According to US media, US Secretary of State John Kerry said to a number of senior international officials that Israel risks becoming an apartheid state if it does not make peace soon.The remark was made at a closed-door meeting of the Trilateral Commission on Friday, The Daily Beast news website reported Sunday.
According to the publication, a source at the gathering provided them with a recording of Kerry’s statements:
‘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 â€”- or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.’
‘Once you put that frame in your mind, that reality, which is the bottom line, you understand how imperative it is to get to the two state solution, which both leaders, even (Thursday), said they remain deeply committed to.’
The publication said that US, Western European, Russian, and Japanese senior officials and experts were at the event.
To quote Ma’an, the term ‘apartheid’ is a reference to South Africa’s 1948-1994 oppressive and racially segregated social system.
While both Kerry and President Barack Obama have refrained from using the term when speaking of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ma’an further states, former president Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) titled a 2006 book that he wrote on the subject ‘Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.’
Kerry also insisted that the peace process was not dead.
‘The reports of the demise of the peace process have consistently been misunderstood and misreported. And even we are now getting to the moment of obvious confrontation and hiatus, but I would far from declare it dead,’ Kerry said, according to the Beast.
Just Thursday, Israel said it was halting peace talks with the PLO, following a unity deal with the Hamas, who heads the Palestinian government in Gaza.
On Sunday, it was indicated that Israel would freeze 19 Palestinian construction projects in the occupied West Bank, as a response to the deal and an apparent effort to implement sanctions on the PA.
Since peace talks began in July, Israel has announced construction plans for literally thousands of settler homes in the occupied West Bank and killed over 60 Palestinians.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.