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Kerry backs off Israel ‘apartheid’ comment

WASHINGTON – (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday he had chosen the wrong word in describing Israel’s potential future after coming under withering criticism for saying the Jewish state could become an “apartheid state” if it doesn’t reach a peace deal with the Palestinians. In a statement released by the State Department, Kerry lashed out against “partisan political” attacks against him, but acknowledged his comments last week to a closed international forum could have been misinterpreted. He said he was and is a strong supporter of Israel, which he called a “vibrant democracy.” He said his remarks were only an expression of his firm belief that a two-state resolution is the…