Peres discusses new options for peace at Iftar dinner

President Shimon Peres hosts an Iftar dinner at his residence for spiritual leaders and the youth of Muslim communities in Israel.

PRESIDENT SHIMON Peres and Qadi Daoud Al-Zeini 370 (photo credit: GPO)
PRESIDENT SHIMON Peres and Qadi Daoud Al-Zeini 370
(photo credit: GPO)
President Shimon Peres hosted an Iftar dinner at his residence on Sunday night for spiritual and lay leaders and the youth of Muslim communities in Israel.
While welcoming the possible resumption of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Israeli Arabs are concerned about the simmering hatred and intolerance that may be festering simultaneously in Israel, said Qadi Daoud Al-Zeini of the Sharia Court of Appeals.
He urged the president to use his influence to prevent the price tag war from erupting into something even more damaging.
Zeini said that so far the culprits involved in these incidents had taken out their hatred on property rather than on people. But, he said, it was only a matter of time before these radicals would begin to kill as well as to vandalize and destroy.
It was a matter of grave concern to the Arab community, said Al-Zeini, that the perpetrators of these hate crimes were not adequately punished and in some cases were not punished at all.
Alluding to Palestinians who as a result of what transpires in any upcoming talks may have to move from their homes, Al- Zeini said: “History has taught us that nothing is more tragic than uprooting someone from their home and forcing them to live somewhere else. A man never forgets his home and his land, and he teaches this to his son who teaches it to his grandson who teaches it to his great grandson…” Al-Zeini warned that without negotiations and mutual agreements, any proposed solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is doomed to failure. “Let us pray that the peace process will hopefully be renewed and will bear fruit,” he said.
Peres was somewhat more optimistic. When invitations to the Iftar dinner had been issued, he said, no-one knew of the change that is about to take place.
“Some people say nothing will come of it. I say that something will come of it because there is nothing to be gained any more from war and terror,” he said.
Peres commended Abbas for taking “a brave and historic decision to return to negotiations” and advised him not to listen to the skeptics.
The president also noted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s brave decision, based on his understanding that this was an historic opportunity.
“We will do all that we can to solve the conflict and live together in peace,” said Peres. “We want to see both nations going down the right path.”
Peres also had warm words of appreciation for Kerry, who despite all odds had persevered with dogged determination to get the peace process back on track.