Sen. Ted Cruz said Secretary of State John Kerry should offer his resignation to President Barack Obama — and the president should accept it — for reportedly saying behind closed doors that Israel was on the path of becoming an "apartheid" state if it doesn't agree to a two-state peace deal with the Palestinians.
"Secretary Kerry has long experience in foreign policy and he understands that words matter," the Texas Republican said on the Senate floor. "Apartheid is inextricably associated with one of the worst examples of state-sponsored discrimination in history. ... There is no place for this word in the context of the state of Israel." The Daily Beast first reported on Kerry's comments .
Cruz noted he was just one of three senators to vote against Kerry's confirmation.
"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 interest of the united states. I fear that with these most recent ill-chosen remarks, Secretary Kerry has proven these concerns well-founded.
"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. Mr. President, 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."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., laughed off Cruz's suggestion.