In a scenario reminiscent of the famous “gotcha” secret tape recording of Mitt Romney speaking candidly in a private home, Daily Beast reporter Josh Rogin snuck into a closed-door meeting in a posh Washington hotel and caught John Kerry with a regretfully poor choice of words, Fox News’ James Rosen reported.
The Secretary of State told listeners at the Trilateral Commission meeting last week, “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.”
The release of the volatile quote on Sunday night, the eve of Israel’s Holocaust and Remembrance holiday, struck a sensitive nerve across the American political landscape.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called on Kerry to resign, saying on the Senate floor, that his comments “demonstrate[d] a shocking lack of sensitivity to the incendiary and damaging nature of this rhetoric.” Later, on Fox News’ Kelly File, he told host Megyn Kelly that Kerry’s words would serve as ammunition across the world of Israel-haters, who would propagandize with the American Secretary of State’s own quotes.
The highly-respected president of the Anti-Defamation League, Abe Foxman, released a statement saying, “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,” according to The Daily Beast.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio called the remarks “outrageous and disappointing,” while House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., urged the secretary to apologize. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., described his comments as “nonsensical and ridiculous.”
Indeed, Kerry released a clarification Monday night, stating “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.”
At the daily State Department briefing, spokeswoman Jen Psaki defended Kerry’s staunch record on Israel and reiterated his belief that Israel is “a vibrant democracy with equal rights for its citizens.”
Israeli leaders did not react because they were involved in somber ceremonies throughout the country, marking the annihilation of their six million brethren during World War II and the reminiscences of the survivors. Also, they know John Kerry and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas very well, and their focus is more on deeds than words.
On Fox News’ Special Report, panelist Charles Krauthammer agreed with Cruz, reminding listeners that 20 percent of Israel’s population were Arabs, who enjoyed equal rights, served in the Israeli parliament and on the Supreme Court, and that Kerry’s use of such a highly-charged term as apartheid was totally unacceptable.
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