|Wednesday, November 12, 2008|
|[Equal blame for war?] President Shimon Peres's Speech at the Inter-Faith Dialogue at the UN|
[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: Israel and the Arabs are equally guilty?
"Instead, we confronted one another, abandoning faith for greed and forging
PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
His Excellency Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel
Earlier this week, we commemorated 13 years since the assassination of Prime
Assassins may take a life, but they cannot kill a dream. That fateful night
Then came three shots.
However, we were not alone in our despair. Many who cherished Rabin's
Tragedy had united the sons and daughters of all religions. Our shared
In our region, children bear the names of prophets who are sacred to us all.
"Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us? Why do we deal
And Abraham added to his nephew Lot: "Please let there be no strife between
That was the first call for peace among brothers in history. Brotherly
Religion carries the word of God to man, as is written in Psalms: "What man
Religious belief requires that we recognize the eternal message that all men
The Jewish and Arab national revivals occurred at almost the same time and
However, after the First World War, a window of opportunity was opened when
Their declaration states: "Mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds
This was great statesmanship and timely wisdom.
Alas, we did not take heed of them.
Instead, we confronted one another, abandoning faith for greed and forging
Hundreds of thousands of men and women from all sides lost their lives.
Fortunes were wasted on the purchase, maintenance and replacement of new
The can be no consolation for the bereaved families or orphaned children
There is an Arab proverb that states that there are three events that cannot
We cannot change the past. HOWEVER, we can shape our future.
This seems more feasible today in light of the Saudi proposal which evolved
The initiative's portrayal of our region's future provides hope to the
YES - in order to change the world we have to change ourselves.
The Arab peace initiative states that: "A military solution to the conflict
Israel agrees with that assumption.
Further on, the initiative states that: "A just and comprehensive peace in
This is Israel's strategy as well.
It continues that its goals are to: ".consider the Arab-Israeli conflict
Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of comprehensive
Stop the further shedding of blood, enabling the Arab countries and Israel
These expressions in the Arab peace initiative are inspirational and
A comprehensive regional peace requires the completion of the bilateral
30 years ago when the peace accords with Egypt were signed;
15 years ago when the Oslo process began;
14 years ago when the peace agreement with Jordan was signed;
8 years ago when we withdrew completely from Lebanon;
And 3 years ago when we evacuated Gaza and dismantled willingly all our
Today we are making progress with the negotiations with the Palestinians; we
However, there are those in our region who sow hatred and try to widen the
In order to stand up against those who instigate discord and violence, we
It will end many conflicts and offer a comprehensive peace for all people -
I know it is harder to pursue peace than to wage war; building is more
This is the proper biography for men of good will.
For the sake of our children, let us break the bonds of hostility which stem
When the world faces a serious crisis, let us offer a new remedy to overcome
This meeting of religious leaders can produce a movement of profound
Let us free the world from the perception that an irrevocable curse darkens
Our shared history has known golden ages during which we lived as friends
Inter-faith dialogue will elevate our spirits, bring a breath of fresh air
This is the duty and responsibility of all states and religious leaders.
Working for peace will justify our prayers and bring a new sense of purpose
Peace is not just a goal. It is a promise made to us at the dawn of time
Let's claim them together.
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