In a reflection of the charged atmosphere in which U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry finds himself as the Mideast peace process approaches a critical juncture, his brother took the unusual step on Sunday of defending him against insinuations of being anti-Semitic.
Cameron Kerry, who was raised Catholic and underwent a Reform conversion, wrote in an op-ed on Ynet that “such charges would be ridiculous if they weren’t so vile.”
Kerry’s relentless efforts to pressure Israel, including his recent warning of an international boycott if the peace talks fail, was condemned by MK Moti Yogev of the Jewish Home party as possibly containing “anti-Semitic undertones.” Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon reportedly accused him of taking a “messianic” and “naïve” approach to the talks.
In an opinion piece in The Jerusalem Post a few weeks ago, columnist Caroline Glick wrote that “Secretary of State John Kerry threatened the Israeli people with terrorism and murder — and so invited both — if Israel fails to accept his demands for territorial surrender to PLO terrorists that reject Israel’s right to exist.
”Kerry’s threats were laced with bigoted innuendo,” she continued…”He claimed that Israelis are too wealthy to understand their own interests…”
Unambiguously titled, “My brother, John Kerry, is a passionate and consistent supporter of Israel,” the piece speaks emotionally of the family ties to the Jewish people and Israel:
“At Terezin,” he wrote, “I walked along the banks of Ohre River and joined other members of our temple in saying Kaddish at the place where the Nazis poured out the cremated remains of some 22,000 inmates who died at Terezin. These presumably included the remains of my paternal great-uncle Otto Lowe, who died at Terezin in 1942. He, along with his sister Jenni, was transported to Terezin in 1942. Jenni was soon sent to die at Treblinka.”
“All this is part of my brother John Kerry’s DNA,” Cameron wrote.
“I recall when he came home from his first visit to Israel with friends from the Boston Jewish community, more than 30 years ago as a young senator: he spoke vividly of flying an Israeli military jet over the country and realizing how it was possible to cross the country in a matter of moments. Today, his determined work on Middle East peace is informed by an abiding sense of the need to secure Israel as a home for the Jewish people,” the article said.
The secretary’s “100-percent pro-Israel voting record during his nearly three decades in the U.S. senate” was also noted.
“It is this deep involvement that has led to the conviction that Israel’s long-term security requires a two-state solution,” and that is what his brother is working for.
Cameron Kerry concludes with praise for “Prime Minister Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Lieberman, and Ambassador Dermer [who] were courageous in their defense of my brother’s motives. We can all debate the effectiveness of security measures, the delineation of borders, and other real issues among the parties, but there is no truth and no good that can come by calling into question John Kerry’s good faith toward his own heritage. Israel and the Jewish people deserve better than that.”