Shimon Peres 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The Iranian leadership represents the world's worst case of moral corruption today, President Shimon Peres said at the start of the World Jewish Congress's Board of Governors in Jerusalem on Sunday.
The president told 250 Jewish delegates from 45 countries that past occasions when the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was allowed to visit the United Nations in New York and was welcomed by its General Assembly were a disgrace.
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"For me it's a shame, for me it's a failure," the 87-year-old statesman said. "On many occasions dictators were anti-Jewish. We were their opposite number." Speaking at a gathering which marked the 75th anniversary of the Jewish organization, the president said the Jewish world was undergoing change and needed redefining. He thanked attendants for their contribution to Israel and prayed that peace in the Middle East was imminent.
Earlier in the evening Peres was introduced to the executive by WCJ President Ronald Lauder after almost an hour's wait. In his speech, Lauder spoke about the challenges he believed Israel is facing over the coming months.
"Most important is what is going to happen when they vote in September for a two-state solution but for recognition of a Palestinian State," Lauder said.
"It may be difficult for Israel but the key to Israel is the indomitable spirit of the country and its will to succeed and for us looking from the Diaspora we can only look with amazement." During the event, the Jewish organization awarded its 2011 Herzl award to tycoon Nochi Dankner for his activism and philanthropy.
Danker, who recently added Ma'ariv
to the long list of companies in his possessions, took the opportunity to thank the WCJ, its president Lauder, President Peres and his own family.
"Frankly, no achievement in the business world compares to the tremendous sense of satisfaction and pride I feel when we mobilize to help the settlements of the Negev and the Galilee," he said.