My First reaction was to check if anyone put some whiskey into the soda I was drinking. Today Shimon Peres, yes that Shimon Peres, announced the truth to a conference of 15o foreign reporters. He said that land for peace has been tried many times by Israel but it hasn’t brought peace or security to the Jewish State. He suggests that working on an “economic peace” is more important than trading land.
I am certainly pleased that he said it but I don’t understand what made this long-time Peace at any Cost guy all of a sudden have an epiphany about land for peace. Maybe it is a Shimon Peres from an alternate Universe that somehow got switched with ours through some tiny worm hole in space. We need to find that worm hole fast and close it so we don’t get our Peres back.
by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) President Shimon Peres says the “land for peace” formula on which Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is working has not worked for Israel.
Speaking on Tuesday to some 150 foreign reporters at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, Peres poured coldish water on the plans to give up 95% of Judea and Samaria for an Arab state. It is known that Prime Minister Olmert is working on just such a plan, in anticipation of the upcoming US-sponsored international summit this November.
“The chemistry between Olmert and [PA chief Mahmoud] Abbas is good,” Peres said, “but this does not mean they have reached any conclusions.”
The presidential speech was broadcast around the world, including on Al-Jazeera.
Summing up the situation for those who might not have known, Peres said, “The problems are peace, land, and security… In similar cases, like in Gaza and Lebanon, Israel gave up land – but received neither peace nor security.”
“The negotiations are direct, and I don’t believe that intermediaries are needed. The leaders are talking to each other, and to their nations at the same time. Only the Palestinian president and the Israeli prime minister can determine how far and how fast to go without losing the support of their peoples.”
“We have been forced to fight seven wars and two intifadas in our 60 years of existence,” Peres said. “That is, we have had a war every seven years. It is now our hope to form peace with the Palestinians, with the Syrians, and regional peace with all the Arab nations.”
Peres continued a familiar refrain of his by saying that modern war is less about borders than about money: “Wars today are not carried out with tanks or ships, but rather with rockets and weapons of mass destruction. War is more ballistic than geographic.”
Expanding on the same theme, Peres said, “The value of borders, lands, and distances has dropped; the importance today is more economic.”
Peres said that he told the Special European Union envoy to the Middle East, ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, that the EU should “stop supporting the Palestinians financially; they have received a billion dollars a year that were used for corruption and caused the toppling of the Fatah in Gaza. Instead, the money should be used to support the establishment of industrial areas for employment in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.”