What the Massachusetts Senate Race Means for Israel

February 5, 2013 10:16 am 0 comments

U.S. Reps. Ed Markey (left) and Stephen Lynch, who are running for Secretary of State Jon Kerry's vacated Senate seat in Massachusetts. Photo: U.S. House of Representatives.

The race is heating up to fill the now-empty seat U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who was confirmed as Secretary of State, once held. But what does the election in the Bay State mean for the Jewish state?

William Cowan, appointed by Governor Deval Patrick Jan. 30, will serve as an interim senator for Massachusetts until a June 2014 special election—and the winner will need to run again in November 2014 for the right to serve a full term. U.S. Reps. Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch have both announced their plans to run in the Democratic special election primary. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and State Treasurer Steve Grossman formally endorsed Markey—who entered the race in December—on Jan. 24, following the endorsements of others in Markey’s Malden-based district in Massachusetts. Lynch announced his plans to run on Jan. 31.

Meanwhile, former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, who was expected to run on the Republican side, announced Feb. 1 that he would not enter the race.

When it comes to putting pen to paper, where have Kerry’s potential replacements stood on foreign policy matters pertaining to Israel and the Middle East? Below is glance at some of their sponsored bills and endorsed letters. The offices of Markey and Lynch did not immediately return requests for comment from JNS.org.

DECEMBER 2012

Letter: Urging President Barack Obama to send a clear message to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that an upgraded status at the United Nations will set back U.S.-Palestinian relations

Number of signatories: 240

Markey: Signed

Lynch: Did not sign

SEPTEMBER 2012

Letter: Waxman-Royce letter on designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization

Number of signatories: 255

Markey: Signed

Lynch: Did not sign

MAY 2012

Bill: House of Representatives overwhelmingly passes H.R. 4133, reaffirming U.S. policy commitments to Israel and calling for enhanced security cooperation between the two allies

Number of signatories: 411

Markey: Signed

Lynch: Signed

MARCH 2011

Letter: Stating support for the Administration’s continued efforts to maintain foreign aid to Israel and the Palestinian Authority

Number of signatories: 116

Markey: Signed

Lynch: Signed

MARCH 2011

Letter: To Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging all branches of the U.S. government to underline to prospective Egyptian leaders and opposition figures the importance of Egypt’s international obligations, specifically its peace treaty with Israel

Number of signatories: 326

Markey: Signed

Lynch: Signed

JUNE 2010

Letter: To President Obama affirming Israel’s right to self defense in the wake of the Gaza Flotilla incident

Number of signatories: 338

Markey: Signed

Lynch: Did not sign

MAY 2009

Letter: To President Obama calling for continued foreign aid to support Israel and efforts to work to Arab-Israeli peace

Number of signatories: 329

Markey: Signed

Lynch: Did not sign

OCTOBER 2007

Letter: Schumer-Graham letter on Arab support for peace

Number of signatories: 79

Markey: Did not sign

Lynch: Did not sign

SEPTEMBER 2007

Bill: Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act of 2007

Number of signatories: *Conflicting numbers between JVL and Open Congress

Markey: Signed

Lynch: Signed

AUGUST 2005

Letter: Expressing concern about the anti-Semitic remarks of Special Rapporteur Jean Ziegler and other forms of anti-Semitism at the UN

Number of signatories: 70

Markey: Did not sign

Lynch: Did not sign

MAY 2002

Letter: Congress expresses solidarity with Israel

Number of signatories: 352

Markey: Signed

Lynch: Signed

Letters and signatories obtained from the archives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Jewish Virtual Library

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