Photo: AFP
Former president Shimon Peres
Photo: AFP

Peres: Palestinian frustration over peace process freeze leads to violence

In interview with Der Spiegel, former president rejects accusations that Abbas is inciting to terror: 'Abbas is a very courageous man. He wants peace and he fights terror.'

Former President Shimon Peres claimed in an interview with German weekly Der Spiegel that the Palestinian frustration over the freeze in peace talks is part of what's fueling the recent wave of terror attacks against Israelis.



"This terror is a revolt. Many young people in the world today are attracted by the totalitarianism of terror. The situation (in Israel) is part of this development - but at the same time it is different. We should have two states. There is only one. This contributes to the fact that young Palestinians are against us. Israel often does not see the real reasons. Israel does not see this protest. It only sees the killings," Peres said.


The interview was published on Saturday, but conducted before Peres suffered a heart attack last week.


Former president Shimon Peres (Photo: AP)
Former president Shimon Peres (Photo: AP)


In it, the former president levels harsh criticism against the Israeli government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and rejects the accusations that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is inciting to violence.


"Abbas is a very courageous man. I met him many times and negotiated with him directly. He wants peace and he fights terror," he said.


He said the extremists on the Jewish side are only a small group and that Israel was fighting Jewish terrorism, while at the same time expressed concern of the incitement against his successor, President Reuven Rivlin.


"This is unquestionably awful, and we must stand against it," Peres said, noting he does see similarities to the incitement that preceded the murder of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.


"But no one could foresee Rabin's assassination. In the end, it was the act of an individual. I think it is possible that something like this could happen again. One must be careful, but also courageous. These people will not win," he stressed.


The former president said Israel was "in a transitional phase. And I think that we will inevitably have to finally find a solution. This solution can only be two states. Nothing else."


When confronted with the fact the current right-wing government was taking no steps towards a two state solution, Peres stated that "Governments are not elected for eternity. They are temporary. The only eternal person is the Messiah and he has not come yet."


On Netanyahu's ten years in power, the former president said that, "Granted, this is a long time. We are beginning to see the results. But Israel cannot live in its own world. It cannot isolate itself. There's no place for discriminatory policies. I think it can go on for a while. But it will change. There is also a great dissatisfaction here from the deteriorating living conditions. The people wonder: Can our government prevent terrorism? No. Has it found a solution to the social gaps? No."


"Israel is based on a moral obligation. This moral obligation is that we must not govern another people. We can hardly govern ourselves," he added.


פרסום ראשון: 01.17.16, 10:20
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