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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:11 PM

Nice article on the reaction of the Jewish media and organizations.

I guess the fact that they are speaking of the Jewish roots of this Catholic man means they really like him. There is a discussion of Kerry vs Hagel that is fascinating as they are fighting Hagel. The gist is that, even when Kerry disagrees, he works with them well.

One interesting thing is that Kerry attended shiva for Netanyahu's dad. Genuinely nice and/or very politically astute.

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Reply Nice article on the reaction of the Jewish media and organizations. (Original post)
karynnj Dec 2012 OP
Mass Dec 2012 #1
karynnj Dec 2012 #2
Mass Dec 2012 #3
karynnj Dec 2012 #4

Response to karynnj (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:42 PM

1. I read this article and it made me uncomfortable for so many reasons, none linked to Kerry

Some of the groups quoted here as saying Kerry is a good choice had been supporting Susan Rice previously because they thought Kerry would be too even-handed. Of course, now that the choice is made and Kerry is going to be confirmed, they say they support him. Of course, I am sure that groups like J Street are happy about this, but their perspective on the Middle East is probably closer to Kerry's than let's say AIPAC.

Hagel is not antisemitic. Only in the US can somebody be called antisemitic because he says he supports the USA first What I find strange is that Hagel's opinions are a lot more pro-Israel than those of Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister that happens to be Jewish. This said, there are many reasons to oppose Hagel, and it is probably why he will not be nominated and confirmed. Given that the SecDef is the boss of the entire military and that he will lead an organization that will be important to many straight and gay families, his views on social issues are very relevant and not really reassuring. That it took him up to a few days ago to state he supported what he calls "open" military is bothering, coming from somebody who is in the government circles. I have never heard him talk about the epidemic of rapes in the military. I doubt he will find support on our side if it comes to that, but if Obama nominates it, I hope the questions will not focus on whether he is antisemitic or not, but deal on his views of the social issues in the military.

I am not familiar enough with the other names to know if I would be like other potential nominees, but we could hope there are Democrats with decent views on these issues that Obama can nominate.

NOTE: obviously, I do not disagree with the good things said about Kerry. I have just a hard time with the rethoric of this article. The main reason I trust Kerry as SoS (and it was the same one that led me to consider for a time that Hagel was a good choice, even if I have changed my mind) is that I am sure he will be reticent to start wars before it is not absolutely necessary,.

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Response to Mass (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:53 PM

2. I quite agree with you - they are trying to be on his side because he will be powerful

I agree with you on Hagel not being anti-semitic and their reasons for being ok with Kerry and not Hagel seem rather weak, when they say they are not that far apart.

I agree that issues such as gays in the military and the need to end the culture where rape happens too often are very important, that Hagel's poor positions on those issues ARE very important. I get why there are many outraged LGBT people (and others) who are absolutely against him because of this.

I agree that J Street is very in line with JK's positions.

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Response to karynnj (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:01 AM

3. Interesting article about France and Kerry's French links


Reacting to President Barack Obama’s recent nomination of John Kerry as the next US secretary of state, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius praised his future counterpart’s “personal commitment to Franco-American friendship”.

A large part of the interview is linked to the 2004 election and the nastiness of the GOP calling Kerry French, but they refer to his family in France.

The Massachusetts senator attended a Swiss boarding school as a child, learning to speak fluent French –which reportedly worked wonders in courting his wife, Teresa Heinz, whose parents were Portuguese.

He spent summers at his maternal grandparents’ luxurious home in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, a village in the north-western coastal region of Brittany. And he counts Brice Lalonde, a former French green party leader and an environment minister in the early 1990s, as one of his first cousins (Lalonde did not respond to an interview request for this article).

Kerry’s ties to France are indeed part of the reason that “reactions to his nomination have been extremely positive on both the right and left in France”, according to Nicole Bacharan, a specialist in French-American relations and national fellow at Stanford’s public policy think tank, the Hoover Institution.

“He’s obviously very competent and very knowledgeable about foreign policy,” Bacharan said. “But of course the French like him especially because he knows France well and speaks good French.”

What the article does not say is that, earlier this year, when it became clear Francois Hollande was going to be elected and that the WH and the SoS had all but ignored the socialist party in France and looked as supporting Sarkozy, Kerry was the person who met with a couple of Hollande's envoys to talk about foreign policy.

And please, ignore the last paragraph. Unfortunately, French people, particularly in an American think tanks, are not immune to group thinking.

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Response to Mass (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:30 PM

4. Cool article

As to the last paragraph, it is likely true that many leaders would love a state visit by Obama.

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