Peres to Haaretz: Israel could reach a peace deal with Abbas (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Yossi Verter 04/23/12)
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE
HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-Top
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a worthy and serious
partner, and it was certainly possible to reach a peace agreement
with him during the past three years, President Shimon Peres told
"I am aware that there are other opinions [about whether Abbas can or
wants to make peace], but I don´t accept them, and I have a little
experience," Peres said during an interview last week in the
President´s Residence in Jerusalem.
"I´ve had no small number of conversations with Abu Mazen," Peres
continued, referring to Abbas by his less formal name. "All of them
were with the prime minister´s knowledge. He knows all the details.
Based on these conversations, I´m convinced we could have achieved
peace with Abu Mazen. He´s a worthy partner and can deliver the
So why hasn´t that happened?
"Because the prime minister thinks there´s a different way," Peres
said. "[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu removed hundreds of
roadblocks in the West Bank, which contributed a lot to strengthening
the Palestinian economy and to building a state-in-the-making. But
there were no negotiations.
"We also built a state before we became a state," Peres said. "To a
great degree, that´s what the Palestinians are doing today."
In private conversations, Peres has compared the Netanyahu government
to an "uncalibrated scale." He explained, "When a scale is not
calibrated, you can never get a correct weight. A government has to
be established on a zeroed scale. When a government tilts to the
right or to the left, the decisions made are never the correct
decisions. I thought there should have been a national unity
government, and I still think so."
Asked what the chances were of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement
in the coming three years, Peres said, "There´s a reasonable chance.
I don´t know any prime minister who has influenced reality more than
reality has influenced him. There is no prime minister who isn´t
eventually influenced by reality."
As to his personal plans after he retires from the presidency in just
over two years, Peres said he would like to deal with science,
particularly brain research. He said he would not initiate or
encourage any move to extend his term as president.
"It´s enough for me, and enough for everyone else. I enjoy the
compliments but one has to be careful of them. I need to be
vaccinated against compliments." (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 04/23/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY