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February 5, 2013 11:51 am

Peres in Knesset Opening Speech: Israel’s Enemies Should Not be “Mistaken About Our Abilities Both Overt and Covert”

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Screen shot of Shimon Peres during opening of the 19th Knesset. Photo: Knesset Channel

Israeli President Shimon Peres opened the 19th Knesset today with a warning: “I recommend to our enemies not to be mistaken about our abilities both overt and covert.”

Peres addressed many issues concerning the Jewish state, both domestic and foreign. Iran and Syria were front and center, however. “From Iran the threat is growing. It threatens our existence and the independence of Arab states. At its head stand a group of Ayatollahs. They have become a brutal dictatorship which casts a stain on Persian history and is a nightmare for its people,” Peres said.

“The United States can put an end to the Iranian threat and I believe that the President of the United States is determined to do it,” he added.

Peres voiced his support for uprisings in surrounding countries. “Around us there is a storm. In the Arab World a young generation has risen who has had enough of being subjugated and they have rebelled. They have yet to achieve their aims. We wish them success.”

Peres was equally unequivocal in his statements on Syria. “Syria is a tragedy. The president of Syria is butchering his own people. The United Nations must, in my opinion, give the Arab League the mandate to immediately form a transition government in Syria and to save Syria from self-destruction. Assad who has murdered so many, has also murdered Syria’s future.”

Peres noted that Israel will  “not allow racism in our country” and concluded his speech by saying, “The smallness of our territory requires a greatness of minds. An Israel built on values. That will be just for all citizens. A State that will be daunting to our enemies. A country that contributes to the world. Our foundation is the Ten Commandments. Our vision is the edge of science. Carry with you a vision of a better world, for each of us individually and collectively.”

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