Orthodox Jews defend Kerry in face of ‘divine wrath’ threats

By Julian Pecquet

America’s largest Orthodox Jewish organizations rose to Secretary of State John Kerry’s defense on Wednesday after a group of Israeli rabbis threatened him with “divine wrath.”

The Rabbinical Council of America and the Orthodox Union issued a joint statement repudiating the attacks against America’s top diplomat as “extreme and offensive.” Kerry has suffered the brunt of the criticism against U.S. efforts to reach a two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

“We, the leadership of the RCA and the OU, repudiate this letter and the rhetoric they have deployed,” the two organizations said in the statement. “While the people of Israel and Jews around the world may properly possess serious concerns about proposals Secretary Kerry is putting forth, such concerns must only be expressed with civility and on the substance of the issues, not degenerating into personal venom and threats.”

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