Peres: Israeli patience with rockets wearing thin (JERUSALEM POST) By GREER FAY CASHMAN 06/25/12)
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Israel´s patience against rocket attacks was wearing thin, President
Shimon Peres implied at the opening of the Jewish Agency Assembly in
Jerusalem on Sunday, as he cautioned Hamas against further firing of
As he had at the opening of the Presidential Conference last week,
Peres saluted the strength, the courage and the dedication of the
residents of southern Israel in coping with the current barrage of
rocket fire from Gaza.
"We can stop it and we will stop it," he said. Israel has thus far
shown restraint said Peres, but warned Hamas that in shooting at
Israeli mothers and children it is shooting at its own people, as an
outcome which it will be unable to govern.
Israel would not like to see anyone in Gaza suffer "no mother no
child" said Peres, but made clear that if Hamas continues to endanger
Israeli mothers and children Israel will no choice other than to
Turning his attention to the Jewish Agency, Peres suggested that the
time had come for a name change, because the organization is not a
travel agency or a business agency. "You have to choose a name that
fits its spirit and its purpose," he told delegates, and suggested
that from now on it be called The Jewish Assembly.
Peres devoted most of his address to reviewing the Presidential
Conference and presented an addendum to the anecdote he had related
last week about the first visit to Saudi Arabia by then US Secretary
of State Henry Kissinger, who had been told by King Feisal that he
received him not as a Jew, but as a human being. Kissinger had
replied: "Some of my best friends are human beings."
The second part of the story referred to Kissinger´s media entourage
which was largely made up of Jewish reporters who thought they might
be denied entry. In fact they were permitted to enter and were given
rooms in a luxury hotel where each found a gift from the King – a
leather binder inside which was a copy of The Protocols of the Elders
Jewish organizations spend so much time and effort fighting anti-
Semitism said Peres, that perhaps it was time to publish The
Protocols of the Wisdom of Zion.
Peres pointed to the high ratio of Jewish Nobel laureates, plus the
huge number of internationally recognized intellectuals who happen to
be Jewish. The Chinese, he said, regard Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud,
Albert Einstein and Henry Kissinger as the patriarchs of the Jewish
It was unbelievable he contended, that such a small people which had
paid such a high price throughout history, could contribute so much
to the world. It was his sincere wish, he said that the next
generation of Jews would continue to do the same.
Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky also emphasized the importance
of continuing the Jewish contribution to a world which currently
faces two historical crises. The Arab world is not ready to continue
without freedom, but has an identity he said, whereas Europe, which
is devoted to a multi-cultural world of freedom, wants a world
without identity and without borders. In the middle is a tiny country
called Israel which has had an ongoing debate on how to connect
Jewish identity with a desire for freedom, namely how to have a state
which is both Jewish and democratic, said Sharansky.
The main challenges he said, are assimilation which results in the
shrinkage of the Jewish People and de-legitimization by Israel´s
enemies who try to weaken Israel´s influence.
"In these two struggles, the Jewish People have no better choice of
weapon than Israel to make their children proud Jews," said
Sharansky. "There is no better defender of the Jewish People than
The main task of the Jewish Agency he said, is to bring as many
Jewish people as possible to Israel and as much of Israel as possible
to the Jewish people.
With regard to the latter, the Jewish Agency, despite severe
budgetary cuts, has increased the number of its emissaries, and has
emissaries in every US university in which are at least one thousand
Jews. The strategy is to expand this program over the next ten years
so that it is not restricted to the US, but becomes a global vehicle
for defending Jews on campus and attracting them to Israel. (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 06/25/12)
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