Peres on Israel’s Security: “I Wouldn’t Even Say That We Know Who Our Enemies Are”
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, met Sunday morning with a bipartisan delegation of senators and congressmen at his residence in Jerusalem. Addressing changes in the region, Peres was forthright in his analysis of their effect on Israel’s security, telling the delegation,” I wouldn’t even say that we know who our enemies are because we don’t know who runs the countries.”
Peres told the delegation that one concern he didn’t have about Israel’s security was U.S. President Barack Obama’s commitment to it. “We’re very excited to see the President of the United States coming to visit the State of Israel. On the major issue of Israel’s security President Obama has shown both deep understanding and forthcoming support,” he said.
The delegation was led by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), who serves as co-chair of the Helsinki Commission, a human rights committee established in 1976. Many members of the delegation are also members of the commission, and President Peres used the opportunity to address severe human rights violations in Iran. “We talk so much about the Iranian bomb but we must not forget that Iran is the greatest danger to human rights in Iran and outside of it. They exports weapons, terrorists and money to whoever is ready to kill. They hang people for being homosexual, they hang people without trial, they imprison them and they shoot at demonstrators. The point of Helsinki, of human rights, should not be secondary to the other issues we are facing with the Iranians,” he said.
Peres concluded his public remarks to the delegation by updating them on the status of the government’s commitment to the peace process.”The Prime Minister repeated his commitment to the two state solution. There is no other solution if you want peace but to enable the Palestinians to have a demilitarized state of their own. The only alternative to the two state solution is a binational country which means an ongoing quarrel, ongoing hatred and an ongoing conflict which is bad for them and for us, for their children and for our children. We are building a government not only to govern but also to have the right vision.”