RJC: Kerry's Remarks Must Not Stand

Brooks: Unconscionable to equate IDF self-defense with terrorist murders

Washington, D.C. (April 22, 2013) — The Republican Jewish Coalition strongly objected to Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks likening some Turks' anger over Israel's self-defense in the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident to Americans' outrage over last week's terrorist attack on innocent spectators at the Boston Marathon.

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, "Secretary Kerry should retract these remarks as soon as possible. It's unconscionable to compare the loss of life resulting from an act of self-defense to the results of cold-blooded, premeditated murder by terrorists."

Brooks added, "We understand that Secretary Kerry has reason to be deeply worried by the disappointing results to date from the President's push to end the rift between Israel and Turkey. But he needs to correct the record so that our allies and critics around the world don't get the idea that the world's most powerful democracy has lost its moral bearings."

During a press conference in Istanbul yesterday, Secretary Kerry said the following about Turkish anger over the 2010 incident, "I know it’s an emotional issue with some people. I particularly say to the families of people who were lost in the incident we understand these tragedies completely and we sympathize with them. And nobody – I mean, I have just been through the week of Boston and I have deep feelings for what happens when you have violence and something happens and you lose people that are near and dear to you. It affects a community, it affects a country. We’re very sensitive to that." (Emphasis added)