President Shimon Peres told foreign diplomats at a pre-Rosh HaShanah reception Monday that seeing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak in the United Nations is “revolting.”
“For an Israeli to see him on the stage of the United Nations is revolting,” President Peres declared. “It is actually the antithesis of the United Nations. He calls for the destruction of Israel, he threatens to use his strength, he denies the Shoah (Holocaust), and he acts against the basic aims and philosophies of having a world organization that is trying to overcome conflicts and introduce a new tone.
“He is a dangerous man and still heading terror activities here, supplying weapons to Hamas and Hizbullah.”
President Peres also told the diplomats that Jews have prayed ‘Next Year in Jerusalem” for more than 2,000 year and still do so.
He called on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, “for whom I have much respect and sympathy, and I must say here and now that I think the present leadership of the Palestinians is the best we could have, [to] say: Let’s start. Let’s start in two ways, openly and quietly.
“We have to do these two things in a parallel manner. Let’s not waste time. We are in an unfinished and undecided situation in the Middle East.”Peres also said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “is the best president Israel could have gotten.”
He called on Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel. “I call on Abbas, the Palestinian president, whom I greatly respect and for whom I have sympathy – lets commence talks, openly and quietly, even if there are disagreements and criticism.”
Peres warned that “the reality in our region has never been so dangerous” adding that “the situation today is the same as it ever was – we are in favor of a Palestinian state and two nation states. Nevertheless, it’s important to translate this into reality. No more declarations.”
The president addressed the timetable set by the Quartet for the resumption of peace talks saying that
“Negotiations should first be conducted quietly. In Oslo, we negotiated for four months without media involvement. Had it been publicized I don’t think an agreement would have been reached.”
He said that Israel expects negotiations without preconditions. “Our positions haven’t changed, and our political success at the General Assembly is reflected in the fact that all those who predicted a political tsunami in September were proven false.”
“If the Palestinians think they can establish a state at the UN General Assembly in New York, all power to them, but nothing has changed on the ground with the absence of a historic reconciliation, not only between leaders and governments, but between the peoples.”
Read more coverage at Arutz Sheva.