As John Kerry continues to engage in damage control for his recent pernicious remarks absurdly suggesting (on Holocaust Remembrance Day no less) that Israel could morph into an “Apartheid state,” there can no longer be any doubt about Kerry’s nefarious intentions regarding Israel. By adopting the narrative espoused by the most rabid of Israel-haters, his credibility as a neutral interlocutor has, at best, been severely compromised. More importantly, his words, once uttered, will reverberate in anti-Israel circles like an echo chamber and will only serve to lend credibility to this ugly falsehood.
Kerry’s latest closed-door screed to world leaders at the Trilateral Commission represents but one of a series of anti-Israel invectives invoked by the Secretary throughout the years. Who among us can forget Kerry’s characterization of Syria’s Bashar Assad as a “man who wants change?” I’m sure there are 160,000 dead Syrians and their families who might take exception to that. Kerry of course also advocated the return of the strategic Golan Heights, a region which before its capture in 1967 served as a platform for Syrian artillery barrages on Israel’s Galilee towns and villages below. Had Israel heeded Kerry’s suggestion, al-Qaida would now be doing laps in the Sea of Galilee.
There is certainly no shortage of examples highlighting Kerry’s perniciousness when it comes to Israel. A good accounting of some of his past asinine comments can be found here in “Top Ten” format. But Kerry’s observations this time around were beyond the pale, even for Kerry and evoked sharp rebuke from all sides of the political spectrum.
Obama ally Senator Barbra Boxer termed them “nonsensical and ridiculous” while fellow democrat Nita Lowey characterized Kerry’s comments as “Inflammatory rhetoric… irresponsible, inaccurate & counterproductive.” Republicans were even more critical with some calling for Kerry’s immediate resignation. Liberals and conservatives immediately recognized the malevolence of Kerry’s words and spoke in unison against them proving that reason and sanity still prevail in America.
But there were still a few holdouts that, either out of sheer ignorance or something more malevolent characterized Kerry’s offensive comments as part of legitimate discourse on the Arab-Israeli dispute. One such holdout came from Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman who argued that while Israel was currently a democracy, it could conceivably turn into the type of state referenced by the Secretary if matters continued on the same trajectory.
His argument is premised on two fallacious assumptions. First, he asserts that Palestinians are “under Israeli rule” and second, he alleges that given current demographic patterns, Palestinian Arabs will outnumber Jews and “poof” (to borrow a phrase) the minority will control the majority.
I will assume good faith and classify Waldman as ignorant rather than a partisan hater but either way, Waldman’s theory is sheer hogwash. Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and that territory, with its estimated 1.4 million Palestinians, is currently controlled and governed by the Hamas terrorist entity. There is no longer a single Jew residing in Gaza and Gaza’s Christian population has, as a result of Islamist persecution, been reduced to a paltry 2,500 souls. Talk about Apartheid.
That leaves us with Judea & Samaria or the so-called West Bank and according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), a partisan arm of the Palestinian Authority, there are 2.6 million Palestinians residing there. However, this figure is vastly overinflated and includes 400,000 people who permanently reside overseas and another 300,000 East Jerusalem residents who have already been counted and included by Israel’s central bureau of statistics. Thus, the total number of Palestinians residing in the West Bank is closer to 1.9 million and the figure could be even less given the PCBS’s less than stellar record of impartiality.
Pursuant to the Oslo Accords and subsequent understandings Israel has already ceded some 40% of the West Bank to the Palestinians. These areas are referred to as Area A (full Palestinian authority) and Area B (full Palestinian civilian authority and Israeli security authority). Some 97% of all West Bank Palestinians reside in either Area A or Area B. The remaining 3%, some 57,000 residents, reside in Area C, which is under complete Israeli jurisdiction. These facts put the lie to the claim that Israel “rules” the Palestinians. The vast majority of Palestinians are in fact ruled by either the Islamist Hamas theocracy or the Palestinian Authority headed by Palestinian strongman, Mahmoud Abbas, whose four year term of office ended five years ago.
As for demographic patterns, we’ve been hearing about the demographic boogeyman for nearly five decades and the ratio between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Arabs has remained relatively unchanged. In fact, recent empirical data suggests that demographic patterns actually favor Israel with Jewish birthrates exceeding those of the Palestinians. There has also been a surge of Palestinian emigration from Judea & Samaria with 10,000 to 17,000 leaving each year.
There is no question that Kerry is familiar with the above-noted statistics but raw numbers and facts are meaningless to him. Kerry has gone from Secretary of State to a shill for the Palestinian cause and with his intemperate words and actions, has irreparably sabotaged the peace process and severely undermined an alliance that has endured for nearly seven decades.