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Kerry criticized for Boston Marathon remarks

(JNS.org) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has drawn criticism for using the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions to illustrate a point he was trying to make about the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident. Asked at a press conference in Istanbul on Sunday about a report that Turkey is “placing a base outside of Ankara to give them the capability to reach Iran if need be,” Kerry declined comment and instead spoke on what he described as the importance of “moving to full diplomatic relations between [Turkey and Israel], which would be beneficial to everybody.”

“I think Turkey is working in very good faith to get there,” Kerry said regarding efforts to normalize Turkey-Israel relations following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the Mavi Marmara incident. “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.”

Israel’s Deputy Minister of Defense Danny Danon reacted to Kerry’s comments by telling the Times of Israel, “It is never helpful when a moral equivalency is made confusing terrorists with their victims. As our American friends were made all too aware once again last week, the only way to deal with the evils of terrorism [is] to wage an unrelenting war against its perpetrators wherever they may be.”

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