President Peres Addresses Jewish Agency Board of Governors

February 21, 2010 / 7 Adar 5770

President Peres to the Jewish Agency Board of Governors:

“Iran presents the greatest danger for the whole world. An international coalition must do three things: raise a moral call, impose economic sanctions, and install advanced anti-missile defense systems.”

“I think there exists a great call for a Jewish spiritual revival and re-moralization against the dangers we face”

President Peres opened the three-day meeting of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors today. In his address the President told the Jewish leaders: “Iran presents the greatest danger for the whole world. Today the Arabs are being challenged by the Iranian desire to establish a non-Arab hegemony over the Middle East as it was for four hundred years under the Persian Empire. The Iranians use Israel as an excuse but we shall disappoint them. We don’t want to govern anybody—neither Arabs, nor Muslims.”

The President declared, “We have to think seriously how to handle [the Iranian threat], and how to face it,” and stated that, “I don’t think [Iran presents] a problem or danger simply against Israel. It’s against the whole world. Having imperialistic ambitions and a nuclear bomb is a very dangerous combination because a single bomb today is like a whole army in other times. The world will become ungovernable if every country in the Middle East will have a nuclear bomb without responsible people to govern it. I am afraid the world is moving too slowly to face the problem.”

The President added that “I think the way to handle [Iran] is to have an international coalition that does three things. First, the world must raise a moral call. People who are threatening other people are a danger and I think a voice of reason and responsibility should be raised on a moral level rather than inviting the Iranians as guests of honor. The world must call people by their names—dictators as dictators, and people who hang people as hangmen. Second, the world must impose economic sanctions. Third, the world must install advanced anti-missile defense systems to protect countries in dangerous situations.”

The President also spoke about the peace process, stating that “we shall disappoint Iran and we shall make peace with the Palestinians. I think we should try to do it as soon as we can. We will work towards peace with or without Iran but having Iran makes the need for peace more real and more urgent.”

Lastly, the President spoke about the future of the Jewish world: “I think there exists a great call for a Jewish spiritual revival and re-moralization against the dangers we face. The Jewish agency must look to bridge the Jewish world together. The Jewish people are made of so many variations that it is almost un-Jewish to choose one of them. Let’s be open, tolerant, and decisive at the same time. If you ask me what is my dream about Israel and the Jewish people I would sum it up in a very short way: that we remain as old as the Ten Commandments and as innovative as nanotechnology. That we stand on our historic values while not giving up our attempt to discover a new world and build more hope. We have to be spiritually clear and keep our togetherness. Our Jewish heritage is a treasure, let’s guard it, and be together.”

For More Information:
Ayelet Frish – Spokesperson of the President 050-620-5111
Meital Jaslovitz – Assistant to Spokesperson of the President 050-420-5230
3 HaNassi St., Jerusalem Israel 92188
Tel. +972-2-6707256 Fax. +972-2- 6707295

For further information contact:
Michael Jankelowitz,
Liaison to the Foreign Press, Jewish Agency for Israel
Mobile: +972-52-6130220;
Voice-mail: +972-2-620-2780



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21 Feb 2010 / 7 Adar II 5770 0