J Street Defends Kerry’s ‘Apartheid’ Comments

J Street defended John Kerry after he said that Israel is headed toward becoming an “apartheid state” if it does not reach an agreement with the PLO and Hamas.

Kerry said last week that if Israel does not agree to a two-state solution – despite the PLO’s continuous calls for the genocide of the Jewish people and its partnership with the terrorist group Hamas – it would either become an “apartheid state” or lose its Jewish character. J Street defended this claim in a recent press release.

Kerry and J Street’s claim is both demonizing and false. It demonizes Israel because it ignores the actions of the PA and Hamas – including anti-Semitic incitement and support for terrorism – that make peace impossible; the claim implies that Israel is at fault for not negotiating with terrorists (while the US and other Western nations are never expected to negotiate with terrorists).

Moreover, expecting Israel to negotiate with a US-designated terrorist organization while not expecting other countries to negotiate with terrorists is holding the Jewish state to a double standard. This is considered by Kerry’s own State Department as anti-Semitic.

The claim is false because even if Israel were to annex all of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and give citizenship to every Arab living there, Israel would still have a two-thirds Jewish majority with higher Jewish birth rates than Arab birth rates, meaning Israel would in fact avoid becoming an apartheid state while maintaining its Jewish character.

Kerry and J Street base their apartheid claims off a 1997 PLO census, which was later proven to be a fraud by the American-Israeli Demographic Research Group, which found that the PLO exaggerated its findings to show a larger Arab population and make it seem as though Jews would be the minority in the area.

The only way Israel would become an apartheid state is if it were to annex Judea and Samaria and deny Arabs citizenship. However, no credible Israelis support this.

J Street also said in the statement that the Jewish state’s policies are already “leading Israel down this road [to apartheid]” and that “Israel is risking its future and its values as it moves toward permanent rule over millions of Palestinians without equal rights.”

This part of the statement is misleading because the Palestinian Authority currently controls 98 percent of Palestinian-Arabs living in Judea and Samaria. Furthermore, the Israeli government has never come out in favor of ruling over Palestinians without citizenship.

It is hard to be on a path to ruling over millions of people when the ruler in question a) does not currently rule over the people and b) has no interest in doing so.

J Street must stop issuing statements that are false and demonizing of Israel. Or it should at least stop calling itself “pro-Israel.”

About the Author
Zach is the Managing Director of ZOA Campus, the campus branch of the Zionist Organization of America. Before working for the ZOA, he worked in Israel advocacy in Tel Aviv. Zach is a graduate of the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism.