Editor's notes: We ask, Peres answers...

By
October 17, 2013 20:45

The president will field questions at next week’s second Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Herzliya.

2 minute read.



President Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres portrait 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

You may have heard that President Shimon Peres, at the ripe young age of 90, this week launched a social media project called “You Ask, President Peres Answers.”

He is appealing to people across the globe to pose questions, with the promise that the best ones will be “personally answered by President Peres in writing and through video messages.”

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“The new application creates a direct link between President Peres and people all over the world who are interested in the State of Israel,” the President’s Office said in a statement.

It is a clever innovation by Israel’s elder statesman, who understands the importance of the media in general and of social media in particular. You may recall that Peres launched his Facebook page – which currently has more than 180,000 Likes – in Silicon Valley in March 2012 from the personal computer of none other than Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Since then, the president and his staff have maintained an active online presence through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube in a project dubbed “Peres 360,” aiming to create transparency and accessibility to the president through social media.

Our internationally respected president will be the keynote speaker at the second Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Herzliya on October 24. And, in a rare gesture, he has agreed to a sit-down, question-andanswer session with me at the start of the conference, in front of more than 300 diplomats, journalists and special guests.

I will, inter alia, ask the president about his views on the progress (or lack thereof) in peace talks with the Palestinians, the international community’s failure so far to stop both Iran’s nuclear program and the civil war in Syria, as well as troubling developments in Egypt, Gaza and Lebanon. Did Peres’s famous projection of “a new Middle East” backfire? Does he still harbor hope for regional peace, or has the socalled Arab Spring turned this dream into a winter nightmare? Is Peres – who is known as an eternal optimist – still upbeat about the future? The session, which is certain to create news, will be livestreamed on our website, JPost.com, from about 9 a.m. (Israel time) next Thursday.

Following my interview with Peres, we promise a full and fascinating morning program for our invited guests, viewers of JPost.com, and readers of The Jerusalem Post across the world.

The sterling lineup of speakers includes:
• Finance Minister Yair Lapid, the charismatic politician whose party (Yesh Atid) holds a whopping 19 seats in the 19th Knesset;
• Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua), who is also Israel’s chief negotiator with the Palestinians;
• Caroline B. Glick, The Jerusalem Post’s senior contributing editor, as well as its most popular columnist and speaker;
• Matthew Gould, the first Jew to serve as British ambassador to Israel and a diplomat who has endeared himself to the Israeli people;
• Roger Cukierman, the powerful president of the Representative Body of Jewish Institutions in France, better known as CRIF; and
• Maj.-Gen. Noam Tibon, the capable commander of the IDF’s Northern Corps.

Do you have something really interesting and important that you would like me to ask President Peres? Email me or write your questions in the comments section on JPost.com. Then keep your ears and eyes open next Thursday: I just might pitch your question to the president!

steve@jpost.com


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