Peres to US Delegation: We Must Make Peace Wherever We Can
Israeli President Shimon Peres hosted a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at his residence in Jerusalem on Monday. During the meeting Peres addressed several issues of mutual interest such as Iran and peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
On the issue of Iran President Peres continued to express his confidence in U.S. President Barack Obama. “President Obama is serious that the United States has to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, not just because of Israel but for the safety and security of our time,” he told the delegation.
Peres addressed the current turmoil sweeping across the region, noting that Israel is affected by any disquiet. “The situation around us has become more complicated than ever before. Not because of us, the revolt in Tunisia is nothing to do with Israel. The events in Syria have nothing to do with Israel, even the changes in Egypt have nothing to do with Israel but it all affects Israel.”
But the president reiterated that more basic issues are the real underlying concern in the region. “The real problems in the Middle East are starvation, unemployment and lack of dignity. We have to defend our island under those circumstances and to see if we can be of any help to calm the sea. We are interested in seeing the Arab world in a better situation, finding answers to poverty and discrimination,” he said.
President Peres discussed possibilities for progress in peace talks and said, “We must really try to make peace wherever we can and immediately, I believe we can move forward with the Palestinians because none of us would like to be victims of the terror organizations, Hamas and Hezbollah, or Iran. Each of us would like to live in peace.”
The former chairperson of the Conference of Presidents, Mort Zuckerman, greeted President Peres on behalf of the delegation and said, “This conference has been coming to Israel for 39 years and he has been here in one capacity or another for all those years. Shimon Peres is a wonderful symbol for all we think of when we think of Israel and the Jewish people.”