January 2, 2013
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has noted with concern the record on Israel, Iran and terrorism, including the regimes that sponsor terrorism, of President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry (D–MA).
Some troubling milestones in John Kerry’s record on Israel and the Middle East:
December 2012: Kerry was one of only 26 senators not to sign a letter urging President Obama to reiterate his readiness to use military force against Iran if all other measures fail to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capacity.
September 2012: Kerry was one of only 25 senators who refused to sign a letter urging the European Union to designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization.
June 2012: Kerry was one of only 13 senators who refused to sign a letter supporting Israel’s right to self-defense and affirming the legality of Israel’s naval blockage of Hamas-controlled Gaza, following the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident.
2011: Kerry, in the words of a recent editorial in the Washington Post, “pushed the more cautious Mr. Obama toward … the endorsement of Hosni Mubarak’s departure from the Egyptian presidency,” a ruinous policy which has resulted in the Islamist, extremist Muslim Brotherhood taking control of Egypt, formerly America’s most important ally in the Arab world and against which the ZOA warned against at the time. The same editorial notes that “Mr. Kerry shares one of Mr. Obama’s greatest weaknesses: an excessive faith in the potential benefits of ‘engagement’ with rogue regimes and dictators. In particular, Mr. Kerry’s repeated attempts to foster a dialogue with Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad offers a case study of how such diplomacy can go wrong.”
April 2010: Kerry again met with Syrian dictator Assad and called Syria “an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region.” A few months later, the Assad regime embarked on its campaign, still in progress, of killing thousands of unarmed civilians in its bid to remain in power.
April 2010: Kerry was one of only 13 senators who refused to sign a letter stressing the need for “direct, face-to-face negotiations without preconditions on either side” for Israelis and Palestinians and affirming the “unbreakable bonds that tie the United States and Israel together.”
April 2010: Kerry was one of only 19 senators who refused to sign a letter calling for imposing crippling sanctions upon Iran.
August 2009: Kerry was one of 29 senators who refused to sign a letter supporting President Obama’s call for Arab states to normalize relations with Israel.
January 2009: During a visit to the Middle East, speaking of Syria’s role in the region, Kerry said nothing about the Assad regime’s barbaric history of state-sponsored terrorism, or its role in permitting terrorism to enter Iraq from Syria to kill U.S. servicemen after the overthrown of Saddam Hussein, or its role in the assassination of Lebanon’s Rafik Hariri, but instead criticized the policy of former President George W. Bush, saying, “Unlike the Bush administration that believed you could simply tell people what to do and walk away and wait for them to do it, we believe you have to engage in a discussion … we are going to renew diplomacy [with Damascus] but without any illusion, without any naivety, without any misplaced belief that, just by talking, things will automatically happen.”
March 2007: Kerry was one of only 21 senators not to sign a letter requesting “no direct aid and no contacts with any members of a Palestinian Authority that does not explicitly and unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce terror, and accept previous agreements.”
December 2003: When running for President, in a speech to the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, Kerry said he would appoint as presidential ambassador to the peace process former someone like Secretary of State James Baker or former President Jimmy Carter – both men distinguished by their public and long-standing animosity towards Israel. (New York Post, December 4, 2003.)
October 2003: Kerry, addressing an Arab American Institute conference in Dearborn, Michigan Kerry condemned Israel’s security barrier, which has been credited with stopping a portion of Palestinian terrorist attacks, saying “We do not need another barrier to peace” (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 4, 2004).
1993: Kerry was one of 45 senators who refused to sign the Grassley/Lautenberg letter urging then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher to include Hamas in the terrorism report.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We cannot but help note that Senator Kerry has amassed a record that has included failing to place himself on record to take all necessary measures to ensure Iran doesn’t acquire a nuclear weapons capacity and trying to ingratiate himself with anti-American, anti-Israel dictatorships like the Assad regime.
“Little wonder he was been described by the Washington Post last July as a ‘prominent admirer’ of Hafez al-Assad.
“Senator Kerry has ignored evidence of the Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to implement its Oslo commitments to arrest terrorists and end incitement to hatred and murder against Israel and instead pushed for further Israeli concessions while also criticizing legitimate Israeli counter-terrorist defensive measures like the security fence.
“With this record and approach, Senator Kerry would be weak on Iran, terrorism and supporting Israel.”
(And, weak on supporting the best interests of the US!) jsk
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