Israel should go hand in hand with the Americans in matters pertaining
to Iran, President Shimon Peres said in Beersheba on Tuesday. Peres was speaking
at the fifth Negev Conference held under the auspices of Vice Premier and
Minister for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee Silvan Shalom who was
raised in the region.
The US is working towards intensification of
sanctions and the exertion of more pressure on Iran, Peres noted, adding that
there was no doubt that the preferred solution to the prevention of a nuclear
Iran was one in which bloodshed could be avoided.
Peres underscored that
Iran is not just an Israeli or American problem, or one that occupies the
attention of the major powers. It is a problem that affects the entire world he
said, because Iran poses a danger to the whole world. It funds and arms global
terror, and sends its envoys throughout the world to foment terror, Peres
With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Peres
reiterated his frequently expressed conviction that the gaps between the two
sides are much smaller than is generally realized and that they can easily be
Peres also expressed concern at the wave of violence that has
begun to engulf the nation. He is shocked whenever he watches the television
news or reads a newspaper, he said. He also urged all sectors of society to unite in
the effort to preserve the rule of law.
As for the Negev, Peres as a
disciple of Ben Gurion's, is interested in seeing it bloom but not just in terms
of demography. It is essential to build up the Negev so that it would be more
attractive to young people he said. He suggested that this could be done by
increasing the number of army bases, providing quality education at all levels
from kindergarten through university, and investing more in infrastructure and
The important thing, he emphasized, was
to continue to expand on Ben Gurion's vision.