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Sen. Cruz: Sec. Kerry Should Offer President Obama His Resignation; The President Should Accept It

Calls for resignation following Secretary Kerry’s remarks that Israel could become “apartheid state”

April 28, 2014

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(202) 228-7561

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today spoke on the Senate floor to call for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s resignation following the secretary’s comments at the Trilateral Commission that Israel could become an “apartheid state” if his proposed two-state solution to the peace Israeli-Palestinian peace-process fails.

“There is no place for this word in the context of the State of Israel. The term ‘apartheid’ means ‘apart’—different, isolated—the state of the victims of apartheid with which the Jews are all too familiar. The notion that Israel would go down that path, and so face the same condemnation that met South Africa, is unconscionable. The United States should be aggressively asserting that Israel can never be made an apartheid nation while America exists, because America will be with Israel regardless of the status of any diplomatic process.

“The fact that Secretary Kerry sees nothing wrong with making such a statement on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day demonstrates a shocking lack of sensitivity to the incendiary and damaging nature of his rhetoric. It is my belief that Secretary Kerry has thus proven himself unsuitable for his position and that before any further harm is done to our alliance with Israel, he should offer President Obama his resignation and the President should accept it.”

Sen. Cruz was one of three U.S. Senators to vote against Secretary Kerry’s nomination, citing his belief that as Secretary of State, John Kerry would place what he considered to be the wishes of the international community above the national security interests of the United States.

The full text of Sen. Cruz’s prepared remarks is below:

Every member of this body has expressed our commitment for the United States to stand resolutely with our friend and ally the Nation of Israel. Doing so is right, and it is overwhelmingly in the national security interests of the United States.

It was therefore with great sadness that I read this morning about the comments of Secretary of State John Kerry, who reportedly suggested at the Trilateral Commission that Israel could become an “apartheid state” if his proposed two-state solution to the peace Israeli-Palestinian peace-process fails.

Secretary Kerry has long experience in foreign policy, and he should understand that words matter. “Apartheid” is inextricably associated with one of the worst examples of state-sponsored discrimination in recent memory—the apartheid system in South Africa that was ultimately brought down by the heroic resistance of Nelson Mandela inside the country, supported by a concerted campaign of diplomatic and economic sanctions by the international community.

There is no place for this word in the context of the State of Israel. The term “apartheid” means “apart”—different, isolated—the state of the victims of apartheid with which the Jews are all too familiar. The notion that Israel would go down that path, and so face the same condemnation that met South Africa, is unconscionable. The United States should be aggressively asserting that Israel can never be made an apartheid nation while America exists, because America will be with Israel regardless of the status of any diplomatic process.

Fifteen months ago—almost to the day—John Kerry was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 94-3. Despite my preference for giving the President the cabinet members of his choice, I found I could not join the vast majority of my colleagues and support his nomination because I was convinced that as Secretary of State, John Kerry would place what he considered to be the wishes of the international community above the national security interests of the United States. I fear with these most-recent ill-chosen remarks, Secretary Kerry has proven those concerns well founded. Rather than focusing on our clear national security interest—which is continuing to guarantee Israel’s security through our unquestionable commitment to it—Secretary Kerry has repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to countenance a world where Israel is made a pariah because it will not sacrifice its security to his diplomatic initiatives. It is no wonder that Israel’s Defense Minister remarked in January that “The only thing that can save us is for John Kerry to win a Nobel Prize and leave us in peace.”

The fact that Secretary Kerry sees nothing wrong with making such a statement on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day demonstrates a shocking lack of sensitivity to the incendiary and damaging nature of his rhetoric. Mr. President, it is my belief that Secretary Kerry has thus proven himself unsuitable for his position and that before any further harm is done to our alliance with Israel, he should offer President Obama his resignation and the President should accept it.

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