Jewish leaders are fuming over remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who cautioned that Israel risks becoming an apartheid state if a two-state solution cannot be reached.
Mr. Kerry told senior officials during a closed meeting on 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.
The Anti-Defamation League, an international Jewish NGO based in the United States, said that while it appreciates Mr. Kerry’s commitment to the region, his comments “used the repugnant language of Israel’s adversaries and accusers” and were “not seen as expressions of friendship and support,” Haaretz reported.
“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,” said ADL National Director Abe Foxman in a statement.
Leaders of pro-Israel organizations told The Daily Beast that Mr. Kerry’s use of the term “apartheid” was appalling and alarmist because of its racial connotations.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the secretary was simply repeating his view, shared by others, that “The only way to have two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two-state solution.”