both – they have both been guilty of that.”
Gateway Pundit: Breaking… Top Israeli Official: “Kerry, Shame on You!”
Israel National News reported:
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) sharply criticized US Secretary of State John Kerry Monday, over Kerry’s remarks claiming that Israel is bound to become an “apartheid state” if it ceased conceding to the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s demands.
Katz connected Kerry’s comments to Holocaust Memorial Day.
“Holocaust Day ceremonies. [We hear] terrible descriptions [of] how the Nazis and their collaborators, drenched in hate and race theory, turned millions of defenseless Jews into dust and ashes – and the world stood by in silence,” Katz wrote, in a Facebook post.
“And now the Secretary of State describes Israel as an ‘apartheid state,’” Katz lamented. “Us? The Jewish state, [which was] established to protect itself after [it was] intimidated with threats of extermination?”
“Kerry, shame on you!” he concluded. “There are thing you just can’t say.”
Flashback to October 2008:
Israel Matzav: LA Times has video of Obama attending Jew-bashing event:
The Los Angeles Times has video of Democratic Presidential candidate BarackHusseinObama attending a farewell party for PLO terrorist Rashid Khalidi, which can best be described as a Jew-bashing event. It’s an event I’ve written about before. (The picture at top left is of Obama sitting next to PLO Council member Edward Said. Khalidi now holds the Edward Said chair at Columbia). But the existence of the video – and the mainstream media’s out-and-out refusal to release it – is an ugly addition to an already ugly Presidential campaign. Here’s more fromMidwest Jim.
Wallsten discussed a dinner held back in 2003 in honor of Khalidi, a critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights.
Barack Obama has denied his close association with Khalidi, too.
According to Wallsten the evening not surprisingly turned into a classic Jew-bash:
“During the dinner a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, “then you will never see a day of peace.”
One speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been “blinded by ideology.”
Barack Obama also praised the former PLO operative during the event.
In retrospect – It would have been nice for the American Jewish community to have seen that.