It’s hard to conceive of just how incompetent Secretary of State John Kerry is when you see things like this:
If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state,” Secretary of State John Kerry told a room of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting Friday.
Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel …
It wasn’t the only controversial comment on the Middle East that Kerry made during his remarks to the Trilateral Commission, … Kerry also repeated his warning that a failure of Middle East peace talks could lead to a resumption of Palestinian violence against Israeli citizens. He suggested that a change in either the Israeli or Palestinian leadership could make achieving a peace deal more feasible. He lashed out against Israeli settlement-building. And Kerry said that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders share the blame for the current impasse in the talks.
Kerry also said that at some point, he might unveil his own peace deal and tell both sides to “take it or leave it.”
Naturally, these comments caused a vicious backlash (including calls for Kerry’s resignation from members of Congress), and Kerry flip-flopped his way to a pseudo-apology:
“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.”
Apparently he doesn’t know himself. I guess he said it before he didn’t say it. It happens, amiright?
Maybe it’s not so much a question of competence as it is of inadvertently revealing true intentions. Case in point:
As appalling as it was to hear Secretary of State John Kerry compare the one Middle East country with Western values to the old South Africa, it should shock no one. It’s obvious this administration reviles Israel.
According to the man who 43 years ago this month contemptuously discarded his military decorations onto the steps of the U.S. Capitol, an Israel that stands firm against terrorist Palestinians refusing to recognize its legitimacy will either cease “to be a Jewish state” or become “an apartheid state with second-class citizens.”
John Kerry of Swift Boat infamy insisted how “imperative it is to get to the two-state solution” during what he thought were private remarks to the government officials and wonks at the Trilateral Commission. The Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin crashed the affair and recorded Kerry’s unguarded comments.
First off, let’s be brutally honest about two states: There is little chance it will be a solution to anything. It can, in fact, be expected to fan the flames of anti-Israeli fanaticism.
But Kerry and Obama want to preside over some settlement for which they can take credit — then blame the Israelis later when it doesn’t work out as advertised.
Second, let’s parse this insulting notion of an “Apartheid Israel.” Of course, calls for Kerry to resign only elicit laughs within the corridors of the West Wing; it’s not as if he called a Muslim country an apartheid state, after all.
Although that’s the perfect description of the social realities in both hostile Islamic nations such as Iran and Western-friendly ones such as Saudi Arabia, in the Obama administration it’s the hate that dare not speak its name.
And Kerry would already be toast if he used the “A” word in reference to a Mideast state other than Israel.
Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of life within the Jewish state knows that its nearly 1.7 million Arab citizens — 21% of its population — enjoy representation within the legislature, due process in the courts, and protection under law.
The State Department itself in its 2012 Report on International Religious Freedom said Israel’s “laws and policies provide for religious freedom and the government generally respected religious freedom in practice.” Moreover, “The trend in the government’s respect for religious freedom did not change significantly during the year.”
The worst that could be said was that, in the name of preventing Islamist violence, “The Israeli government’s strict closures and curfews hindered residents from practicing their religion at key holy sites” like the Al-Aqsa Mosque and prominent Catholic holy sites in Jerusalem, the State Department reported.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Fox News on Tuesday that the Obama administration has “the most hostile relationship with Israel” of “any American presidency since the state of Israel was created.”
That notion was illustrated three years ago when Obama arrogantly proposed that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly looked Obama in the eye and pointed out to him in the Oval Office that the Israelis “cannot go back to the 1967 lines — because these lines are indefensible.”
Kerry’s apartheid crack simply exposes the truth behind Obama’s phony assurance to the Israelis that “the United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and greatest friend.”
And it’s really not just Kerry who seems to have great distaste for Israel (and Christianity) along with great affection for Islam. Take a look for yourself:
A website called Now The End Begins has compiled 40 comments by Barack Obama on Christianity and Islam. Collectively, they create quite an interesting picture. I admit that there may be instances of the president speaking as favorably of Christianity as he does of Islam, but I am not aware of them. I do remember in the 2008 campaign that he said he had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, and that was in response to public awareness of his attendance at Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church, Trinity United. What the president left unsaid is the nature of Jesus as understood in Black Liberation Theology. But that is a discussion for another time.
1. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”
2. “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”
3. “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”
4. “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”
5. “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”
6. “Islam has always been part of America”
7. “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”
8. “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”
9. “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
10. “I made it clear that America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.”
11. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”
12. “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”
13. “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”
14. “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
15. “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”
16. “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”
17. “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”
18. “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”
19. “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
20. “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”
Here he is on Christianity:
1. “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”
2. “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”
3. “Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith?”
4. “Even those who claim the Bible’s inerrancy make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, sensing that some passages – the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ’s divinity – are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.”
5. “The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.”
6. From Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope: “I am not willing to have the state deny American citizens a civil union that confers equivalent rights on such basic matters as hospital visitation or health insurance coverage simply because the people they love are of the same sex—nor am I willing to accept a reading of the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount.”
7. Obama’s response when asked what his definition of sin is: “Being out of alignment with my values.”
8. “If all it took was someone proclaiming I believe Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins, and that was all there was to it, people wouldn’t have to keep coming to church, would they.”
9. “This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and prostelytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.”
10. “I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.”
11. “I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.”
12. “I’ve said this before, and I know this raises questions in the minds of some evangelicals. I do not believe that my mother, who never formally embraced Christianity as far as I know … I do not believe she went to hell.”
13. “Those opposed to abortion cannot simply invoke God’s will–they have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths.”
14. On his support for civil unions for gay couples: “If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount.”
15. “You got into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
16. “In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology”
17. “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”
18. “We have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own”
19. “All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra— (applause) — as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer. (Applause.)”
20. “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”
Yeah, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the sort of comments Kerry used behind closed doors is policy from the top down. He’s not sorry he said it, he’s just sorry he got caught on tape saying it. This is what these people truly believe, once again departing far from the conscience of most of the American people. This is a big, big problem.
There’s my two cents.