The comments came in an interview with the New Yorker published on Monday, and which was conducted after Kerry’s recent meeting in Germany with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Kerry told the magazine that he believes that Israelis headed toward becoming a “unitary state that is an impossible entity to manage” and warned that such a reality would lead to Israel becoming like a “big fortress” and strengthen groups like Hezbollah.
He added that he is particularly concerned that the PA could collapse, causing its 30,000 security officers to scatter and leading to chaos and increasingly violent clashes with Israel.
“I understand the passions that are behind all of this – I get it,” Kerry told the New Yorker. “If it were easy, it would have been done a long time ago. I happen to believe there is a way forward. There’s a solution. It would be good for Israel; it’d be great for the Palestinians; it’d be great for the region. People would make so much money. There’d be so many jobs created. There could be peace. And you would be stronger for it. Because nobody that I know or have met in the West Bank is anxious to have jihadis come in.”
“The alternative,” he warned, “is you sit there and things just get worse. There will be more Hezbollah. There will be more rockets. And they’ll all be pointed in one direction. And there will be more people on the border. And what happens then? You’re going to be one big fortress? I mean, that’s not a way to live. It seems to me it is far more intelligent and far more strategic – which is an important word here -to have a theory of how you are going to preserve the Jewish state and be a democracy and a beacon to the world that everybody envisioned when Israel was created.”
Asked if he could imagine an end to the State of Israel, Kerry replied, “No, I don’t believe that’s going to happen. It’s just, What is it going to be like, is the question. Will it be a democracy? Will it be a Jewish state? Or will it be a unitary state with two systems, or some draconian treatment of Palestinians, because to let them vote would be to dilute the Jewish state? I don’t know. I have no answer to that. But the problem is, neither do they. Neither do the people who are supposed to be providing answers to this. It is not an answer to simply continue to build in the West Bank and to destroy the homes of the other folks you’re trying to make peace with and pretend that that’s a solution.”