Eternal optimist – President Shimon Peres
Photo: AFP

Peres' vision: iPhones instead of stones

President shares his vision for future, urges Palestinians to return to negotiating table

President Shimon Peres called Sunday to renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, sharing his vision for a Mideast where youngsters shun violence and embrace technology. 


"History has lost its patience and is charging ahead at a mad pace. We either charge ahead together, or it will go on without us," Peres said at the 11th Herzliya Convention at the Interdisciplinary Center.


The president said the mutual distrust between the two sides is not set in stone.


"In the past we have seen the Palestinians being suspicious that a right-wing government in Israel would never agree to a two-state solution. They were wrong. We've assumed that the Palestinians would forever insist on the right of return of five million refugees. We were wrong," he said.


"Peace would yield a tourism momentum.The opening of modern factories, joint projects relating to different aspects of our lives – energy, water, preserving the environment, free trade – virtually in every field," Peres said. "The new generations will use iPhones instead of stones."


The president urged the Palestinians to reach a compromise with Israel: "Establish a democratic Palestinian state, based on science and technology. We in Israel have learned that there is no contradiction between science and religion. Science can deal with physical poverty just like religion can deal with spiritual poverty."


A tip for Biden 

Peres also presented his solution for preventing future riots in the Middle East: High-tech. The president said some governments refuse to answer other countries' demand to democratize, but are willing to open their gates to international investments.


"Over the weekend I got a call from US Vice President Joe Biden," said Peres. "He asked for my thoughts on the situation in Egypt and what the proper reaction should be. I told him what I'm telling you today."


"I suggested that he summon the heads of leading global companies and I believe he will find they are willing to mobilize themselves for this cause," he said


"I added that parallel to the political Quartet an economic Quartet should be established, made up of leaders from the non-governmental sector. Such Quartet would bring in investments from the business community and channel them to troubled countries. Not by distributing money, but rather by establishing high-tech centers in the area," Peres said. "Such network would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for those with higher education as well."







פרסום ראשון: 02.06.11, 18:26
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