John Kerry Forced to Apologize for Using the “A” word
Let’s not kid ourselves, Donald Sterling received a lifetime ban from the NBA for his racist remarks because the league would have been significantly impacted, economically, had Adam Silver not taken a strong stand. Because the threat of a player boycott was very real, and could have derailed the playoffs, a wealthy racist has been punished for his racism.
Punishing an individual racist may feel good, but it doesn’t address institutional racism. Institutional racism is much more difficult to punish, especially when there is an economic interest in ignoring or downplaying systemic racism.
Take the apartheid state of Israel, for example. Politicians are so terrified of institutions like the Anti-Defemation League that exist to squash any hint of criticism against Israel that to even be caught using the “A” word is a major transgression, something John Kerry found out recently:
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has apologised for warning that Israel risked becoming an “apartheid state” if it did not reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, following a barrage of criticism in America.
In a statement, Kerry hit back at what he described as “partisan political” attacks against him, while stating that in retrospect he would have chosen a different word.
He said that apartheid was “a word best left out of the debate [in the US]” despite the fact that there have been similar warnings from senior Israeli politicians.
Israel’s stranglehold on US politicians is sad. The peace process is a joke and Israel absolutely is an apartheid state. From the link:
Facing hysterical outrage from apologists of the Middle East’s only state to have never joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Kerry quickly cowered and walked back his statement, saying he chose the “wrong wording”. His retraction echoed Obama’s own statements on the issue, when he came out against “injecting a term like apartheid” that is “historically inaccurate.”
Of course, Israel has been an apartheid state since 1967. How else to describe a socioeconomic system in the occupied territories under Israeli sovereignty where residents of one ethnicity are subject to military law while residents of another to civilian law? Where there is complete separation of land and roads, which a principal architect of the settler colonies in the occupied territories (and admirer of South Africa’s racist segregation) modeled after the Bantustans he saw in that country?
Inside the Green Line, Israel can make the dubious claim that it’s discriminatory laws like the Prevention of Infiltration Law, Citizenship and Entry Law and Acceptance to Communities Law, as well as institutions such as the Jewish National Fund, do not actually constitute the crime of apartheid, but merely legalized discrimination and racial supremacy.
It would be nice if US politicians weren’t such slobbering lapdogs of a racist nation like Israel. The Israel/Palestine conflict is the epicenter of unrest in the Middle East, and if the peace process remains the joke that it is, the inherent violence of Israel’s institutional racism will continue to ripple out from the Holy Land.