John Kerry Meets With Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem as Stabbing Attacks on Israelis Continue

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Nov 24, 2015 9:10 AM
John Kerry Meets With Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem as Stabbing Attacks on Israelis Continue
Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Jerusalem and is meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today as terrorism stabbing attacks continue to roil the Jewish State.

"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," Kerry said to reporters prior to a closed door meeting with Netanyahu. "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," Kerry continued, adding the issue of ISIS will also be discussed during their meeting.

Kerry will also meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to the region.

According to The Media Line, Kerry arrived with an uncharacteristically pessimistic attitude. 

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been called many things during his missions to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but rarely “pessimistic.” So it came as an anomaly to see the SecState warn before his latest arrival to the region that “people aren’t in the mood for concessions,” presaging little expected success in lowering the level violence and the tension that has gripped Israeli and Palestinian societies. During the past two months, 23 Israelis were killed in seemingly random acts of terror carried out by Palestinians as young as 13 years of age. Most of the assailants were killed at the scene by police, soldiers or armed bystanders. Victims range in age from 13 to 80, underscoring to the public the reality that anyone and everyone is a target. Prior to his arrival in Israel on Tuesday, Kerry told reporters his reason for the trip was “to see if we can get some concrete steps in place – begin to build them, maybe – that could calm things down a little bit so people aren’t living in absolute, daily terror that they might be stabbed or driven into or shot trying to walk around their city.”

Earlier this month, the White House made the concession that a peace deal between the Israeli's and Palestinians is unlikely to happen during President Obama's final year in the Oval Office.