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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.