In a scathing speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called for Secretary of State John Kerry’s resignation over his alleged comments comparing Israel’s policy to the “abhorrent apartheid policies of South Africa.”
“The fact that Secretary Kerry sees nothing wrong with making a statement comparing Israel’s policy to the abhorrent apartheid policies of South Africa,” Cruz said, “and doing so on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, demonstrates a shocking lack of sensitivity to the incendiary and damaging nature of his rhetoric.”
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“Mr. President, sadly, it is my belief that Secretary Kerry has proven himself unsuitable for the position he holds. And therefore, before any further harm is done to our national security interests and to our critical alliance with the nation of Israel, John Kerry should offer President Obama his resignation and the president should accept it,” he added. “Mr. President, I would suggest the absence of a quorum.”
Watch Cruz’s statements below via the Washington Free Beacon:
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that Kerry warned that Israel could become “an apartheid state” if it does not make peace with the Palestinians soon. The comments were apparently made in a closed-door meeting.
"An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman told TheBlaze Monday morning that the Israeli government did not yet have a specific response to Kerry’s remarks other than referring to a clarification tweet that State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued overnight," according to TheBlaze's Sharona Schwartz.
Psaki argued in the tweet that "Kerry does not think and has never said Israel is an apartheid state. 2 nations, 2 peoples living peacefully needs 2 state solution."
UDPATE: Via the Associated Press:
Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday he had chosen the wrong word in describing Israel's potential future after coming under withering criticism for saying the Jewish state could become an "apartheid state" if it doesn't reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.
In a statement released by the State Department, Kerry lashed out against "partisan political" attacks against him, but acknowledged his comments last week to a closed international forum could have been misinterpreted. He said he was and is a strong supporter of Israel, which he called a "vibrant democracy." He said his remarks were only an expression of his firm belief that a two-state resolution is the only viable way to end the long-running conflict.
"I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes, so I want to be crystal clear about what I believe and what I don't believe," Kerry said after U.S. lawmakers and pro-Israel groups criticized him, with some demanding his resignation or at least an apology.