Clinton: No perfect solution to the conflict

Peres honors former US president with highest civilian honor as Clinton talks peace at the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.

June 19, 2013 15:11
1 minute read.
Day 2 of the Presidential Conference, June 19, 2013.

President Peres' honors Clinton USE THIS ONE 390. (photo credit: משה מילנר/לע"מ)


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President Shimon Peres on Wednesday honored the 42nd president of the United States Bill Clinton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday, stating that the "two-state solution is your gift to Israel."

The President’s Medal of Distinction is awarded to exceptional individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the State of Israel or to humanity, through their talents, services or any other means.

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At the fifth Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, Peres told Clinton: "Your work laid the foundations which will one day bring peace to our region – the two state solution." Peres addressed the crowd, and his former counterpart, opening his speech stating: "My dearest friend President Bill Clinton - and when I call you my friend I know that I speak for the entire people of Israel." "Your unwavering commitment to the Jewish People and your moving support for Israel will always be cherished by each and every one of us," Peres said.

Awarding Clinton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he said: "Through this modest gesture, the entirety of my country and my people thank you for your support, for your care, for your friendship. Toda rabba, Bill. God bless you," he said.

Responding to his award, Clinton stated: "There are no perfect solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict." Clinton said although there are no perfect solutions, the "key is to expand the definition of 'us' and shrink definition of 'them.'" Clinton's empowering speech moved the whole audience as its conclusion received a standing ovation as he left the stage to thundering applause.

At the opening address earlier in the day, Peres told a full auditorium that a nation "needs a majority to do the right thing." In his opening address, Peres was received to a standing ovation.

He stated that a nation "needs a majority to do the right thing, but a minority can do the wrong thing."

"Leaders today should not lead, they should agree to be lead by the people," Peres said.

He added that a leader has to "enhance the capacity of the people to express their deep worries."

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