Peres to Aipac: Peace is Netanyahu's Priority

By Haaretz Service

Published May 04, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

In an address to the pro-Israel lobby Aipac in Washington, President Shimon Peres said on Monday that the current Israeli government seeks peace and will honor Jerusalem’s previous commitments as they relate to the peace process with the Palestinians.

“Benjamin Netanyahu was at one time my political opponent,” Peres told the annual Aipac conference. “Today, he is my prime minister. He knows history and wants to make history. In our tradition, making history is making peace, and I am sure that peace is his priority.”

The president praised Barack Obama as a man capable of bringing peace to the region. “I am convinced [Obama] has the capacity to turn the crises into opportunity,” Peres said. “May I say to president Obama — you are young enough to offer hope to the world and great enough to bring it to life.”

Peres also expressed satisfaction at the “u-turn” in the attitudes of Arab states toward peace with Israel as reflected in the Saudi initiative, though he did qualify his comments by saying: “Israel wasn’t a partner to the wording of this initiative. Therefore it doesn’t have to agree to every word.”

“Nevertheless, Israel respects the profound change, and hopes it will be translated into action,” Peres added. “I trust that the leadership of President Obama will pave the way to both to a regional agreement and meaningful bilateral negotiations.”

“Israel stands with her arms outstretched, and her hands held open to peace with all nations, with all Arab states, with all Arab people.” the president declared.

“To those still holding a clenched fist I have just one word to say: Enough. Enough war. Enough destruction. Enough hatred. Now is the time for change,” said Peres. Israel is prepared today to bring peace closer. Today.”

The president also lashed out at the Iranian regime for casting a “shadow of a nuclear threat” over the entire Middle East.

“Let me be clear: The fanatic rulers of Iran are on the wrong side of history,” Peres said. “Actually, they are outside of history.”

“We have respect for the Iranian people and its tradition. Historically, Iran sought to enrich mankind. Today, alas, Iran’s rulers enrich uranium.”

“The aggressiveness of the Iranian government is not limited to Israel. Indeed, they seek regional hegemony and want to control Arab states using terror and coercion.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.