Secretary of State John Kerry suggested an equivalence between those killed while ambushing Israeli commandos boarding one of the 2010 “Gaza Flotilla” ships and the victims of the terrorist attacks at the Boston Marathon.
Speaking Sunday during a news conference in Istanbul, Kerry expressed sympathy for the families of Turks killed during the confrontation with Israeli troops, comparing their sadness to his own after the Boston bombings.
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.
But the circumstances of those killed in the two incidents were quite different, and morally opposite.
Those killed in Boston innocent victims.
The Turkish deaths resulted from an attack on Israeli soldiers, who were trying to ward off a brutal assault by pro-Palestinian activists who had pre-planned a violent confrontation. The incident occurred aboard the ship Mavi Marmara, part of the Gaza Flotilla that was trying to provide supplies to Gaza residents by attempting to breach the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip.
On other ships boarded by Israeli commandos, only passive resistance was offered, but the Mavi Marmara occupants were looking for a fight, and they got one. Several Israeli commandos were wounded, including one who was stabbed in the abdomen and severely beaten.
Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks Monday called on Kerry to retract his remarks
“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,” he said.