Israel has both a right and an obligation to defend itself against acts of terrorism, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday morning at a start of his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Clearly no people anywhere should live with daily violence, with attacks in the streets, knives, or scissors, or cars,” he said shortly upon arriving in Israel for a day of talks that will also take him to Ramallah and a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“It is very clear to us that the these acts of terrorism that have been taking place deserve the condemnation they are receiving. Today I express my complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives, disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation,” he said.
Kerry, at a joint photo opportunity with Netanyahu in the Prime Minister's Office, said that he wanted to talk to Netanyahu about ways the international community can “push back” against the terrorism.
Kerry indicated that the meeting with Netanyahu will also focus on other issues in the region, such as Syria and Islamic State.
“We all have an interest needless to say in working against this spasm of violence that is interrupting the daily life of too many nations,” he said.
Kerry mentioned the “several Americans” who have been killed in the recent wave of terror and Israel, noting that he spoke on Monday with the parents of Ezra Schwartz, the Massachusetts youth murdered last week in Gush Etzion.
Netanyahu, who greeted Kerry by calling him a “friend in our common effort to restore stability, security and peace,” said there could be no peace when there is an onslaught of terrorism.
Netanyahu said that the international community should support Israel's fight against terrorism, since the rest of the world is “experience this same assault by militant Islamists and the forces of terror.”
“It is not only our battle, it is everyone's battle. It it is the battle of civilization against barbarism,” he said.