web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Pro-Israel Community Warms To Prospect Of John Kerry As Secretary Of State


Senator John Kerry, nominated by President Obama to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, accompanied then-Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni on a visit to a police station in Sderot in 2009. They viewed the remains of rockets launched at Israel from Gaza.

Senator John Kerry, nominated by President Obama to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, accompanied then-Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni on a visit to a police station in Sderot in 2009. They viewed the remains of rockets launched at Israel from Gaza.

WASHINGTON – On a wintry day at a small Iowa shul in November of 2003, John Kerry got all verklempt.

The man whose opponents had taken to depicting as aloof and patrician, whose campaign for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination had been all but written off by that point, leapt onto the dais at Tifereth Israel synagogue in Des Moines. Kerry delivered an emotional account of his then-recent discovery that his grandfather was Jewish and recalled how, on a visit to Israel standing atop Masada, he had cried out, “Am Yisrael Chai!”

The bond Kerry has forged with the Jewish community because of his roots and because of his interest in the Middle East has helped smooth over rough patches when he has criticized Israel.

“We’ve had disagreements in the past, but on the whole he’s a staunch advocate and defender of the U.S.-Israel relationship and Israeli security,” the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, told JTA in a telephone interview from Israel, where he was meeting with Israeli leaders.

Kerry rallied to win the 2004 nomination but lost the presidency, felled in part by images of him windsurfing and tales of high-society living with his heiress wife, Teresa Heinz.

He won big among Jews, however – 75 percent of their vote, in large part because of a connection based on shared liberalism.

Staff close to Kerry’s campaign at the time said the discovery by the Boston Globe of his Jewish antecedents – and the knowledge that relatives had perished in the Holocaust – deeply affected him.

Jay Footlik, who ran the Kerry campaign’s Jewish outreach, recalled that Kerry would take time out to be briefed on every new wrinkle in matters affecting Israel.

“He took a deep interest in the U.S.-Israel relationship,” Footlik said. “The community ought to be thrilled.”

These connections are helping Kerry win Jewish support for his nomination to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. secretary of state. President Obama made the announcement that Kerry was his new choice on Dec. 21, after the candidacy of Susan Rice, currently the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was derailed by opponents.

In welcoming the nomination, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested an emotional bond with Kerry.

“John Kerry and I have been friends for many years,” Netanyahu said. “I very much appreciated the fact that six months ago, after my father passed away, he came to visit me during the week of mourning.”

As chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry often has acted as an advance man for Obama’s foreign policy, touting ideas the administration might not be ready to fully embrace. In March 2009, he called for a settlement freeze months before it became the centerpiece of tensions between the Obama and Netanyahu governments.

“Over these many years, John has earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world,” Obama said last week at a White House appearance alongside Kerry. “He is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training.”

In a statement, the ADL noted, “Kerry has consistently been an effective advocate for Israel’s security in a dangerous region and demonstrated his commitment to fighting against anti-Semitism and bigotry all over the world.”

The statement said that Kerry’s first visit to Israel was in an ADL congressional mission in May 1986.

Kerry’s nomination also earned kudos from J Street, the liberal Jewish group that advocates for more U.S. involvement in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and encourages U.S. pressure on Israel to stop West Bank settlement expansion.

“Kerry would be well positioned to play a leading role should President Obama move to revive peace efforts aimed at achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” J Street said in a statement. “Kerry understands that peace is not only essential for Israel’s survival, but also a fundamental U.S. interest.”

Such agreement in the Jewish community on Kerry’s nomination stands in contrast to another rumored Obama nomination: former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) for defense secretary.

Little of substance distinguishes Kerry and Hagel, insiders say. Each has advocated outreach to pariah nations like Iran and Syria, and each has issued sharp criticism of Israel – Hagel in 2006 during the Second Lebanon War and Kerry in 2010, against what he saw as the gratuitous excesses of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Pro-Israel Community Warms To Prospect Of John Kerry As Secretary Of State”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Aerial view of Yemenite Village of HaShiloach, Old City of Jerusalem and Mt. of Olives.
Jews to Double Presence in Old Yemenite Village of Shiloach, Silwan
Latest News Stories

New York State Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz criticized the decision to not charge the suspect with a hate crime.

Former White House official Ron Klain has been tapped to coordinate the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak.

Th south face of Annapurna, part of the Himalayan mountains that most hikers are drawn to due to its majestic views.

The mountain trek of a lifetime has ended for Israeli hiker Michal Gili Charkesky, whose body was recovered from the Himalayas.

Yaakov Halul is Israel’s first official Aramean.

This time the false alarm was really false.

Jews once thrived in the Shiloach area of old Jerusalem, known also as Silwan. Arabs and British came and drove them out. Now, they have returned.

Prime Minister Netanyahu (L) congratulates Minister Yair Shamir (M) as President Ruby Rivlin and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat look on (in the background), as Jerusalem’s new Road 9 is named after former Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir, Israel’s 7th prime minister, who passed away in 2012. Yair Shamir, who looks very much like is father (and […]

#BDSFail as daughter of Hamas leader is treated in Israeli hospital.

Abbas was denounced by the SWC for trying to disassociate Jews from their holy sites and inciting violence against them.

The Jerusalem Intifada continues on…

A clear majority of Jewish Israelis oppose a Palestinian state, once they’re told the details of what it means.

Hamas has continued to test-fire its homemade rockets, firing them into the Mediterranean and into the Sinai desert in Egypt, where it has spotters. It is possible that the sirens this morning were tripped by such test launches.

The General Security Services (Shabak) of the State of Israel believes that more Israeli Muslims are preparing to join ISIS.

Israeli forces take part in a mass Ebola identification training exercise at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on October 17, 2014. Officials and employees from the Population Immigration and Border Authority, airlines, the Magen David Adom emergency medical services, the Health Ministry and the police participated in the drill, aimed at identifying travelers who […]

More Articles from Ron Kampeas

It’s not yet clear if Nemmouche was acting on orders and, if so, whether the orders came from ISIS.

Capital-Bldg-091214

“The Jewish community is going to have to work harder,” said one veteran official who has worked both as a professional in the Jewish community and a staffer for a Jewish lawmaker.

The disagreements don’t seem to have gone away, despite a cease-fire that appears to be firmly in place.

“On the Hill and with some people with whom I have spoken who are robust Israel supporters, people are concerned if not angry,” one of the staffers, a Democrat, told JTA

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/pro-israel-community-warms-to-prospect-of-john-kerry-as-secretary-of-state/2012/12/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: