John Kerry tossed the A-word around Friday during a closed door meeting, saying that Israel could become "an apartheid state" if peace talks with Palestine failed to generate a two-state solution. The Daily Beast acquired a recording of Kerry's comments, which came during a Trilateral Commission meeting. Kerry told the assembled world leaders that he might eventually unveil a peace deal and tell the sides to "take it or leave it."
A two-state solution, he said, is "the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state." US officials generally avoid the word "apartheid" in relation to Israel, and President Obama has previously called it inappropriate. The Anti-Defamation League has issued a statement calling Kerry's comments "startling and deeply disappointing," Haaretz reports. Meanwhile, Rand Paul is burnishing his pro-Israel credentials by introducing a bill banning US aid to Palestine until Palestine recognizes Israel's right to exist, Politico reports.