Floor Speech

By: Ted Cruz
By: Ted Cruz
Date: April 28, 2014
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Foreign Affairs

Mr. CRUZ. Mr. President, every Member of this body has expressed our bipartisan 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 of America.

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 Israeli-Palestinian peace process fails.

Secretary Kerry has long experience in foreign policy, and he understands that words matter. Apartheid is inextricably associated with one of the worst examples of state-sponsored discrimination in history--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, and isolated--the state of the victims of apartheid with which the Jews are tragically all too familiar. The notion that Israel would go down that path--and so face the same condemnation that faced South Africa--is unconscionable. The United States should be aggressively asserting that Israel can never be made an apartheid nation while America exists and stands beside her because America will be with Israel regardless of the status of the diplomatic process.

Fifteen months ago, almost to the day, John Kerry was confirmed by this body by a vote of 94 to 3. Despite my preference for giving the President the Cabinet members of his choice, I found that 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 that with these most recent ill-chosen remarks, Secretary Kerry has proven these concerns well founded. Rather than focusing on our clear national security interests--which is continuing to guarantee Israel's security through our unquestionable commitment to it--Secretary Kerry has instead repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to countenance a world in which Israel is made a pariah because it will not sacrifice its security to his diplomatic initiatives; likewise, he has previously suggested that Israel might probably be subject to boycotts for the same grounds.

It is no wonder 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.''

Indeed, my colleague, the senior Senator from Arizona, has suggested that the foreign policy carried out by Mr. Kerry is the equivalent of a ``human wrecking ball.'' The fact that Secretary Kerry sees nothing wrong with making a statement comparing Israel's policy to the abhorrent apartheid policies of South Africa--and doing so on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day--demonstrates a shocking lack of sensitivity to the incendiary and damaging nature of his rhetoric.

Sadly, it is my belief that Secretary Kerry has proven himself unsuitable for the position he holds and, therefore, before any further harm is done to our national security interests and to our critical alliance with the nation of Israel, that John Kerry should offer President Obama his resignation and the President should accept it.

I suggest the absence of a quorum.