US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the "Toward a Europe Whole and Free" conference at the Atlantic Council on April 29, 2014 in Washington. (AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN)
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To critics and supporters alike, it was "classic" John Kerry. A day before the formal end of Kerry's quixotic, nine-month effort to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, the secretary of state was surreptitiously taped making a comment that provoked a political firestorm in Washington.In a closed meeting with foreign policy experts, Kerry said that if there was no two-state solution soon, Israel risked becoming "an apartheid state". Kerry was apparently referring to an argument made by liberal Israelis and European critics that if two states are not created and current demographic trends continue, Palestinians will outnumber Israelis.After months of pursuing an ambitious Middle East peace settlement, Kerry was blaming Israel for his own failure.On Monday night, Kerry said in a statement that he never said, or suggested, that Israel was currently an apartheid state.Instead of admitting failure, aides said Kerry would continue the negotiations after a pause of several months.Foreign policy experts say Kerry may be stretching himself too thin.
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