House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is demanding that Secretary of State John Kerry apologize to Israel for comments he reportedly made Friday suggesting that Israel is becoming an apartheid state.
“Reports that Secretary Kerry has suggested Israel is becoming an apartheid state are extremely disappointing,” the Virginia Republican said in a statement, The Hill reported. “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.
“President Obama has rejected the use of the term apartheid in the past, correctly saying it is historically inaccurate and emotionally loaded,” Mr. Cantor said. “I hope that President Obama will again reiterate these views, and call on Secretary Kerry to apologize to the Israeli government and people.”
Sen. Ted Cruz called on Mr. Kerry to resign, telling Congress on Monday that the secretary has “proven himself unsuitable for the position he holds.”
“Therefore, before any further harm is done to our national security interests and to our critical alliance with the nation of Israel, that John Kerry should offer President Obama his resignation and the president should accept it,” Mr. Cruz said.
Mr. Kerry told senior officials during a closed meeting Friday that a two-state solution is the “only real alternative” for Israel and the Palestinian territories, “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,” The Daily Beast first reported.
Leaders of pro-Israel organizations said Mr. Kerry’s use of the term “apartheid” was so appalling because of its link to South Africa’s racist apartheid regime.