When Kerry was a Kohn …
Unlike Vice President Joe Biden, who many of his critics have labeled a human gaffe machine, at least John Kerry knows when he has said something controversial and insulting. And again, unlike his technical superior in the Constitutional chain of command, Kerry knows how to apologize, sort of. As reported by The Washington Times on April 29, 2014 and also by The Boston Globe on Oct. 13, 2012, what makes this latest episode of an Obama Administration foreign policy faux pas was that Kerry insulted Israel; a long time most favored subject as far as Democrats were concerned. While the American Secretary of State’s outburst could reasonably be deemed as anti-Semitic, to increase the strangeness factor, Kerry is arguably the foremost crypto-Semite on the planet.
Unlike himself, for those who don’t sport the facial bee-sting botoxed look, Kerry’s recent comments of the Jewish State conceivably transforming into an “apartheid” nation raised more than a few eyebrows, both on the left and right-hand side of the political aisle. The former Massachusetts senator was caught on tape giving a speech before a closed door meeting of the Trilateral Commission in which he warned “If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming ‘an apartheid state.'”
Kerry’s comments quickly drew fire from both Republicans and Democrats alike. Tea Party darling Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) hammered Kerry from the floor of the Senate, calling for his immediate resignation. At the opposite end of the spectrum was liberal heavyweight Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) who fired off on her Twitter feed:
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and any linkage between Israel and apartheid is nonsensical and ridiculous.
The Golden State Dem wasn’t the only fellow party member of Boxer to unload on Kerry. As noted by left-leaning Politico.com, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) let loose with:
Inflammatory rhetoric comparing Israel’s democracy to repugnant apartheid policy is irresponsible, inaccurate & counterproductive.
Shifting focus back to the Upper Chamber, Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) also made his feeling known:
Secretary Kerry knows as well as anyone that negotiating lasting peace in this region of the world is difficult but it’s not productive to express his frustration in this way.
This remark also implies Israel should ignore the pact between [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas and the Hamas. Last time I checked, the U.S. didn’t negotiate with terrorist organizations and we shouldn’t expect the Israeli government to either.
In a State Department statement that has many wondering it it’s an apology or not, Kerry stated “I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes, so I want to be crystal clear about what I believe and what I don’t believe. Somewhat reminiscent of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s embarrassingly mistranslated “reset” flub with the Russians, Kerry also verbalized last Monday:
If I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word…
When a Kohn becomes a Kerry …
While the debate continues if Jews around the globe hold a special loyalty or at least an affinity for Israel is either a misunderstood perception or based in fact, Kerry has drawn the ire of many of the Chosen People for that they view as his major league slam of the world’s only Jewish nation. What may have many Jews more than slightly angered at Kerry’s comments is that Kerry is actually a Kohn.
In the days of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, beer maker Fritz Kohn made the choice to emigrate to America, but first he made the choice to transform himself from Fritz Kohn to Fredrick Kerry. As family legend goes, he found the new family name by randomly pointing to a locale on a map of Europe. Supposedly, Frtiz/Fred’s digit landed on Kerry, Ireland.
Reportedly wanting to change the surname due to Kohn “is so typically Jewish,” little did the small town brewmeister know his grandson eventually reach the rarefied air of the upper atmosphere of Washington, DC and world politics. After relocating to Boston, reportedly his business ventures went south. Faced with financial ruin, the recently minted Fred Kerry committed suicide in a bathroom of the Copley Plaza Hotel.