Secretary of State John Kerry's warning that Israel risks becoming "an apartheid state" without a peace deal — a comment he has apologized for — plays directly into the hands of those who want to demonize the Jewish state, says Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard.
"It really is playing to the worst kinds of anti-Israel propaganda, and his apology last night was not a real apology," Kristol told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"It was a lot of harrumphing about how he's such a wonderful friend of Israel and then the grudging admission that if he replayed the tape he said he'd choose a different word.
"He seems not to understand, maybe he doesn't care, that he really has bolstered around the world, not just in the U.S. and not just in the Middle East . . . people who want to demonize Israel, who want Israel literally to be treated like South Africa. And we know what happened in South Africa," he said Tuesday.
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Kristol said Kerry's "appalling" remark may not be inflammatory enough to cost him his job, but the negative reaction to it from both Republicans and Democrats "does show how sort of poisonous what he said is."
He discounted Kerry as a "vain" man and a "buffoon" who may be "lashing out" because "people aren't falling over each other to adopt" his peace plan.
"Still, the effect of it in the real world can be very damaging."
Kristol says Kerry's hostility is an extension of the Obama administration's "contemporary liberalism, or at least left wing of the Democratic Party."
"It's not good for the country, this country, it's not good for the state of Israel either, to have a huge chunk of one political party basically signing on in a kind of European way to an anti-Israel agenda," he said.
"But it is what it is, and the worst thing to do is blind yourself to it, as many of our fellow Jews do, and not want to see reality."
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