web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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
Candy-laden bulletin board greets children on their first day of school in the lobby of an Efrat apartment building. Sept. 1, 2014.
The message reads:
"To our dear children ... may it be a year of fun and happiness in your studies." 
Did You Know September 1 is an Israeli National Holiday?
Latest News Stories
Flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS -- now known simply as the 'Islamic State.'

Germany and other western countries have begun providing weapons to Kurds in fight against the IS.

Arab workers at SodaStream's factory in Maaleh Adumim may be replaced by Bedouin in the company's new plant in the Negev.

BDS will be claim victory, but the truth is that a logistics would be a major factor if SodaStream leaves Maaleh Adumim.

Funeral of Shachar Shalev.

The body of 1st Sgt. Shachar Shalev was laid to rest this afternoon in the cemetery in Hipsin.

Palestinian Authority terrorists wounded a three-year-old girl and a bus driver in two separate rock throwing and firebombing attacks on Monday. Both victims suffered light injuries and were treated on the spot, without need for hospitalization. The girl was riding a bus in northern Jerusalem when the attackers smashed a glass window on the bus. […]

“He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” – Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994.

Palestinian Authority manipulation of the media makes it impossible for peace between PA Arabs and Israelis.

“I know that you spent your vacation doing things not according to what you planned,” the prime minister told students in southern Israel.

The recent war in Gaza is not expected to inflict any lasting damage on economic performance.

A Syrian rebel group attacks dozens of UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights; others are held captive. UNDOF head is challenged.

The price of self-service 95 octane gasoline in Israel dropped by a tiny bit — one agora per liter — at midnight on Sunday.

Residents of Gaza Belt communities were furious and worried on the first day of school to find no one at the guard posts.

Arab terror gangs have again attacked Israeli travelers over the past few hours on main arteries around Jerusalem.

Minister Bennett praised the government in a visit to Gush Etzion for its decision to answer terror with Jewish expansion.

The International Criminal Court at The Hague has no jurisdiction over Gaza or anywhere else in the PA — yet.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

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.

Secretary of State Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu

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.

Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.

Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement the Obama administration is expected to propose soon.

“As we have since the beginning of the process, we continue to support Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement to JTA.

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the rule of thumb in the pro-Israel community was that the bigger the academic group, the less likely it was to consider a boycott of Israeli colleagues.

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: