Kerry on Israel: ‘I would have chosen a different word’ than apartheid

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry directs a comment to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a meeting in Jerusalem on September 15, 2013. Credit: U.S. Department of State.

( Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement Monday that if he “could rewind the tape,” he “would have chosen a different word” than apartheid to describe his views on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

The Daily Beast had obtained a recording of Kerry saying that Israel risks becoming an “apartheid state” in the absence of a two-state solution.

“First, Israel is a vibrant democracy and I do not believe, nor have I ever stated, publicly or privately, that Israel is an apartheid state or that it intends to become one,” Kerry said in his clarification.

“Second, I have been around long enough to also know the power of words to create a misimpression, even when unintentional, and if I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two-state solution,” he said.

Kerry also criticized the avalanche of criticism that he faced after his use of the term “apartheid” was reported.

“I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes, so I want to be crystal clear about what I believe and what I don’t believe,” he said.

Posted on April 29, 2014 .