Remarks With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Before Meeting

Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Jerusalem
November 24, 2015


PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Good morning, John. I’d like to welcome you again to Jerusalem. You are a friend in our common effort to restore stability, security, and peace. There can be no peace when we have an onslaught of terror – not here, not anywhere else in the world, which is experiencing this same assault by militant Islamists and the forces of terror. Israel is fighting these forces every hour. We’re fighting them directly against the terrorists themselves. We’re fighting also against the sources of incitement. And we believe that the entire international community should support this effort. It’s not only our battle; it’s everyone’s battle. It’s the battle of civilization against barbarism. Welcome, John.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Mr. Prime Minister, Bibi, thank you for welcoming me here. And for me, I am pleased to be back in Jerusalem, pleased to be back in Israel, though I come at a time that, as the prime minister has just said, is very troubling. Clearly, no people anywhere should live with daily violence, with attacks in the streets, with knives or scissors or cars.

And it is very clear to us that the terrorism – these acts of terrorism which have been taking place – have deserved the condemnation that they are receiving. And today, I expressed my complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives and disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation. Israel has every right in the world to defend itself and it has an obligation to defend itself, and it will and it is.

Our thoughts and prayers are with innocent people who have been hurt in this process. I know that yesterday, a soldier was killed in the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, and those who were wounded, their families. Regrettably, several Americans have also been killed in the course of these past weeks. And just yesterday, I talked to the family of Ezra Schwartz from Massachusetts, a young man who came here out of high school ready to go to college, excited about his future. And yesterday, his family was sitting at Shiva and I talked to them and heard their feelings, the feelings of any parent who lost their child.

So I’m here today to talk with the prime minister about the ways that we can work together – all of us in the international community – to push back against terrorism, to push back against senseless violence, and to find a way forward to restore calm and to begin to provide the opportunities that most reasonable people in every part of the world are seeking for themselves and for their families.

We have much to talk about. There’s a lot happening in the region as well as those events that are happening here in Israel, and we are deeply concerned about Syria, about Daesh, about regional unrest. We all have an interest, needless to say, in working together against this spasm of violence that is interrupting too much of the daily life of too many nations.

So, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your welcome. I’m pleased to be back here to continue to work with you on these issues, and I thank you for your always generous welcome.