Wiesenthal Center Reaction to Apartheid Remark Made by Secretary of State John Kerry

April 28, 2014

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is shocked by the reported statement made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, raising the specter that Israel is in danger of becoming an apartheid state if a two-state solution with the Palestinians is not reached.

“For sixty-six years, living in a neighborhood surrounded by dictators, feudal states and theocracies, enduring five wars and suicide bombing campaigns, Israel has succeeded in establishing and maintaining one of the strongest and freest democracies in the world, protecting the rights of Jews, Muslims and Christians and remains today one of the strongest and freest democracies in the world,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Secretary of State Kerry does not contribute to the prospect for peace by repeating a lie concocted by those who seek Israel’s destruction. The fact is confirmed by numerous polls that Arabs in the Holy Land prefer living in Israel. We commend Secretary Kerry’s tireless efforts to bring peace to the region, but urge him to correct this canard, which can only strengthen the anti-peace movement.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).