Kerry's Kerfuffle

In Blogs, Current Affairs, Katulka's Musings by Chris KatulkaLeave a Comment

Secretary of State John Kerry has recently found himself in the deep end of the pool with no one around to throw a life vest after the remarks he made saying Israel could become an “apartheid state” if they didn’t adopt and advance a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

It was bad enough he said “apartheid state,” but even worse was his decision to say it on Yom Hashoah (The Day of Holocaust Remembrance).

Kerry’s choice words certainly excited the anti-Israel base by using the word “apartheid” and at the same time his words were not welcomed by a majority of politicians who roam the congressional halls of Washington, DC. On the right, Texas Senator Ted Cruz [R] called for Kerry to resign, and on the left California Sen. Barbara Boxer [D] tweeted:

I posted a blog almost a year ago on Israel being labeled an apartheid state. In the post I mentioned South African Member of Parliament and pastor, Kenneth Meshoe. Kenneth Meshoe grew up in apartheid South Africa, enduring the harsh discrimination and segregation of blacks.

Michael Curtis of Gatestone Institute wrote,

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He [Meshoe] describes those who promulgate the lie of Israel-as-apartheid as ignorant individuals who are not aware of, or who deliberately disregard, the true nature of the negative impact of apartheid on black South Africans––an experience quite different from that of Palestinians in nature and intensity. South African blacks were treated as second-class citizens and were denied basic human rights. By contrast, he points out that in Israel there are no laws discriminating against people on the basis of their color or on the basis of their religion. Palestinians have not suffered the pain of apartheid experienced by black South Africans.

Pastor Meshoe amplifies his general remarks by specific examples. He calls attention to the fact that in South Africa there were separate modes of transport for blacks and whites; there were coaches in trains only for black people, and others only for whites. Segregation was present in schools, hospitals, public places, city parks, benches, chairs, beaches. No such segregation exists in Israel.

Kerry rescinded his “apartheid” remarks and stressed the need for a two-state solution to bring peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The word “apartheid” is only the tip of the Israeli-Palestinian iceberg. What brought it afloat was Israel’s refusal to continue peace talks with the Palestinians after the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement. Ultimately, the “moderate” Fatah party in the West Bank reconciled its differences with Hamas, a terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip. This deal was enacted while Kerry was attempting to revive the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the Fatah-Hamas agreement and took it as a sign the Palestinians really don’t want peace if they are willing to partner with terrorists. Yet, Kerry points his finger at the Israelis and considers them the reason for peace negotiations falling apart.

Either way, Kerry used a trigger word that will not easily be forgotten by those who value the State of Israel. Whether it was a Freudian slip or not, Kerry created a serious kerfuffle.


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Chris Katulka

Chris Katulka is the director of North American Ministries for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, the host of The Friends of Israel Today radio program, a Bible teacher, and writer for Israel My Glory magazine. He is also the author of Israel Always: Experiencing God’s Pursuit of You Through His Chosen People. If you would like to support Chris, please click here.

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