U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry did not apologize Monday for suggesting last week that Israel could become “an apartheid state” if it did not reach a two-state solution with the Palestinians. Instead, he lashed out at his critics–who include Democrats such as Sen. Barbara Boxer, who called Kerry’s remark “ridiculous” Monday.
“I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes,” Kerry said in a statement released by the State Department. He said that the “misimpression” had been “unintentional”–but also cited Israeli leaders whom, he said, had made the same point in the past.
He also resorted to hair-splitting: “Israel is a vibrant democracy and I do not believe, nor have I ever stated, publicly or privately, that Israel is an apartheid state or that it intends to become one,” Kerry said, obscuring the fact that he said it could become one, regardless, if it did not reach a peace agreement in the near future.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called for Kerry to resign–a suggestion echoed by some pro-Israel activists and by Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer on Monday’s edition of Special Report: “I think Cruz is right, this is beyond something requiring a apology. I think this is a resigning type statement,” Krauthammer said.