US Secretary of State John Kerry compared the victims of the Boston Marathon
bombing to the nine Turkish activists killed by the IDF as they tried to break
Gaza’s naval blockade, at a press conference in Istanbul on Sunday.
know it’s an emotional issue with some people,” Kerry said of the Mavi Marmara
deaths. “I particularly say to the families of people who were lost in the
incident: We understand these tragedies completely and we sympathize with
He then added, “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,” Kerry said. “We’re very sensitive to
Senior Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Energy and Water Minister Silvan
Shalom, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, and Deputy Foreign Minister
Ze’ev Elkin all made a point of not responding to Kerry’s comparison on
High-ranking diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said they believed
Kerry was misunderstood and he was really only trying to show empathy with the
people of Turkey on a national level. The officials accused the press of
deliberately trying to twist what Kerry had said.
But Knesset members
from across the political spectrum condemned Kerry’s comparison and said they
found it extremely offensive.
Since the 2010 raid, Israel has released
video footage showing activists beating the soldiers with metal sticks and
chairs as they descended onto the boat. The IDF said that metal rods, improvised
sharp metal objects, sticks and clubs, 5 kg. hammers, firebombs and gas masks
were found on board the boat.
It said that these weapons were used
against the naval soldiers and that seven soldiers were injured. It added that
activists had also taken two pistols from the soldiers.
The relatives of
the nine Turkish activists, including one dual American citizen, have argued
that their loved ones were killed in cold blood as they sailed to offer
humanitarian assistance to the people in Gaza.
The three victims of the
bombing in Boston were killed last week after two brothers with ties to Chechnya
exploded two bombs at the finish line of the America’s oldest marathon. The
victims had gone to watch a race that attracts athletes from across the United
States and around the globe. Among the 176 people injured were runners who used
the marathon to raise money for humanitarian causes.
distorted reality and turned white into black and black into white,” said Labor
MK Nachman Shai. “How can he make such a comparison? In Boston, terrorists
killed civilians. On the Mavi Marmara ship, terrorists were
Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked went further,
saying that Kerry mixed up the assailants and the victims.
what Kerry said, he should fly now to Chechnya to pay a condolence call to the
parents of the poor terrorists in Boston,” Shaked said.
Minister Danny Danon, who in the past would have been the first to slam the
Obama administration, continued his trend of more measured responses since he
was appointed to his new post.
“It is never helpful when a moral
equivalency is made confusing terrorists with their victims,” Danon
“As our American friends were made all too aware once again last
week, the only way to deal with the evils of terrorism it to wage an unrelenting
war against its perpetrators wherever they may be.”