Criticizes Netanyahu comparison of Iran crisis to WWII, says "this is not 1938."
By JPOST.COM STAFFPublished: JANUARY 22, 2007 12:32Advertisement
Vice Premier Shimon Peres declared on Monday that Israel would pull through its current crises with Iran and the Palestinians, just as it had in past conflicts.
"I have been through 60 years of Israeli history, and I'm telling you - there have been harder days," Peres told an audience at the Herzliya Conference run by the Institute for Policy and Strategy of the IDC Herzliya. "Israel will not fall - Ahmadinejad will fall."
Live video feed from the Herzliya conference
Peres also criticized comments by opposition leader Binaymin Netanyahu, in which the Likud chairman compared the current situation to the eve of World War II.
"This is not 1938," the vice premier declared. "It's not the way it was then. We will not sit on the sidelines, but we also do not need to jump."
Addressing the issue of a Palestinian state, Peres emphasized that there was already an agreement to transfer 90 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinians, and that Israel was ready for an exchange of territory.
Earlier, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said at the conference that negotiations with the Palestinians were not at a dead-end, and that even Hamas could be seen as a partner.
Speaking about the war in Lebanon last summer between Israel and Hizbullah, Peretz defended the role of the security establishment.
Earlier, former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya'alon voiced skepticism over the chances of a Palestinian State being formed.
"A two-state, two-nation solution is irrelevant as long as the Palestinians lack a responsible and effective leadership," Ya'alon said, adding that "the continuation of Kassams [being fired at] Israel proves that the Palestinians are not interested in a state, but rather in destroying Israel."
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