Israeli Newspaper Ha´aretz, Internet Edition, July 16, 2004:
Cam Kerry promises support for Israel, on his brother's behalf
By Shmuel Rosner, Ha'aretz Correspondent
During his visit to Israel, Cameron Kerry, brother and political adviser to Democratic senator and presidential nominee, John Kerry, said he is mostly "learning a lot." He is learning and not saying much, and not by chance.
The life of an Israeli prime minister is not easy, as he tries to
navigate his contacts with the rival presidential candidates in the
United States. It is especially delicate for Ariel Sharon, where one
candidate is George Bush, the supporter and in electoral
difficulties, and his challenger, John Kerry, who promises his
support if elected and enjoys the majority of most American Jewish
Sharon is not visiting either candidates. If he meets with Bush, he will be accused of interfering in internal affairs, and if he meets with Kerry he will be labeled "thankless."
Cameron Kerry is therefore the most senior envoy of the Kerry camp that Sharon is likely to meet until the November elections.
"He [John Kerry] was here a number of times and he has strong links with Israel," Cameron Kerry told Haaretz Thursday.
"He is very clear in his statements: the security of Israel must come first, and Israel needs to be able to protect itself," Kerry says of his brother. "President Kerry will be a loyal friend to Israel," he promises.
Kerry passed on the same message to Sharon, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and opposition leader, MK Shimon Peres. But he is also meeting with individuals from different walks of life, including doctors, lawyers, immigrants, and rabbis. He walks a fine line with all, especially those representing official Israel.
The hosts are wary not to be too supportive and the guest is cautious lest he supports too little.
"There is no Palestinian partner at this time," he says. "It is not the place of the U.S. to pressure Israel to reach an agreement with the Palestinians," he added.
"The separation fence is essential for the security of Israel," as the current Kerry family line goes. This has not always been so. In the past the Democratic candidate was critical of "provocative actions," by which he meant the construction of the fence.
"John raised questions about the route of the fence," Kerry explained. He also said the route issue is, in any case, being handled and that he has full confidence in the Israeli court's ruling.
Kerry also promises that "the Kerry administration's policy toward Israel will be such that it will enjoy the support of the Republicans and the Democrats."