As the tidal wave of condemnations fall upon United States Secretary of State John Kerry for his recent remarks alluding to the potential of Israel becoming an apartheid state like South Africa had been if the Israeli – Palestinian peace negotiations fail, there seems to be no way out for Mr. Kerry.
The Israeli Extreme Right, and their allies in the US including AIPAC and Republican politicians, have already begun their accusations that Kerry is Anti-Semitic, and should resign. The same treatment which has been given to other American officials, many of them Jewish, who have dared to criticize Israel over the past half century. Indeed the US Representative who was leading the negotiations, Martin Indyk, a respected diplomat with a long history of service towards Israel, the United States, and the cause of peace, who is also Jewish, has been treated in this manner on many occasions within the privacy of discussions with members of Israeli Governments in the past, particularly members of Israeli Religious Parties.
So the present treatment of Mr. Kerry is not a new thing.
What has been almost completely ignored by Mr. Kerry’s accusers, is that he was merely repeating statements which have been regularly made by the Israeli and American Jewish Left for years, including 2 former Prime Ministers, and the present Justice Minister. They have made these statements regarding the danger of Israel becoming an apartheid state on several occasions, in public, in both Israel and the United States. Therefore, they reflect the fact that this view is held by at least a portion of the Israeli public, and its government. Indeed, it is also held by many communities in the Jewish Diaspora, including Europe and America, which are part of the Jewish People. Yet the Secretary of State has been resoundingly condemned and villified for repeating these remarks himself.
So instead of yet another American leader being bludgeoned into silence by the usual suspects who manipulate American Jewish public opinion, as well as Israeli public opinion, perhaps it is time for Secretary Kerry to speak up in his own defense. Here is a suggested step by step outline of what he should tell Israel and the Jewish Diaspora over the next few days and weeks.
Step One: After calling an international media press conference in Washington, Mr. Kerry should reiterate his apology for the apartheid remarks he has made. Then he should state that, in atonement for his mistakes, he is ready to completely support Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand that no further negotiations can take place with the Palestinians unless they first recognize the Right of Israel to Exist as a JEWISH STATE.
Step Two: Mr. Kerry should then continue by stating that, in order to help Israel in this stance, he and the United States require one key thing from Mr. Netanyahu and the Israeli Government. Namely, they must clarify and answer the following simple question; WHO IS A JEW?
Step Three: Mr. Kerry must then proceed to read the official definitions by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Immigration Agencies, of what are considered the parameters of the identity of a Jew who can immigrate to Israel. But after that, he must then point out that this definition is not shared by many sectors of the Jewish People, both in Israel and America.
If such is the case, then how can America truly know Who Is a Jew for the purposes of helping support Mr. Netanyahu in his demands for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish State?
Step Four: Mr. Kerry must then ask the American and Israeli public a series of questions:
How is it possible for everyone to agree on the definition of Who is a Jew, when even Jews in Israel, and in Mr. Netanyahu’s own government do not fully agree on this definition?
How can Mr. Netanyahu make these claims and demands upon the Palestinians and the United States, when for the past year, Jewish Settlers in the West Bank, many of them originally American Jews, have been attacking ISRAELI SOLDIERS, their Jewish Brethren, in protests of attempts by the Israeli Government to dismantle illegal settlements?
How can Mr. Netanyahu and his allies criticize Mr. Kerry, when the Prime Minister himself recently addressed the Knesset and said Israel would not tolerate violence and crime, even if it is committed by Jewish Criminal Syndicates who have been doing shootouts in the suburbs of Israeli cities?
How can Mr, Netanyahu be clear about Who Is A Jew, when Orthodox Jews still protest by the thousands in Israel against a recent law passed which requires them to finally perform their military service like every other Israeli citizen?
How can Mr. Kerry be criticized for his comments on Israel and apartheid, when Israeli Jews have spoken about this very danger themselves?
Finally, Mr. Kerry should reiterate that he is ready to support Israel. But it is the burden of Mr. Netanyahu and his government to provide a poll, based on majority consensus, of views held by the entire Jewish People in Israel and across the world, about the answer to the question of Who is a Jew.
It is time for Mr. Kerry and the United States to raise these questions, as they should have been raised decades ago. Because the reality of these times are that Israel and the Jewish People are caught up in a percolating Civil War which has been going on for at least 5 years, if not more. This is what the United States is being drawn into, just as it is in danger of becoming involved in the emerging Sunni vs. Shiite conflict across the Muslim world.
These can no longer be denied, and must be brought out into the light.