(JTA) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called a two-state solution “the only viable alternative” for Israelis and Palestinians.
“The current situation is simply not sustainable,” Kerry said in an address Wednesday at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
“A two-state solution with strong security protections remains the only viable alternative,” Kerry asserted. “And for anybody who thinks otherwise you can measure what unitary looks like by just looking at what’s been going on in the last few weeks.”
Kerry noted that the United States has established an “unprecedented level of co-operation” with Israel on military and intelligence issues. He added that the United States continues to “support Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizens and we do that in many ways.”
He said the United States remains “absolutely prepared to do what we can to make that two-state, two peoples living side-by-side in peace and security, to make it possible” and called for “firm and creative leadership on both sides.”
“I can’t imagine the notion of just throwing up your hands and walking away and just saying good luck,” he said.
Kerry said at the outset of his speech that the U.S. is “more deeply engaged today” in more places, and “with more impact,” than ever before in its history.
He also spoke about the fight against the Islamic state and ending the civil war in Syria.
He concluded: “The Middle East today is still marred by the sounds and spectacle of violence, but it need not be, because the region is also pulsating with life. It is the home of populations that are youthful, energetic, forward looking. It is in them that we place our faith, it is for them that we dedicate our collective efforts and it is with them that the U.S. is determined to turn back the destroyers and build a future characterized by prosperity, peace, and by dignity for all people.”