In honor of International Women's Day, President Shimon Peres met on Sunday with 22 leading women involved in different projects and activities in the north. "The struggle to improve women's place in society is a global issue and I tell our Arab neighbors – your main problem is not Israeli domination but male domination," he said during the event.
"Even today, the slavery of women to their husbands is widespread in the world. I hear all the voices of the women shouting for equality with men, but I think men need to strive to be equal to you," he told the women.
Peres at Canada Center skating rink, in Metulla (Photo: Efrat Kenner)
Peres was touring the northern Galilee as part of the 89th anniversary of the Battle of Tel-Chai and also spoke, during a ceremony, of the threats to Israel from within and without.
"Iran is arming, funding and instructing Hizbullah as part of its efforts to take over the Middle East. We have stood and will stand against the Iranian coalition," he said, adding that the Galillee is not only a green finger of land in Israel, but also a strong arm against its enemies.
The president said that Israel is facing both financial troubles and a security dilemma. "We have no greater problem as a society than unemployment and there is no greater shame than hunger. At the same time, we have no greater challenge than national and individual security and a desire for local and regional peace."
"I hope that in the upcoming days a broad government will be formed who will renew the negotiations with the Palestinians and listen to the voices of peace from Saudi Arabia to Egypt. We'll stop the rockets from the south as we did the ones from the north," he added.
Peres also spoke of Pope Benedictus XVI's acceptance of his invitation to visit Israel in May. "The Pope is an honored guest to all sectors of the population. It's an exciting and important event, which brings the winds of hope and peace along with it," he said.
Peres began his tour of the north in Metulla, where he met town officials and visited in the ice skating rink at the Canada Center.
"The government of Israel decided today, unanimously, to set up a medical school located in between Safed and Rosh Pina," he said. This will give a serious boost to the northern Galilee, just as Ben Gurion University gave to Beersheba and helped the Negev. I'm sure that in addition to the delicious apples of the Galilee, we will soon see the fruits that higher education will give to the youth of the north."