It’s long past time for Secretary of State John Kerry to resign – he should have been gone after he handed the Middle East over to Vladimir Putin, and frankly he never should have been there in the first place. But the controversy over his warning that Israel was on the verge of becoming an “apartheid state” is more than just a flap about a poorly-chosen word. It’s a devastating indictment of Kerry’s judgment.
I updated yesterday’s article on Kerry’s disgusting remarks with some Republican responses, courtesy of Fox News. Here they are again:
???Reports that Secretary Kerry has suggested Israel is becoming an apartheid state are extremely disappointing,??? House GOP Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who is Jewish, 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.???
He urged Kerry to ???apologize to the Israeli government and people.???
[…] Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also slammed Kerry over the reported remarks, made ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
???These comments are outrageous and disappointing,??? he said in a statement. ???Incendiary name calling does not change the fundamental fact that Israel does not currently have a viable partner for peace. I urge Secretary Kerry and the administration to focus on pressing challenges in the Middle East such as ending the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria and preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon instead of pressuring Israel to make additional concessions to partners who have now chosen to align themselves with a terrorist group.???
Today Fox makes the backlash bipartisan:
Late Monday, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., added a bipartisan note to the Kerry criticism, tweeting, “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and any linkage between Israel and apartheid is nonsensical and ridiculous.”
At the same time, Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, issued a statement saying, ???I am disappointed with Secretary Kerry???s reported remarks…(he) knows as well as anyone that negotiating lasting peace in this region of the world is difficult but it???s not productive to express his frustration in this way.”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) who stood up and demanded Kerry’s resignation, from the Senate floor: “Mr. President, it is my belief that 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.???
Cruz is absolutely correct, and President Obama should indeed accept that resignation without delay. The damage to our relationship with Israel is bad enough, but there are even more reasons Kerry should go.
There’s also the utter whitewashing of what Israel’s enemies are like. Kerry should be made to spend his last week as Secretary of State touring countries with Islamist dictatorship leaders and Christian or Jewish minorities (good luck finding the the latter) and then compare his observations to the way minorities are treated in Israel. His final act, to repay America for the salary and benefits we’ve wasted on him, could be a report called “Why Israel Is Not, And Never Will Be, An Apartheid State.”
And there’s the staggering incompetence Kerry has demonstrated. He’s once again turned America’s foreign policy establishment into a laughingstock. His equally inept spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, spent all day Monday trying to defend Kerry’s apartheid comments, posting links to fever-swamp left-wing blogs to demonstrate that Israeli officials have used the word to attack their internal political opponents, so it must be okay. But on Monday evening, rattled by the bipartisan criticism and Cruz’s call for his resignation, Kerry made Psaki look like an absolute fool by walking back the comments she was trying to excuse just a few hours previously:
By the end of the day, though, the secretary was edging away from his comments. While defending his support for Israel, he said “apartheid” is a word “best left out of the debate here at home.”
“I have been around long enough to also know the power of words to create a misimpression, even when unintentional, and if I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two state solution,” Kerry said.
Kerry stressed that he does not consider Israel an apartheid state, and: “Anyone who knows anything about me knows that without a shred of doubt.”
Once again we see the patented Incompetence Defense, deployed so often by scandal-plagued officials of the Obama Administration, including the President himself. Backed up against the wall, they wail that they’re not very good at their jobs, and that’s why they shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions.
Newsflash, Secretary Kerry: you don’t get to rewind the tape and revise your comments. You’re the Secretary of State of the United States of America. The words you choose matter, and there are no do-overs. The enemies of Israel will be quoting your words at them for years to come. America has absolutely no use for a Secretary of State who is either vicious enough to use the word “apartheid” to attack one of our most important allies, or too damned stupid to understand that the word has enormous significance.
What’s next – accusing the Israelis of unleashing a Holocaust against the Palestinians? How can we have any confidence this buffoon wouldn’t say something like that, especially if he thinks his remarks won’t leave the room? He clearly lacks a shred of self-awareness, since he’s insisting that he understands the power of words at the same time he’s caught in a firestorm after using one of the most loaded words he could have chosen.
There has been some muttering about how Kerry’s remarks to the Trilateral Commission were not meant for public consumption. That makes this worse. Kerry’s going to slip into private meetings and stab Israel in the back, filling the ears of highly influential people with verbiage his staff wouldn’t let him use in a major public speech? What message about the Obama Administration does that send to Israel?
A report at Politico adds the outrageous absurdity of the Trilateral Commission apologizing to Kerry for a pesky reporter somehow slipping past their security teams:
Secretary of State John Kerry’s private remarks to a meeting of influential world leaders last week were allegedly taped by a reporter from The Daily Beast, a fact that led to a personal apology from Trilateral Commission chairman Joseph S. Nye on Monday.
In a letter to Sec. Kerry, obtained by politico, Nye expressed “my deep apology and dismay that a reporter form The Daily Beast, Josh Rogin, somehow sneaked into the meeting room in which you were speaking to the Commission this past Friday.”
“He was not invited,” Nye wrote. “Althought how Mr. Rogin slipped past both Commission staff and Diplomatic Security is unclear to me, we have confirmed that he indeed was present and apparently recorded the session.”
How utterly pathetic is Kerry, to whine that his friends all know he doesn’t consider Israel to be a racist dictatorship? Again, his absolute foolishness to believe that the opinion of close friends who know “the real John Kerry” makes a lick of difference disqualifies him for the position he holds. Can you imagine any of the great statesmen of history making a blunder like this, and then sobbing that he’s got some friends who will vouch for the purity of his heart?
And what kind of “apology” is this? He said apartheid is a word “best left out of the debate here at home.” So it’s OK to call Israel an apartheid state on foreign soil? Once again, we can’t get this man out of his office fast enough. We have to do that for the Israelis, to demonstrate that Kerry’s foolishness does not in any way reflect the attitudes of the government, and great nation, he was mistakenly given the opportunity to speak for. And we have to do it for ourselves, because America has suffered too much at the hands of the incompetent Obama Administration, from the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Secretary of State. We’ve got another thousand days of this Administration to slog through. A zero-tolerance policy for idiocy, coupled with higher standards for our top officials, is essential.