John Kerry Compares Gaza Flotilla and Boston Marathon Bombing Victims

Tells Turks He Feels Their Pain Over Mavi Marmara

getty images

By JTA

Published April 23, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israeli lawmakers are condemning U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s comparison of the Boston Marathon bombing victims to the 2010 deaths of Turkish citizens aboard the Mavi Marmara ship.

Lawmakers from political parties on the right and left slammed Kerry’s remarks of Sunday. However, senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, did not respond.

“It is never helpful when a moral equivalency is made confusing terrorists with their victims,” Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon of Netanyahu’s Likud party said of Kerry’s statement, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The Mavi Marmara in May 2010 attempted to evade a maritime blockade of Gaza. Nine Turks were killed in the ensuing violence when Israeli naval commandos boarded the ship.

Kerry spoke to reporters following meetings in Istanbul.

Asked about the recent thawing of relations between Israel and Turkey, Kerry said of the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010, “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 that.”

Turkey and Israel agreed to normalize ties after Netanyahu, prodded by President Obama, apologized last month for the raid and agreed to compensate the families of the nine Turks.

In the wake of the incident, Turkey withdrew its high-level diplomats from Israel and froze deals with Israel’s military.

Lawmakers from political parties on the right and left slammed Kerry’s remarks of Sunday. However, senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, did not respond.

“It is never helpful when a moral equivalency is made confusing terrorists with their victims,” Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon of Netanyahu’s Likud party said of Kerry’s statement, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The Mavi Marmara in May 2010 attempted to evade a maritime blockade of Gaza. Nine Turks were killed in the ensuing violence when Israeli naval commandos boarded the ship.

Kerry spoke to reporters following meetings in Istanbul.

Asked about the recent thawing of relations between Israel and Turkey, Kerry said of the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010, “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 that.”

Turkey and Israel agreed to normalize ties after Netanyahu, prodded by President Obama, apologized last month for the raid and agreed to compensate the families of the nine Turks.

In the wake of the incident, Turkey withdrew its high-level diplomats from Israel and froze deals with Israel’s military.

Lawmakers from political parties on the right and left slammed Kerry’s remarks of Sunday. However, senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, did not respond.

“It is never helpful when a moral equivalency is made confusing terrorists with their victims,” Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon of Netanyahu’s Likud party said of Kerry’s statement, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The Mavi Marmara in May 2010 attempted to evade a maritime blockade of Gaza. Nine Turks were killed in the ensuing violence when Israeli naval commandos boarded the ship.

Kerry spoke to reporters following meetings in Istanbul.

Asked about the recent thawing of relations between Israel and Turkey, Kerry said of the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010, “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 that.”

Turkey and Israel agreed to normalize ties after Netanyahu, prodded by President Obama, apologized last month for the raid and agreed to compensate the families of the nine Turks.

In the wake of the incident, Turkey withdrew its high-level diplomats from Israel and froze deals with Israel’s military.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.