Kerry's (and Psaki's) 'A word' Disgrace

John Kerry’s statement that Israel runs the risk of becoming an apartheid state was a startling and vicious threat that will embolden Jew-haters around the world. It was another outrageous statement in a five-year onslaught of such statements from the most anti-Israel administration this country has ever known.

The fact that Kerry is now trying to walk back what he said doesn’t matter. That he is doing so with outrage toward those who dare question his support of Israel confirms the absurdity that is our Secretary of State. Apparently, Kerry thinks he gets to make crazy statements and then fashion himself a victim of those who duly react.

Meanwhile, on the heels of his comments came the press. Apparently, AP reporter Matt Lee “grilled” Jen Psaki.

“Grilled?” Really? Lee began the questions by noting that the word “apartheid” might be “offensive” to Israeli’s and pro-Israel supporters.

Suggesting that Kerry’s remarks might be “offensive” is an understatement that fails miserably in conveying the dangerous climate the Obama administration is nurturing -- a climate that is sympathetic to our enemies and threatening to our greatest ally.

Lee also did a disservice to the public by using what has become a familiar expression: “pro-Israel.” I’ve never heard any other ally of the United States framed in this way -- as Americans being for or against the country.  

The “grilling” continued.

Lee asked Psaki if Kerry was aware that the “a word” was a “touch button issue” for those who support Israel. As if that’s the main problem. It’s not feelings of being offended that are at stake here. It’s the future of the state of Israel, and one could argue, the Jewish people.

Lee and Psaki then got into a short back and forth about the fact that Kerry didn’t say that Israel “is” an apartheid state, only that it could become one. (Just when you thought the meaning of the word “is” couldn’t get any more parsed.)

 

Things devolved from there.

LEE: All right. From the other side of the -- from the other perspective here, which is the Palestinian perspective, there are a lot of people who are pro-Palestinian who would argue that in fact Israel is now an apartheid state. You’re saying that you don’t -- that the secretary does not believe that. Can I ask you why he does not share the views of those -- of those pro-Palestinians?

PSAKI: Because he believes that Israel is a vibrant democracy with equal rights for its citizens.

LEE: Right, but it’s also -- it is also an occupying power, correct?

PSAKI: We’re all familiar with circumstances in the region.

LEE: OK. And people under -- and people -- and people -- not every person who lives under Israeli authority is an Israeli citizen with equal rights, is that correct?

PSAKI: Matt, we are all -- we’re all familiar with the reasons why we’re -- we’ve been — he has been so — putting so much effort into pursuing a peace process. But that doesn’t change his view on Israel currently.

LEE: Right, but you do accept that there are people who live under Israeli administration, live under Israeli authority right now, who do not have equal rights, correct?

PSAKI: I don’t think I’m going to analyze this further.

LEE: Well, I mean, look, the secretary is getting it from both sides here. The pro-Israel people are furious that he would even deign to utter the word -- the “A” word even if it was referring to something happening in the future, or possibly happening in the future. The other side is upset that the secretary is not using it -- using the “A” word to describe how Israel is right now. Given that -- given that circumstance -- you acknowledge that that’s the situation, right?

PSAKI: Mmm hmm.

Q: OK. Was using the word smart? Does the secretary understand that using a loaded term like that is going to cause him a lot of grief?

I found this line of questioning strange and was confused as to what Lee was trying to get at. Meanwhile, Psaki’s comment that “we’re all familiar with circumstances in the region” evaded the obvious question. If only Lee had seized the opportunity. But he didn’t.

Just what are the circumstances of the region that we’re all familiar with?

Was Psaki referring to the fact that no Muslim country wants to take the “Palestinians” lest one of the most effective tools to bring about the demise of Israel be ruined? Or did she presume everyone knows about the persecution of Jews (and Christians) throughout the Islamic world? Or maybe she meant that Israel in an awfully tricky position trying to make peace with those who want to wipe her off the face of the earth?

Of course we know what Psaki meant. Or at least we can presume to know given who her boss is. But it was a prime opportunity to hash out the truth. Unfortunately, Lee didn’t seize it.

The final question Lee posed was the cherry on the sundae: “Does the secretary understand that using a loaded term like that is going to cause him a lot of grief?”

The “grilling” ended there.

The public was left with the esteemed representative for the Associated Press suggesting we be concerned with the grief Kerry will have to face for using the “a word” with respect to Israel. And this, to add insult to injury on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

John Kerry’s statement that Israel runs the risk of becoming an apartheid state was a startling and vicious threat that will embolden Jew-haters around the world. It was another outrageous statement in a five-year onslaught of such statements from the most anti-Israel administration this country has ever known.

The fact that Kerry is now trying to walk back what he said doesn’t matter. That he is doing so with outrage toward those who dare question his support of Israel confirms the absurdity that is our Secretary of State. Apparently, Kerry thinks he gets to make crazy statements and then fashion himself a victim of those who duly react.

Meanwhile, on the heels of his comments came the press. Apparently, AP reporter Matt Lee “grilled” Jen Psaki.

“Grilled?” Really? Lee began the questions by noting that the word “apartheid” might be “offensive” to Israeli’s and pro-Israel supporters.

Suggesting that Kerry’s remarks might be “offensive” is an understatement that fails miserably in conveying the dangerous climate the Obama administration is nurturing -- a climate that is sympathetic to our enemies and threatening to our greatest ally.

Lee also did a disservice to the public by using what has become a familiar expression: “pro-Israel.” I’ve never heard any other ally of the United States framed in this way -- as Americans being for or against the country.  

The “grilling” continued.

Lee asked Psaki if Kerry was aware that the “a word” was a “touch button issue” for those who support Israel. As if that’s the main problem. It’s not feelings of being offended that are at stake here. It’s the future of the state of Israel, and one could argue, the Jewish people.

Lee and Psaki then got into a short back and forth about the fact that Kerry didn’t say that Israel “is” an apartheid state, only that it could become one. (Just when you thought the meaning of the word “is” couldn’t get any more parsed.)

 

Things devolved from there.

LEE: All right. From the other side of the -- from the other perspective here, which is the Palestinian perspective, there are a lot of people who are pro-Palestinian who would argue that in fact Israel is now an apartheid state. You’re saying that you don’t -- that the secretary does not believe that. Can I ask you why he does not share the views of those -- of those pro-Palestinians?

PSAKI: Because he believes that Israel is a vibrant democracy with equal rights for its citizens.

LEE: Right, but it’s also -- it is also an occupying power, correct?

PSAKI: We’re all familiar with circumstances in the region.

LEE: OK. And people under -- and people -- and people -- not every person who lives under Israeli authority is an Israeli citizen with equal rights, is that correct?

PSAKI: Matt, we are all -- we’re all familiar with the reasons why we’re -- we’ve been — he has been so — putting so much effort into pursuing a peace process. But that doesn’t change his view on Israel currently.

LEE: Right, but you do accept that there are people who live under Israeli administration, live under Israeli authority right now, who do not have equal rights, correct?

PSAKI: I don’t think I’m going to analyze this further.

LEE: Well, I mean, look, the secretary is getting it from both sides here. The pro-Israel people are furious that he would even deign to utter the word -- the “A” word even if it was referring to something happening in the future, or possibly happening in the future. The other side is upset that the secretary is not using it -- using the “A” word to describe how Israel is right now. Given that -- given that circumstance -- you acknowledge that that’s the situation, right?

PSAKI: Mmm hmm.

Q: OK. Was using the word smart? Does the secretary understand that using a loaded term like that is going to cause him a lot of grief?

I found this line of questioning strange and was confused as to what Lee was trying to get at. Meanwhile, Psaki’s comment that “we’re all familiar with circumstances in the region” evaded the obvious question. If only Lee had seized the opportunity. But he didn’t.

Just what are the circumstances of the region that we’re all familiar with?

Was Psaki referring to the fact that no Muslim country wants to take the “Palestinians” lest one of the most effective tools to bring about the demise of Israel be ruined? Or did she presume everyone knows about the persecution of Jews (and Christians) throughout the Islamic world? Or maybe she meant that Israel in an awfully tricky position trying to make peace with those who want to wipe her off the face of the earth?

Of course we know what Psaki meant. Or at least we can presume to know given who her boss is. But it was a prime opportunity to hash out the truth. Unfortunately, Lee didn’t seize it.

The final question Lee posed was the cherry on the sundae: “Does the secretary understand that using a loaded term like that is going to cause him a lot of grief?”

The “grilling” ended there.

The public was left with the esteemed representative for the Associated Press suggesting we be concerned with the grief Kerry will have to face for using the “a word” with respect to Israel. And this, to add insult to injury on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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