Kissinger: Iran Moment of Truth Is Months Away

By JTA

Published June 19, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Henry Kissinger, upon receiving Israel’s presidential award from Israeli President Shimon Peres, said the moment of truth on the Iran question will be in the months ahead.

“The question is at what point one concludes that negotiations have reached their limit? It is not a question that should be answered unilaterally,” the former U.S. secretary of state said Tuesday night in a speech at the opening gala of the 2012 President’s Conference in Jerusalem.

“The fact is that the members of the Security Council have stated for 10 years that a military nuclear program in Iran is unacceptable. They owe themselves the need for diplomacy, but also a point will be reached at which they will have to define what they mean by unacceptable and how that should be implemented. And that is a moment that will be approached in the months ahead, and it is something that we should all do together.”

Kissinger had come to Jerusalem to receive Israel’s presidential medal from Peres, who was fresh from receiving his own U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom several days ago from President Obama. Peres said it was clear from his recent meeting with Obama that the U.S. leader indeed considers “all options are on the table” with regard to Iran.

At Tuesday’s ceremony, Peres called Kissinger a “brother,” hailing “the tremendous effort you made to help us on every occasion as a great statesman and as a great Jew.”

The award comes less than two years after declassified Nixon tapes revealed that Kissinger had told President Nixon in 1973 that it would not be a U.S. concern if the Soviets were to consign Jews to death camps.

“It is unusual for an 89-year-old man to say that I wish my parents could be here,” Kissinger said upon receiving the medal. “They would be more proud of this distinction than any of the other honors that have come my way.”

In his speech, Kissinger also said the Arabs need to offer some concessions when it comes to peace with Israel.

“Everybody knows the sacrifices that Israel has made and is prepared to make for peace, but the other side has to give some content toward what a peaceful world would look like,” he said. “There has to be a quid pro quo on the other side. It is a peculiarity of the Arab-Israeli negotiations that one side considers recognition of the other state as sufficient for recognition of peace. But recognition of a state is the beginning of peace, it is not the end of peace.”

More than 4,000 people have turned out for this year’s President’s Conference, now in its fourth year, including leading politicians, businesspeople, entrepreneurs and civil society activists from Israel and throughout the world. Among the speakers on the first day of the conference, called “Facing Tomorrow,” were Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, and Tony Blair, the former British prime minister and current envoy of the Quartet grouping of Middle East peacemakers.


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!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • 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.