A letter of introduction written by then-U.S. Senator John Kerry on behalf of a group of anti-Israel activists from his home state of Massachusetts in 2009 tied America‚Äôs top diplomat to the ill-fated Gaza Flotilla of 2010, threatening to further erode Israeli confidence in his peace-brokering mission with the Palestinian Authority and the Iranian regime, Israeli daily Ma‚Äôariv reported.
Ma‚Äôariv published a photograph of the letter which said that members of Kerry‚Äôs team had met with the group, and that Kerry was personally vouching for them as members of a ‚Äúhumanitarian delegation‚ÄĚ of which he expressed ‚Äústrong support.‚ÄĚ
Ma‚Äôariv said the delegation that used the Kerry letter included vocal anti-Israel activists Ali Abunimah and Jodie Evans. The newspaper said that the clout of Kerry, who was then chair of the Senate‚Äôs Foreign Relations Committee and had been a U.S. presidential candidate, was apparently not as esteemed as the group had hoped, as their letter was ignored by Cairo as they tried to cross into Gaza from Egypt.
The team then joined the Mavi Marmara Flotilla, and ‚Äúthe rest is history,‚ÄĚ Ma‚Äôariv said.
In 2009, Israel announced it had implemented a naval security blockade of the Gaza Strip after the area was taken over by the Islamist terrorist group Hamas two years earlier.
But a group of activists, including members of Hamas, Turks and Americans, some supported by today‚Äôs U.S. Secretary of State tried to break the blockade, leading the IDF to board the Mavi Marmara. Several people died after IDF personnel were attacked upon boarding the vessel.