Middle East Peace Talks Deadline Expires As US Placed On Defense By Official’s Remarks

Secretary of State John Kerry was quickly reversing course after he privately warned that in the absence of a two-state solution, Israel risks becoming an apartheid state.

In remarks, Kerry, according to the Daily Beast, that a “two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.”

Later that evening, Kerry issued a clarification saying he would not have used the term “apartheid” if he could do it over, but also tore into critics.

“I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes. I do not believe, nor have I ever stated, publicly or privately, that Israel is an apartheid state or that it intends to become one,” said in a State Department statement.

Kerry’s comments came one day before the deadline for the nine-month exploration Mideast talks was set to expire.

“We’re back to where we started,” said Jonathan Spyer, senior researcher at the Global Research in International Affairs Centre told Lebanon’s Daily Star.

He said the Palestinians would continue to engage in a “strategy of  political warfare” that would force Israel into a corner as they pursued international recognition.

Iran Making Gains In Efforts To Launch Cyber Attacks
Iran is making strides, but still lags behind China in its ability to hack into cyber networks, says a new report.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, the report contends Iranian hackers often used malicious software that was unsophisticated in contrast to that used by Russian and Chinese adversaries.

The potency of the Russian abilities to infiltrate networks was reflected this week as European nations began running drills to ensure they could defend against attacks in the wake additional sanctions being placed on Vladimir Putin and his allies.

The fear is not that Russia will target its neighbors, as most of the Commonwealth states are, to some degree, linked to Russia’s networks.

Russia has no need to attack that which it already owns, say several experts. “Russia already had access [to the Ukrainian telecommunications infrastructure] for years. That’s true for almost all of the Commonwealth of Independent States. They all rely at some point on Russian technology,” Jeffrey Carr, CEO of the cyber-security firm Taia Global and of the author of Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld, told Defense One.

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