Apartheid row: Likud MK chides Kerry on slavery

Apartheid row: Likud MK chides Kerry on slavery

Religious nationalist politician Moshe Feiglin has reacted to a perceived sleight from America’s top diplomat John Kerry by saying that Israel is the only white nation to bring blacks back from Africa for reasons other than slavery.

Moshe Feiglin is leader of a hard-right faction within the ruling Likud party

The right-wing Likud MK took aim at the US Secretary of State, after he warned that Israel risked becoming an apartheid state without a peace deal.

Feiglin (pictured, right) said: “Clearly, his words were directed at the Israeli public in order to create internal pressure for additional retreats. What is the truth?

“The only case in history in which a ‘white’ nation has sent its armed forces to Africa and brought back ‘blacks’ in order to make them citizens with equal rights – not slaves – is Israel’s rescue of Ethiopian Jewry.”

Recalling the American “capture” of the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and Guam, Feiglin adds: “Nobody accuses the US of apartheid because the people in its territories do not have federal voting rights.”

The angry response comes in the aftermath of Kerry’s apology, following a barrage of criticism from American groups, which he described as “partisan political” attacks.

The Middle East’s would-be peace-maker said in his climb-down that – in retrospect – he would have rephrased it, saying: “If I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word.”

But despite the apology, many have seized on Kerry’s remarks as a watershed moment, representing a significant departure for senior US officials, who have historically avoided the word “apartheid” in relation to Israel.

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