Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Full Transcript: Shimon Peres Remarks at the World Economic Forum in Jordan 2013

May 27, 2013 9:53 am 0 comments

Israeli President Shimon Peres. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Below is the full transcript of remarks by Israeli President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, delivered on May 26th 2013.

“Thank you, Your Majesty, for graciously hosting us under your roof. Your Majesty, thank you for inspiring the Middle East with responsibility and hope.

Ladies and gentleman, history is made of biographies of men and women who failed to forecast the future. We were born in the age of agriculture, and reborn in the age of science. This new age changed our agenda and our lives. Depending on land divided people.

Borders were marked and armies were built to defend them. The yields of the land hung on the travail of farmers, and the grace of heaven that blessed us with rain or punished us with drought. The yields were limited.

Science is borderless, and its achievements are limitless. Armies cannot control science. Police cannot arrest innovation. Globality and isolation do not go together. Modern agriculture is cultivated with computers, rather than with ploughs. Sciences enables us to make three drops of water from one drop.

Israel’s short of soil and rain, has created an agriculture based on hi-tech.

Israel is sharing its experience with many other countries and is willing to share it with its neighbors as well.

Israel is moved by developments, not just by events.

Looking at the developments in the Middle East today, it is blessed with a young generation, one of the youngest in the world. 99 million of its inhabitants are already online. The young generation uses modern tools to enter the new age. Friends, The Arab Spring voiced by so many youngsters may become an opportunity for jobs and progress.

The age of science calls for  economic cooperation,  educational exchanges, and scientific collaboration. It provides equal opportunities for young and old, and equal rights for women. Despite the many hurdles on the way to peace, we must never lose sight of the positive developments in our region.  Egypt and Israel made peace. Jordan and Israel made peace. These agreements stand the test of time. We extend our hand in peace to all countries in the Middle East.  There is no country, no religion which we consider as enemies.  The only enemies are the enemies to peace.

The Iranian people are not our enemies. It is the Iranian regime’s policy which is a threat to us all. Our region, and the whole world, cannot accept this brutal regime’s hegemonic ambitions. And the international community cannot tolerate brutal threatening weapons as a norm for the rest of the world.

Friends, We and our Palestinian neighbors must return to negotiations as soon as possible and bring peace. President Abbas, you are our partner and we are yours.  You share our hopes and efforts for peace, and we share yours.

We can and should make the breakthrough. We should not permit the hurdles to overcome us. History will judge us not by the process of negotiations but by its outcome. The today obstacles will pale in the light of peace. The “Arab Peace Initiative” is a meaningful change and a strategic opportunity.  It replaces the strategies of war with the wisdom of peace. We must depart from the skepticism that claims that war is inevitable.  War is not inevitable. Peace is inevitable.

We appreciate the presence of the American Secretary of State John Kerry at this gathering.  Secretary Kerry brings with him an impressive momentum and desire to contribute to the completion of the peace process. It will be matched with an imaginative economic plan.

President Obama, while visiting our region, offered a new opening for the peace prospect. Dear John, I know that all sides can count on your determination.  The peace process already has a beginning. We have agreed on a common ground to complete it. A two state solution. A Jewish state – Israel and an Arab state – Palestine.  Living side by side in peace, dignity and freedom.

Friends, We Israelis and Palestinians are aware that peace is first and foremost for us and depends upon us. I know from experience how difficult these decisions are to make, on both sides. But this is the time.  Our leaders must say yes to a future of peace.  Our leaders must overcome the difficulties and the dangers, and lead their peoples to a better tomorrow.

What holds back the renewal of the peace negotiation are some gaps in the bridge between the beginning and the conclusion. Knowing very well the nature of the missing link, I am convinced that this gap can be bridged. Ladies and Gentlemen,  There is still an open wound on the map and this is the terrible bloodshed in Syria. Secretary Kerry is currently trying to bring an end to this tragedy.  Israel is not intervening in the Syrian crisis.

We support the Secretary’s efforts to bring an end to the violence. We are silent, but not indifferent.  There is a need to lower the flames. Ladies and Gentleman, The potential in our region is remarkable. The attempts to release this potential are worthy and needed. We welcome the efforts of Breaking the Impasse initiative.

The fact that hundreds of business leaders from both sides are joining hands to promote the two state solution and to emphasize the urgency in reaching that solution is an important development. These people can attest to how valuable peace is for economic prospective. Peace should be made between people, not just between governments. Friends, I am here to express the hope and desire of the Israeli people to bring an end to the conflict and a beginning to a peaceful new age.

I hope that this forum will voice a timely call against skepticism.  I pray that it will allow for tomorrow’s horizon to shine bright.  A horizon that will illuminate the fruits of freedom, science and progress. Let us cast away the divides and suspicions of the past as a future of harmony awaits. We are still writing the biography of the unknown future.  My friends, it must be a future of peace.

Thank  you.”

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Opinion Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Late Friday night, on November 13, I was headed for bed when an ominous news bulletin flashed across my computer screen – something about a shooting in Paris. It wasn’t long before the “small number” of shootings and casualties began to double and triple and quadruple. The locations of attacks seemed crazily disorganized, and the tweets and videos became more and more horrifying. It was a long night for many stunned observers. We tried to understand what was happening, and […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Theater BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    In an interview with the Israeli site nrg on Wednesday, Belgian-Jewish stage actress Noemi Schlosser recounted immigrating to Israel after her career in Europe was destroyed by BDS. Schlosser said she had enjoyed success in Belgium and international acclaim until she was targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for her pro-Israel stance during Operation Protective Edge — last summer’s war against Hamas in Gaza. She described watching the theaters where she performed go from packed to nearly empty over a short period of […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    The manager of the Chelsea Football Club said on Monday that he is looking forward to playing in Israel this week against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in spite of the security situation, Israeli news site nrg reported. Jose Murinho, who is already in Israel with his team to compete against Maccabi in the Champions League soccer match, was  asked whether he was worried about the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping the country. “I have no worries at all regarding the security situation, and neither do […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth. “Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About

    With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About – The Mensch on a Bench is so much happier now than he was a year ago. Look carefully and you will notice that, whereas the previous Mensch had a decidedly worried look, this latest version of the popular Hanukkah toy is flashing an exuberant grin. Is the erstwhile Mensch smiling because he expects to be in some 100,000 homes by year’s end? In truth, the change in visage was suggested last year by the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Actor Adam Sandler unveiled a new version of his famous “Chanukah Song” on Saturday, adding a slew of Jewish celebrities to the ditty’s updated lyrics. The comedian — who released the original song about being Jewish during Christmas in 1996 — performed the latest version of the comedic track during the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and “the two guys who founded Google” are among the famous Jewish celebrities now in the line up. Sandler also included lyrics about Star Wars‘ Princess […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom – Famed Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will be among the 17 recipients of America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. He is the fourth Israeli to receive the highest civilian honor in the US. “A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18,” a White House […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots

    Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots – While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land. Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers. Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should […]

    Read more →