Peres: Technology has changed role of gov'ts

Speaking at Facebook HQ, president says his greatest hope is that peace becomes the business of people instead of gov'ts.

President Shimon Peres in Facebook interview 390 (photo credit: Screenshot)
President Shimon Peres in Facebook interview 390
(photo credit: Screenshot)
In an interview at Facebook headquarters in California on Sunday, President Shimon Peres praised the social network and modern Internet-based technology in general for reversing the role of the ruler and the ruled.
Peres told Facebook COO and interviewer-for-the-day Sheryl Sandberg that due to technology, today “people rule governments more than the other way around.”
As part of his appearance at the company’s headquarters, he opened an official Facebook page Tuesday. Although he sidestepped a question about what he planned to do with the page, he said, “We were the people of the books, now we can face the books.”
The president also discussed the role technology was playing in breaking down borders and advancing peace.
As technology gives young people more access to one another, he explained, people from different countries speak to each other for the first time and are surprised that they can be friends. Those youngsters, Peres continued, begin to question why they were taught to hate each other.
The president said his biggest hope for his lifetime was that “the matter of peace [will] no longer be the business of governments, but the business of the people.”
Asked how Israel became a technological leader, he explained, “We don’t have any natural resources, but then we discovered we have something that is greater than anything else – the human being.”
He added, “This is a case where the people enriched the land more than the land enriched the people.”
Telling the audience of Facebook employees and online viewers he believed each and every one of them had untapped potential, Peres stated that “if the economy is global, then science is individual.”
With a brilliant invention or idea, he explained, “a single man can change the world.”  On the president's Facebook page, he also debuted a video entitled, "Be my friend, for peace."
The president also addressed the Iranian issue, reiterating that Iran was the only country in the world calling for the destruction of another country. Iran, he added, “is an example of moral corruption.”
He also warned that if Tehran were allowed to take over the Middle East and control its oil supply, the United States would find itself in a situation very different than the position of power it holds today.