Israeli President Shimon Peres puts his passions on display in Toronto visit (TORONTO STAR) Amy Dempsey and Valerie Hauch 05/09/12)
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Earlier on Wednesday, Israel’s President Shimon Peres spoke about the
human brain and how it is the key to addressing many of the world’s
economic and social problems.
But in the evening, in a sold-out appearance at the Sony Centre for
Performing Arts, the first former Israeli prime minister to be
elected president demonstrated he is a master of the heart and its
The 88-year-old statesman kept a capacity audience enthralled and in
the palm of his hand, as he sat relaxed in a chair on stage with
Canadian-born journalist and moderator David Frum, giving answers to
some serious questions, deflecting others, and whenever possible,
“Who is against democracy in the Middle East? I told them the
husbands,’’ said Peres, in talking about the Arab Spring, Egypt and
the fact there is still discrimination against women.
There was no joking, however, when Frum asked Peres about Syria and
the future of besieged President Bashar Assad whose days, he
believes, are numbered.
“He’s killed his own children . . . he won’t be forgiven,’’ said
The man who won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, for the peace talks he
participated in as Israeli foreign minister, believes peace with the
Palestinian people “is achievable.’’
He says that for the first time there appears to be an Israeli
consensus on the need for two independent states – Israel and one for
Frum asked what would happen if, once the Palestinians have a state,
they shoot rockets from the West Bank “into Ben Gurion airport?’’
“If they shoot rockets, they’ll get back rockets,’’ was Peres’
Earlier in the day, Peres spoke at a Canada-Israel panel at the Ritz-
Carlton on the importance of brain research
“The most brilliant instrument that we possess, that guides us, that
we keep on our shoulders . . . we don’t have the slightest idea how
it functions,” he said.
Peres, in Canada for a five-day state visit, gave a lengthy
philosophical address that stressed the importance of brain research—
a topic he is known to be passionate about.
“We know what’s happening around us without knowing what’s happening
within us. And unless we shall know we shall be victims of different
people — vicious, crazy, unexpected,” Peres said.
The panel discussion, hosted by Baycrest, the Ontario Brain Institute
and the Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF), brought
scientists and innovation leaders from Ontario and Israel together on
the same stage. (© Copyright Toronto Star 1996-2012 05/09/12)
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