CHARLOTTE, N.C. (JTA) – U.S. Sen. John Kerry quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praising the Obama administration in a bid to show that Republicans have "lied" about Obama and Israel.
"Barack Obama promised always to stand with Israel to tighten sanctions on Iran — and take nothing off the table," Kerry (D-Mass.) said Thursday night in Charlotte, where Democrats are holding this year’s convention.
"Again and again, the other side has lied about where this president stands and what this president has done," said Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee and believed to be a strong contender for the secretary of state spot in a second Obama term.
"But Prime Minister Netanyahu set the record straight — he said our two countries have ‘exactly the same policy … our security cooperation is unprecedented’ … When it comes to Israel, I’ll take the word of Israel’s prime minister over Mitt Romney any day," he said.
Netanyahu has assiduously avoided the appearance of endorsing a candidate, although he is known to be close to Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president. It was the second time this week that a Democrat used an Israeli figure to attack the GOP.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, cited Israel’s U.S. ambassador, Michael Oren, at the convention’s outset in accusing Republicans of endangering Israel by sowing divisions between the parties on Israel.
Oren has decried partisan use of Israel, but in an unusually sharp statement denied ever specifying one party or the other.