VIDEO-Cohen: John F. Kerry’s Israeli gaffe a diplomatic nightmare | Boston Herald

Secretary of State John F. Kerry has stepped in it again — with a gaffe that this time not only makes him look foolish but makes a mess of U.S. foreign policy and destroys any chance he had of realizing his legacy pipe dream of brokering Middle East peace.

In a private meeting with senior international officials Friday, Kerry said that if the Israelis and Palestinians can’t achieve a two-state solution, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state with second-class citizens.”

Israelis are aghast — especially with Kerry’s remarks being reported yesterday on Holocaust Remembrance Day — and have started issuing calls for his resignation. Foreign policy experts are stunned, saying Kerry’s racially charged statements are major setbacks to peace negotiations in the Middle East.

“No wonder our diplomacy in the Middle East is so wretched,” former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton told the Herald, calling Kerry’s remarks “outrageous and defamatory.”

Caroline Glick of The Jerusalem Post said, “Kerry’s remark was openly anti-Semitic. Apartheid is a crime of intent. There is no Israeli politician that will ever be in a leadership position that harbors any such bigoted intention towards the Palestinians. On the other hand, there is no Palestinian leader or faction that does not demand the ethnic cleansing of Jews from every inch of any territory that will come under Palestinian control.”

Republicans on Capitol Hill are howling for Kerry’s resignation. Even ultra-liberal U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer tweeted, “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and any linkage between Israel and apartheid is nonsensical and ridiculous.”

In 2006, when Kerry insulted American soldiers, saying they were “stuck in Iraq” because they didn’t study hard enough, he just made a buffoon of himself. In 2010, when he registered his $7 million yacht in Rhode Island to dodge taxes, he just revealed himself as clueless. But that was when he was just a failed presidential candidate in the Senate. As secretary of state, he’s in a position to do more damage. Last year, when he accidentally gave Syria an out on its chemical weapons use, he handed off control of U.S. foreign policy to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who quickly brokered a deal that left dictator Bashar Assad in power. Kerry made Obama look weak, emboldened Putin and set the stage for the current Ukrainian crisis.

Now, by veering sharply from the diplomatic stance of the United States and President Obama on Israel, he has alienated our most important ally in the region — and sent the message to our allies everywhere that U.S. foreign policy is in a shambles and we cannot be relied on.

Adriana Cohen is co-host of Boston Herald Radio’s “Trending Now.” Follow her on Twitter @adrianacohen16.