ADL Welcomes Secretary Kerry’s Rejection of Israel “Apartheid” Comment

Washington, D.C., April 29, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the statement from Secretary of State John Kerry that he does not believe, and has not ever stated publicly or privately, that Israel is an “apartheid state” and his acknowledgement that it has no place in the debate.

Secretary Kerry engendered criticism from Jewish groups, including ADL and others, after invoking the term last week in a closed-door meeting of the Trilateral Commission during a briefing on the status of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

We welcome Secretary Kerry’s clear affirmation that Israel is not an apartheid state nor headed in that direction should talks with the Palestinians fail.  He now has publicly acknowledged that he made a mistake in using that term. Apartheid is a particularly loaded epithet that has repeatedly been used by Israel’s worst enemies to delegitimize the Jewish state and suggest it promulgates abhorrent racial policies similar to those of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

While we may disagree from time to time, we have never doubted Secretary Kerry’s commitment to Israel’s security and his good faith efforts to find a fair, equitable and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  He is a true friend of Israel. His statement makes that clear, and we consider this chapter closed.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.