Israeli President Shimon Peres addressed the European Parliament Tuesday, telling the governing body that Europe “divorced its past, it created a new Europe. You converted the divided Europe of the last thousand years, to the united Europe of today,” and praised the continent because “the Europe of the Shoah is becoming a Europe supporting our renaissance.”In addition he called on the governing body to confront Iran and label Hezbollah a terrorist organization, saying “We Appeal to You – Call Terror – Terror.”
Peres became the the first Israeli president to address the current arrangement of the EU. During the speech he lauded Israel’s success at building an affluent, functioning society out of the desert, saying, “The only natural resource we discovered is the human potential,” adding that “Israel is an example where the people enriched the land more than the land enriched the people.”
Peres addressed the peace process, offering that once a new government is formed talks with the Palestinians will resume. “Peace for Israel is not just a strategic choice. It is a moral call which stems from the depth of our heritage,” he said, touting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the process, saying of him: “He condemns terror and is a real partner for peace.”
The president thanked Europe for being “a major partner for peace and against terror,” and urged it to confront Iran.”The greatest danger to peace in the world is the present Iranian Regime. It became a dictatorship cloaked in a religious mantle,” he said, adding that “They are aiming to build a nuclear weapon and they deny it. A nuclear bomb in the hands of an irresponsible regime is an imminent danger to the world.”
Peres also warned that the world must not become complacent, that Iran says one thing and does another “Khamenei declared that religion prohibits the production and use of nuclear arms. Why then does he build missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads?”
But he also urged the EU to confront the country because of its human rights record. “A clear voice must be raised against the violation of human rights by the Iranian regime.
“A clear voice must be raised against a regime that hangs people without bringing them to court, that throws journalists into prison without trial.”
Finally Peres touched on the major issues concerning Israel to the north: Hezbollah and Syria. “Hezbollah, supported by Iran, is destroying Lebanon,” he told the audience. “Hezbollah is a terror organization. Not a political movement.
“Hezbollah is a state within a state. A private army apart from the national army. It sends soldiers to support the massacre of a bloody dictator in Syria. With no authorization of the government of which it is a member.”
The EU has set on its agenda the deliberation of Hezbollah’s status as a political organization. Thus far only the Netherlands has labeled it a terrorist group, with the UK distinguishing between its political and military wing, the latter of which it too has designated a terrror organization.
“Save Lebanon from terrorist madness,” he told Parliament.”The international community must designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.”
Peres concluded his speech with the issue of Syria and its civil war, a war that has left tens of thousands dead. He offered up an interim plan that could bring stability to the country. “The Arab League can and should form a provisional government in Syria to stop the massacre, to prevent Syria from falling to pieces. The United Nations should support an Arab force in blue helmets,” he said before concluding “As I look upon the future of the friendship which ties Israel to the European Union, I am filled with hope and determination. Hand in hand, we shall build a brighter tomorrow for tomorrow’s generation.”