President Shimon Peres to the Conference of Presidents on Iran Threat: “It is Not Just the Bomb But Who Controls It”
The Time Has Come to Call the Hangman a Hangman, the Dictator a Dictator
Jerusalem, February 19, 2010 ... The President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres, addressing the Conference of Presidents annual leadership conference in Israel, spoke about the Iranian threat, stressing that Israel should not monopolize the Iranian threat, as it is a threat to the whole world. We alone are not a great coalition and cannot enforce sanctions. Yet, measures must be taken, as the charter of the UN states: no member may call for the destruction for another member.
President Peres noted, We are facing an extremely serious situation which needs to be urgently handled, with great care and understanding, in a combination of a moral call, economic sanctions, and military measures.
Maybe our greatest mistake concerning Iran, is that we should not only look at the bomb but also at the nature of the one who controls the bomb. The Arab countries are worried as well, since Iran wants to renew the hegemony of the Persian empire. We all have to wake up before Iran gets the bomb, or no one will have any bargaining power, Peres stated, The time has come to call the hangmen a hangman, the dictator a dictator who fires at unarmed demonstrators and denies the holocaust.
President Peres noted that the Iranians have been warning Lebanon about an Israeli aggression, but stressed that Israel should not react to such allegations, since it has no interest in attacking Lebanon. Another Iranian manipulation Peres indicated is Irans use of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an excuse for its preparations to threaten and attack Israel.
The President asserted that Israel should put an end to the conflict with the Palestinians, noting that positive progress has already been witnessed: The Palestinians are building an infrastructure for statehood, not just negotiating it. As I told Prime Minister Fayyad, he is following the example of David Ben Gurion: we began building a state before we had even had borders. Building a city is a far more powerful and permanent step than conquering one. The Israeli government supports Fayyads efforts at building the economy and infrastructure; granted, he has his own problems to resolve, but in politics, we look at the record, not the remarks. History is leading the leaders, they cannot stop the march of history, and one cannot lead history backwards.
President Peres emphasized that what holds the Jewish people together is its profound history that shall secure its future, I will never change my natural inclination to be an optimist and will never stop believing in our common future.