US Secretary of State John Kerry called for the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on Thursday, arguing that the talks were vital in the fight against Islamic extremism.
Speaking at a State Department ceremony marking the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, Kerry said that “it is imperative that we find a way to get back to the negotiations.”
Kerry, who just returned from Egypt where he attended an international conference that raised billions of dollars towards the reconstruction of Gaza, called for both sides to return to the negotiating table.
Kerry added that the ultimate goal of peace talks is “to find a way to create two states that can live together side by side, two peoples, with both of their aspirations being respected.”
“I still believe that’s possible, and I still believe we need to work towards it.”
The secretary insisted that the lack of a “two-state solution” has fueled the rise of the radical Islamist group Islamic State (ISIS).
“There wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation,” Kerry said.
The secretary further implied that Israel was responsible to humiliating the Palestinians by denying them a state.
“People need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial of absence of dignity,” he added.
Kerry was the architect behind the resumption of peace talks between July 2013 and April. Ultimately, peace talks collapsed after the Palestinian Authority violated the Oslo Accords by appealing to the international community for statehood and forging a unity government with the Hamas terror group.