Deputy FM publishes open letter to Arab world in 'A-Sharq Al-Awsat'

Deputy FM publishes open

Israel's commitment to peace has been apparent ever since its first days of statehood, when the Declaration of Independence extended a hand "to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborly relations," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in an article published in London-based pan-Arab newspaper A-Sharq Al-Awsat. Titled An Open Letter to the Arab World, Ayalon's message to Israel's more hostile neighbors was a friendly one. "Sadly," he said, "only two nations, Jordan and Egypt, have ... made peace with the Jewish state." Ayalon stressed that the Israel's predominately right-wing government has made "significant steps to restart negotiations with the Palestinians and reach out to the Arab world" since taking office in February, such as removing West Bank roadblocks and initiating a ten-month construction freeze. "The Iranian regime has many tentacles spread out across the region," said Ayalon, stressing that Teheran sought not only to target Israel, but also "to export its extremist ideology." Moderates in the region, he said, must work together to prevent Teheran from "suppressing any aspirations the region has towards freedom and advancement."