Politics & Policy

John Kerry Blames Recent Murders of Israelis on Jewish Settlements

'There’s been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years'

Secretary of State John Kerry says creating a Palestinian state would resolve the rash of murders of and attacks on Israeli citizens in Jerusalem. Appearing at a forum yesterday at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Kerry addressed the recent stabbings and other attacks, suggesting they’re attributable to Israeli settlement activity:

So here’s the deal. What’s happening is that unless we get going, a two-state solution could conceivably be stolen from everybody. And there’s been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years. Now you have this violence because there’s a frustration that is growing, and a frustration among Israelis who don’t see any movement. So I look at that and I say if that did explode — and I pray and hope it won’t and I think there are options to prevent that — but we would inevitably be – at some point we’re going to have to be engaged in working through those kinds of difficulties. So better to try to find the ways to deal with it before that happens than later.

And I think you know what always perplexes me is, I mean, we’ve been through Oslo, Wye Plantation, Madrid, countless negotiations. Most people I talk to have a pretty damn good sense of exactly what has to be done and where it goes. It’s a question of making the judgments and having courage to go there. And so we’re not finished. We have another 16 months in this administration, and I can assure you we’re going to stay engaged and continue to try to work through these issues, because there are options and there’s a better other side of the current conflict that we’re witnessing.

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