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Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the situation with Ukraine and Russia from the State Department in Washington, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Kerry is accusing Russia of failing to live up to commitments it made to ease the crisis in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Kerry blasted for Israel apartheid comment
First Published Apr 28 2014 08:05 pm • Last Updated Apr 28 2014 09:20 pm

Washington • Republicans in Congress and pro-Israel groups criticized Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday for reportedly saying Israel could become an apartheid state if it doesn’t reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.

The Daily Beast said Kerry was speaking privately to European, Russian and Japanese officials when he made the comment and said it had a recording. It’s a warning Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Barak previously has made.

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House GOP leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Kerry should apologize, while the American Israel Public Affairs Committee described his use of the term as offensive. Another pro-Israel lobby said Kerry should resign, a call echoed by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in a speech on the Senate floor.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry sees Israel as a democracy, not an apartheid state.

Kerry’s effort to secure an Israeli-Palestinian peace framework has crumbled recently amid Israeli settlement construction and reconciliation between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ government and the Islamic militant group Hamas.




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