Reacting to the ongoing massacres taking place in Syria over the past year, President Shimon Peres said that embattled President Bashar Assad did not inherit his father’s wisdom but did inherit his father’s evil and penchant for wholesale slaughter.

Peres, who traveled to Nahariya to address the conference for the development of the Galilee, devoted much of his talk to Syrian violence and the potential for a popular overturning of the regime.

The president said that in recent months it had become increasingly important to focus not only on Tehran but on what is happening in Syria, where day after day Assad’s forces kill men, women and children.

There is a decisive battle going on in Syria, the outcome of which will determine the future of the region, Peres said. Then striking a more optimistic note, the president said that he doubted whether Assad had much of a future in the final analysis.

“He’s bound to fall,” Peres predicted. “Assad is a cold blooded leader who inherited his father’s evil and desire to kill, but not his wisdom.”

Peres was convinced that the Syrian people will not allow this cruel tyrant to remain in power. “Because today the people of Syria are much more aware of what he is,” he said.

Click for full JPost coverage

Peres, who has subtly urged the population of Iran to take to the streets and topple the country’s regime, sent a similarly subtle message to the Syrians when he said that the Syrian people have the ability to rise up against the oppressive government.

Israel identifies with the victims and with the Syrian people fighting for freedom and equality, declared Peres, also noting the Arab League’s unprecedented action in requesting UN assistance in settling the crisis in the most humanitarian way possible.

Peres said that Assad is threatened not only by opposing forces but also by the state of Syria’s faltering economy. His financial reservoirs are fast diminishing, he said. Though the president did not say exactly what Israel should do in the face of Syrian realities, he said it should act thoughtfully, but quickly, because Syria is part of the terror coalition of Iran.

In light of the rapid changes and uncertainty in the region, Peres stressed the urgency of strengthening and developing the Galilee.

Security concerns aside, he said the Galilee deserved greater development and investment with a sophisticated high-tech park that would provide training and employment for the demographic mosaic of the Galilee – Jews and Arabs alike.

There are many areas that still have to be significantly upgraded, said Peres, citing as examples housing, education, culture and leisure.

The president underscored that the Galilee must be part of this era’s scientific development.

“Today we have to attract scientists to the Galilee, not just tourists,” he said.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger