State Department Using Daily Kos, Think Progress to Defend Sec. Kerry’s ‘Apartheid’ Quote

by Greg Pollowitz

For real:

Was it too difficult for Psaki to find the Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert quotes on apartheid herself and write her own tweet?

She also tweeted a link to a Think Progress piece from 2013 in her effort to defend John Kerry:

Except, the Think Progress piece actually questions the accuracy and warns of the danger of using “apartheid” when discussing the Israel–Palestinian conflict:

But is the “apartheid” analogy accurate? Larry Derfner from the Israeli English language website +972 Magazine writes:

Myself, I don’t use that term to characterize the occupation because … apartheid was based on race, while the [Israeli] occupation [of the West Bank] is based on nationality and territory. Instead, I prefer terms like “military dictatorship,” “tyranny” and “colonialism.” But I think the similarities between the occupation and apartheid far outweigh the differences – they’re both based on one kind of people “legally” lording it over another kind – so while the term is imprecise, it’s not an insult, or an offense, or, to use a term right-wingers love, a “blood libel.”

Indeed, the term is contentious, and using it in the Israeli-Palestinian context often serves as a tool to shut down debate, as Matt Yglesias once noted on this blog. “The use of the term ‘apartheid’ seems to shut down people’s critical faculties and make them defensive,” he wrote back in 2010. “So I generally prefer to set it aside. The point is that there’s a political system in the West Bank where the Jewish residents have the right to vote, have privileged access to water, have exclusive access to some roadways, have privileged rights to travel, etc., none of which are shared by the non-Jewish residents. You can call it what you like, but it’s not democracy.”

We’ll be hearing more later today, I trust.