WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Some Jewish groups in the United States say they are defending U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry against attacks from Israeli groups.
In some cases, the Obama administration has asked organizations to respond, insiders told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The goal is not just to defend Kerry but to build support for compromises he is likely to bring to the table in discussions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., who now heads the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington, has been making the rounds of Jewish communities, JTA said Monday. J Street, a Washington Jewish organization supporting a two-state solution, has scheduled town halls around the United States.
"As Kerry's initiative gathers steam and Israeli and Palestinian leaders near a moment of decision, we expect sadly to see more outrageous attacks on one of the greatest friends Israel has," J Street said last week.
When a handful of Israeli rabbis suggested Kerry would be punished by God, Nathan Diament of the Orthodox Union in Washington said that those who object to Kerry's policies or proposals should argue about the substance and not resort to personal attacks.