Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said it. So did former Israeli prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Ohlmert. But when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested it could happen.....the gnashing of Republican and neo-con teeth could be heard around the world.
"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.”
Kerry did not say that Israel IS an apartheid state, he said if a two-state solution was not reached that a single state Israel might "wind up" becoming an apartheid state.
What Kerry actually said doesn't matter. Not to Republicans polishing up their fidelity-to-Israel portfolio.....
“These comments are outrageous and disappointing. Incendiary name-calling does not change the fundamental fact that Israel does not currently have a viable partner for peace", said GOP Senator Marco Rubio.
“Reports that Secretary Kerry has suggested Israel is becoming an apartheid state are extremely disappointing,” (House Majority Leader Eric) Cantor said in a statement. “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.”
Extremist Jimmy Swaggart-impersonator and still U.S. Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, had to one-up his fellow GOP Criticizers of Kerry....
“Secretary Kerry has thus proven himself unsuitable for his position and that before any further harm is done to our alliance with Israel, he should offer President Obama his resignation and the President should accept it.”
The word "apartheid" literally means "apart-hood", "the state of being apart." But the word is usually applied to the awful separatist situation in South Africa which ended in the 90's despite opposition from U.S. political leaders. And while it is understandable why Israeli leaders want to disassociate themselves from former S. African "separateness".....Israel's stubbornness to enter into a two-state solution while simultaneously working to expand even more "settlements" on disputed territory isn't helping their cause.
Sadly, as expected, Kerry issued an apology yesterday. I have no idea why except to avoid being hammered by neo-con posers looking to score Jewish campaign funds.
But what is offensive about all this is the love many conservatives have for political correctness, Israel-style. Often, U.S. conservatives complain about having their first amendment rights infringed upon by the lamestream media, limousine liberals, and leftist speech cops. Think: Duck Dynasty and Cliven Bundy. What conservatives often say is that all this criticism of specific speech is meant to silence the conservative "message" and demonize political differences.
Furthermore, in the ongoing dispute over religious liberty and marriage equality, what conservatives argue the loudest is what they foresee as a gag order on religious speakers who, conservatives say, will not be permitted to speak out against the "sin" of same-sex relationships should marriage equality become nationalized.
Here in the U.S., conservatives hate political correctness.....and oftentimes ridicule and mock those who favor it. But when it comes to Israel.....U.S. conservatives demand political correctness. When it comes to Israel.....conservatives will accept nothing less than word-choice fidelity.
And while Israel has the right of self-defense, like any other nation, I'm not so sure that U.S. political leaders should be defending Israel by refusing to acknowledge, or state publicly, the facts about Israel's longstanding occupations of Gaza and the West Bank.
But it's even worse than that. John Kerry only said that a failure to arrive at a two-state solution COULD lead to Israel becoming an apartheid state. Even a timid warning word-choice of what MIGHT or COULD happen is taboo for the Mighty Israel Political Correctness GOP Word-Cops.
Sure it's hypocritical. But as we've learned these past 5 years or so.....conservatives are post-hypocrisy now. And yes, I understand that Republicans must constantly appeal to their apocalyptic, evangelical voters by repeatedly demonstrating their loyalty to Yahweh's Chosen People.
But how can America lead in the middle east if U.S. political leaders have to self-censor away any pertinent facts and realities important to the region? How can foreign policy be conducted, disputes settled, wars avoided, if U.S. leaders cannot issue warnings or fears when American conservatives insist upon word-fidelity to Israel?
Just like we kind of absorbed the idea that torture might be a good thing.....just like we passively accept the ongoing existence of Guantanamo and indefinite detention.....America is accepting the proposition that our political leaders must never speak certain words when publicly discussing Israel.
That also will not work out well.
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