The Republican Jewish Coalition on Tuesday 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.
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.
“I 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 them.” 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 that.”
RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said Kerry should retract his 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 said. "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."