Kerry Pushes Linkage: Failure of Israel to Make Peace Fuels Extremism Around the World

Kerry to AJC: World leaders bring up peace process 'everywhere I go'

• June 3, 2013 5:26 pm


Secretary of State John Kerry claimed Monday that Israel’s failure to foster peace with the Palestinians fuels extremism and terrorism across the world in his address before the American Jewish Committee's annual policy conference in Washington, D.C.

World leaders "literally" discuss the issue in every meeting Kerry has, he told a largely Jewish audience.

"Everywhere I go – literally – China, Japan, foreign ministers, presidents raise this issue," Kerry said. "Young people ask me about this conflict and what they can do to help end it."

"In the last couple of weeks I had visits here from the foreign minister of Brazil and the foreign minister of New Zealand and the first thing out of their mouth was how can we help on the Middle East peace process," Kerry continued. I asked them where is that coming from?"

"You’re over in New Zealand and this is the first thing on your mind?" Kerry recalled. "They said, ‘Yes, because it affects all of the recruitment and all of the arguments and radicalism that we face and they see the prospects and possibilities.’"

Kerry’s statement alludes to a long held misconception among liberal policymakers that the stagnant peace process is a principal motivation for terrorists and rogue states like Iran.

The Obama administration's commitment to Israel has been questioned since he first took office. Obama did not make his first presidential visit to the nation's chief Middle Eastern ally until March of this year.