Kerry on Israel—in letters

By JNS.org

Where does U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), President Barack Obama’s pick for Secretary of State, stand on foreign policy matters pertaining to Israel and the Middle East? Below are the highlights of 10 letters signed by large majorities of the U.S. Senate, noting whether Kerry signed or not.

Letter: Urging further pressure on Iran and asking President Obama to reiterate his readiness to exercise a military option if necessary
Number of signatories: 74
Kerry: Did not sign

Letter: Urging the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization
Number of signatories: 75
Kerry: Did not sign

JUNE 2012
Letter: Supporting Israel’s right to self-defense and affirming that Israel’s naval blockage is legal following the Gaza flotilla incident
Number of signatories: 87
Kerry: Did not sign
APRIL 2010
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”
Number of signatories: 87
Kerry:  Did not sign

APRIL 2010
Letter: Calling for crippling sanctions against Iran
Number of signatories: 81
Kerry:  Did not sign

Letter: Supporting a strong international affairs budget for fiscal year 2010, including security assistance for Israel
Number of signatories: 58
Kerry: Signed and initiated

Letter: Supporting President Obama’s effort to encourage Arab states to normalize relations with Israel
Number of signatories: 71
Kerry: Did not sign

MAY 2009
Letter: “Peace Principles” letter stating that “every effort should be made” to realize peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and insisting on “absolute Palestinian commitment to ending terrorist violence and to building the institutions necessary for a viable Palestinian state living side-by-side, in peace with the Jewish state of Israel”
Number of signatories: 76
Kerry:  Signed

JUNE 2008
Letter: Reiterating Israel’s right to self-defense, calling on the U.S. to stand strongly with Israel at the UN, and urging pressure on Arab states
to do more to support Israeli-Palestinian talks
Number of signatories: 77
Kerry:  Signed

MARCH 2007
Letter: Request for “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”
Number of signatories: 79
Kerry:  Did not sign

Letters and signatories obtained from the archives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Letter to the Ledger
An Open Letter to a former ASA president

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