At the annual Rosh Hashana reception that he hosted on Monday for the foreign
diplomatic corps, President Shimon Peres on Monday once again called on
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to quickly and quietly resume peace
Quartet plan creates new chance to resume talks PM:
We may not have enough voices in the UNSC to stop vote
“Let’s not waste time,” he urged.
Israel’s acceptance of a two-state solution, Peres said that what is necessary
is maintaining security for Israel while creating an independent state for the
“The United Nations is in no position to provide security
for Israel,” he said, citing the ability of Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad to use the UN as a platform for spewing vitriol against Israel and
the Jewish people.
“To see Ahmadinejad on the stage of the UN is
revolting” declared Peres, who noted that Ahmadinejad continues to deny the
Holocaust and to call for the destruction of Israel, thereby acting in
contradiction to the spirit of the UN.
He also continues to supply
weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah, said Peres.
Returning to the Palestinian
request for recognition of statehood, Peres said that the request is being dealt
with according to UN procedure, but that the problem has not been solved,
although an opening has been provided by the Quartet – namely the opening of
discussions within the next month.
"An opening is too high a priority,”
said Peres. “The problem is how to conclude the negotiations.”
emphasized several times during his address that negotiations should start
openly, but quietly.
When the Oslo accords were being negotiated, he
recalled, they went on for four months without anyone other the negotiators
being aware. Had the negotiations been made public right from the start, he
surmised, “We would not have achieved an agreement.”
former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat came to Jerusalem, thenforeign minister
Moshe Dayan held secret meetings in Morocco with then-Egyptian deputy prime
minister Hassan Tohami.
It was only after they had reached agreement that
Sadat came to Jerusalem and created an atmosphere for change, said
Peace talks with Jordan were also secret with Peres and thenprime
minister Yitzhak Rabin meeting at night with King Hussein on the shores of the
There have been many starts with the Palestinians, said Peres,
but the situation is more complicated than it was with Egypt and Jordan, because
the Palestinians never had a definite state with defined borders, in addition to
which there are divisions among the Palestinians themselves.
have a twoheaded camp.”
Peres made it clear that all the ambassadors have
an important role to play in the peace process, in trying to get Israel’s
message across to Arab countries with which their own countries have diplomatic
"The problem is not who is right and who is wrong,” said Peres,
“but what is right and what is wrong.”
What is wrong in his eyes is the
hunger and starvation that prevails in so many countries of the region. Israel –
without territory, natural resources, water, and living in uneasy surroundings –
has managed to create sufficiently high quality agricultural produce that
enables it to engage in export to Russia, England and Holland, among other
countries. It is willing to share its technological know-how with its neighbors,
said Peres, who stated that he could not remain indifferent to the suffering of
starving women and children.
“Let’s create the infrastructure to overcome
it,” he pleaded, calling yet again on Israel’s Palestinian neighbors to join in
a peace effort not only for their own sake, but for that of the
The diplomatic community turned out in force with the notable
absence of the Egyptian ambassador and the Jordanian chargé
For Japanese Ambassador Haruhisa Takeuchi, this was his last
formality as ambassador before completing his tour of duty and returning to
Japan today. It not only gave him the opportunity to say a final farewell to his
colleagues and to senior members of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, but also to
personally take his leave of President Peres.
Also present were dean of
the Diplomatic Corps, Cameroon’s Ambassador Henri Etoundi Essomba, who reviewed
events of the region during the past Jewish calendar year, and seven of eight
ambassadors-designate, five of whom will present their credentials next
The eight new ambassadors come from Finland, Nigeria, the
Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, China, Korea and Myamar.
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