The reported remarks on apartheid by Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday were found as ‘troubling’ by almost every Jewish organization – political and bipartisan.
“Any suggestion that Israel is, or is at risk of becoming, an apartheid state is offensive and inappropriate,” a statement by the bipartisan AIPAC read. “The Jewish state is a shining light for freedom and opportunity in a region plagued by terror, hate and oppression.”
AIPAC echoed the President’s own comments in 2008 to slam Kerry. “The use of the term ‘apartheid’ to characterize Israel is inaccurate and unhelpful.”
“Injecting a term like apartheid into the discussion doesn’t advance” the goal of a two state solution, then candidate Obama said. “It’s emotionally loaded, historically inaccurate, and it’s not what I believe.”
“Israel is the lone stable democracy in the Middle East, and protects the rights of minorities regardless of ethnicity or religion,” AIPAC stated. “The Jewish state is proud to have a robust free press and elections, respect for women’s rights, and the representation of minorities across its government, including the twelve Arab members of its legislature and Salim Joubran on its Supreme Court.”
“At this critical moment, the true focus of those who support peace should be on urging President Abbas to revoke his destructive agreement with the terrorist organization Hamas, and continue peace negotiations with Israel without preconditions,” the rather lengthy statement read.
The Republican Jewish Coalition also lambasted Sec. Kerry, demanding that President Obama should publicly address and repudiate Kerry’s ‘inflammatory’ comment.
“Kerry’s language is not just inflammatory and inaccurate, it also jeopardizes American peace process efforts. It will further encourage the Palestinians to act and speak as if only Israel must make concessions in the peace process,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement. “President Obama must clarify whether Secretary Kerry’s statement reflects his administration’s views and policy.”