Peres: Most Israelis support 2-state solution

Former President Shimon Peres on Friday called for an immediate resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians, saying “there is a clear majority for a two-state solution in Israel.”

PERES PRESSURES UN TO INTERCEDE IN KIDNAPPED TEEN’S BEHALF

President Shimon Peres boarded a flight to return to Israel on Sunday night, after concluding a state visit to the U.S., his final foreign trip before leaving office next month.

On Sunday, Peres met in New York City with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and called on the United Nations to act to free the three Israeli teens kidnapped in Gush Etzion by Hamas more than two weeks ago. Click here to read the story.

PERES CALLS FOR RENEWED PEACE TALKS

By JAMES CULLUM
Talk Radio News Service

WASHINGTON – Outgoing Israeli President Shimon Peres called for a peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, after receiving the Congressional Gold Medal Thursday in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.

“I hope that we’ll be able to renew peace talks with the Palestinians soon,” said the 90-year-old Peres, who will leave office next month. “Israel does not intend to rule over other people. It stands against our values and heritage… We must not lose hope. There is no better solution than two states for two peoples.
A Jewish state – Israel. And an Arab state – Palestine.”

Peres, who met with President Obama on Wednesday, said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is “clearly a partner for peace,” but that “Hamas is clearly not a partner for peace. Hamas fires rockets at our civilians. They oppose peace and support terror. Finding a way forward is hard. But we must not lose hope.”

Vice President Biden called Peres an American national treasure. “You are truly a force of nature, Mr. President,” he said.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor that the U.S. can bestow.

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Photo by James Cullum

OBAMA PROMISES PERES REVIEW OF POLLARD CASE

President Shimon Peres met with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday at the White House in Washington. Peres, 90, is in the midst of his last foreign trip before leaving office next month.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Peres asked Obama to free imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. Peres presented what was described as a “new legal path” for Pollard’s release and new documents related to the matter were given to the Americans.

Click here to read the story.

PERES, ABBAS JOIN POPE FOR VATICAN PRAYER SESSION

The Israeli and Palestinian presidents joined in an unprecedented prayer meeting with Pope Francis Sunday, a gesture the pontiff hopes will “re-create a desire, a possibility” of kick-starting the stalled Middle East peace process. Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accepted a surprise public invitation from Francis to come to “his home” to pray together during his recent visit to the region. Click here to read the story.

PERES: ROUHANI BLEW IT AT DAVOS

By ANAV SILVERMAN
Tazpit News Agency

DAVOS – Israeli President Shimon Peres sharply addressed the speech made by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland today.

“The most significant remarks were the ones he [Rouhani] didn’t make – he didn’t express support for peace in the Middle East,” the 91-year-old Israeli president stated in press conference he held with international and Israeli press at the World Economic Forum, following Rouhani’s speech.

“He is the only leader I know who didn’t say clearly that the time has come to make peace between Israel and the Arabs,” pointed out Peres.

Peres also noted that Rouhani had “excluded with a smile the reference to peace made by [WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab] and when asked if his vision included all countries, he [Rouhani] said it included only the countries that Teheran will accept. That is some definition.”

“He didn’t announce that in order to reduce the bloodshed in Syria he’s going to stop sending arms and money to Hezbollah to the stop the killing. He could have announced that seeing as he doesn’t want a nuclear bomb that he will stop building long range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. He didn’t announce that Iran will stop being the center of terror in our time,” noted Peres.

Peres said that Israel was ready to make peace with the Iranian people and that historically they have never been enemies. “We extend our hand for peace, including to the Iranian people, but today was a great occasion that was missed.”

In response to questions from reporters, Peres said Rouhani’s speech was, “half a job and the most important half wasn’t done.”

“Peace is peace for all people, without exclusion. President Rouhani doesn’t need the P5+1 to stop building missiles; he doesn’t need their permission to stop sending arms to Hezbollah and elsewhere,.” Peres said.

“There is an offer on the table to enable Iran to have what other countries have but they have to stop threatening and terrorizing, even while making speeches like this one. There is no room to postpone.”

Rouhani, who was elected president of the Islamic republic last year, declared during his Davos address that “I strongly and clearly state that nuclear weapons have no place in our security strategy and Iran has no motivation to move in that direction.”

In 2002, an Iranian dissident group known as the MEK obtained and shared documents revealing a clandestine nuclear program that had been previously unknown to the United Nations. The program included a vast uranium enrichment plant at Nantaz and the United States then accused Tehran of an “across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.”

In 2010, the United Nations’ nuclear inspectors declared that they have extensive evidence that Iran’s military was developing a nuclear warhead. In 2012, Iran stated that it was building 3,000 uranium-enrichment centrifuges at the Nantaz plant. And in April 2013, Iran announced an expansion of its nuclear fuel production and other atomic energy advances.

PERES: PEACE STILL POSSIBLE EVEN IF PALESTINIANS DON’T RECOGNIZE ISRAEL AS JEWISH STATE

Israeli President Shimon Peres is calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state “unnecessary” and a possible impediment to peace talks. In conversations with diplomatic and political officials in recent weeks, Peres said it was possible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians now, with American assistance. Click here to read the story.