(JNS.org) U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry has drawn criticism for using the victims of the
Boston Marathon explosions to illustrate a point he was trying to make about
the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident and Turkey-Israel relations.

John Kerry was criticized for juxtaposing the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions and the Mavi Marmara deaths during a press conference in Istanbul. Credit: State Department.

Kerry, asked at a press conference in Istanbul on Sunday
about a report that Turkey is “placing a base outside of Ankara to give them
the capability to reach Iran if need be,” declined comment on that report and
instead spoke on what he described as the importance of “moving to full diplomatic relations between
[Turkey and Israel], which would be beneficial to everybody.”

“I think Turkey is working in very good faith
to get there,” Kerry said regarding efforts to normalize Turkey-Israel
relations following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the Mavi Marmara 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

The Mavi Marmara was a
Turkish ship that sailed to Gaza in May 2010 in an attempt to break Israel’s
blockade against Hamas. After militants attacked Israeli soldiers as they
boarded, the soldiers fatally shot eight Turkish citizens and one

Israel’s Deputy Minister of Defense Danny Danon
reacted to Kerry’s comments by telling the Times
of Israel
, “It is never helpful when a moral
equivalency is made confusing terrorists with their victims. As our American
friends were made all too aware once again last week, the only way to deal with
the evils of terrorism [is] to wage an unrelenting war against its perpetrators
wherever they may be.”

Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks
said in a statement, “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

The U.S. State Department did not immediately return a
request for comment from JNS.org.

…read more
Source: JNS.org


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