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Goal should be to defeat ISIS not contain it, says Clinton

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016,10:01 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | Asserting that the goal should be to defeat Islamic State and not contain it, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton today said the US and Israel need to stand together against the dreaded terror group and other radical jihadists.

The United States and Israel also have to stand together against the threat from ISIS and other radical jihadists, Clinton said in her address to policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an annual mega show of the powerful Israeli-American community. Her remarks came amid an ISIS affiliate’s stepping up of attempts to make inroads in Gaza and partner with Hamas.

On Saturday, a number of Israelis and other foreigners were injured and killed in a bombing in Istanbul that may well be linked to ISIS. Two of the dead are US-Israeli dual nationals, she said. This is a threat that knows no borders. That’s why I have laid out a plan to take the fight to ISIS from the air, on the ground with local forces and online where they recruit and inspire.

Our goal cannot be to contain ISIS, we must defeat ISIS, the 68-year-old former Secretary of State said. Will we keep working toward a negotiated peace or lose forever the goal of two states for two peoples? Despite many setbacks, I remain convinced that peace with security is possible and that it is the only way to guarantee Israel’s long-term survival as a strong Jewish and democratic state, she said amidst applause from the audience.

Clinton said it may be difficult to imagine progress in this current climate when many Israelis doubt that a willing and capable partner for peace even exists. But inaction cannot be an option, she insisted. Israelis deserve a secure homeland for the Jewish people. Palestinians should be able to govern themselves in their own state, in peace and dignity.

Only a negotiated two-state agreement can survive those outcomes, she said. In her speech, Clinton came out in support of the nuclear deal with Iran. Today Iran’s enriched uranium is all but gone, thousands of centrifuges have stopped spinning, Iran’s potential breakout time has increased and new verification measures are in place to help us deter and detect any cheating.

I really believe the United States, Israel and the world are safer as a result, she said. But it’s not good enough to trust and verify. Our approach must be distrust and verify, Clinton said. This deal must come with vigorous enforcement, strong monitoring, clear consequences for any violations and a broader strategy to confront Iran’s aggression across the region, she said.