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Thursday, February 21, 2013
[Peres endorses Abbas] President Peres and the President of FC Barcelona, announced a special football match for peace involving FC Barcelona and Israeli and Palestinians football players

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:
Question: Why does Israeli President Shimon Peres feel compelled to
constantly engage in promoting and endorsing PA President Mahmoud Abbas:
"President Abbas. He is a true leader and a man of peace."?

This "man of peace" - who wants every terrorist murder to be IMMEDIATELY
released by Israel regardless of the crime, and who is responsible for the
freeze in talks for years, uses every press opportunity to criticize
Israel. ]

President Peres and the President of FC Barcelona, Mr. Sandro Rosell,
announced a special football match for peace involving FC Barcelona and
Israeli and Palestinians football players

President Shimon Peres, this evening (Thursday, 21 February 2013), met with
the president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell. President Peres and Mr. Rosell
announced a special match for peace involving FC Barcelona and Israeli and
Palestinian football players. The two met to discuss the project and then
delivered joint statements to the press.

President Peres welcomed Mr. Sandro Rosell and said, "I am the President of
the State of Israel, there are many states but there is only one Barca. It
is a real pleasure to welcome you here, the President of Barcelona Football
Club - a club that made history for us and our children. In Israel, like all
over the world, Barcelona has a legion of fans. Children have heroes like
Messi, Xavi and Iniesta to copy. The dream of playing in the Camp Nou."

President Peres continued and said, "Mr. Rosell, I am delighted that we will
have the opportunity to launch this project together. Your club motto is
"Mes Que un club" and it's true. Barca is "more than a club." It is a
message. A message of togetherness. A message of friendship, a message of
caring for the many and the few. A football club is also a school. It is
educational; it teaches our children to play together despite their
differences. Sport in general, and football in particular, brings down
barriers, eliminates racism and teaches us to compete in friendship rather
than fight in anger. While winning you know you may lose as well. While
losing you don't forget that you will win again."

Addressing the match President Peres said, "Real peace is between people and
not just between governments and as our children love Barcelona, so too do
children in the Palestinian Authority. Together with you, and with the
President of the Palestinian Authority, we will work to stage a special
match which hopefully won't be a one-off occasion but part of ongoing
cooperation between our children. From here you are travelling to meet with
the President Abbas. He is a true leader and a man of peace and I am
convinced that the day will come and we shall celebrate together full peace
between our two nations, and with you."

The President of FC Barcelona said, "We know that football is a universal
language that should be used to bring people together. FC Barcelona,
modestly, wishes to make themselves available in order to contribute to the
efforts to strengthen the bridges of peace and dialogue between the Israeli
and Palestinian communities. The best way we can think of to do that is with
a ball."

Mr. Rosell continued and said, "We want to make our team, our players
available to take part in a football match with the hope that this game will
serve to extend the channels of dialogue within the two communities that
will help bring them closer together."

Mr. Rosell announced that he will be travelling to Ramallah and said,
"Tomorrow, Friday, we are going to Ramallah to meet his excellency Mahmoud
Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority. We would like, with
the Palestinian and Israeli leadership, to promote the idea of a football
match for peace. We understand that peace will only be possible if we build
confidence, respect and understanding between the two peoples. We believe
with all our heart that a match involving Barca, with the collaboration of
Israelis and Palestinians, can contribute to reestablish those links which
are indispensable for people to live together peacefully."

At the end of the statements President Peres and Mr. Rosell exchanged shirts
with President Peres receiving an FC Barcelona shirt with his name on the
back and Mr. Rosell receiving a shirt with his name on the back from the
Peres Center for Peace.

For additional information:
Ayelet Frish Spokesperson and Media Adviser to the President of Israel,
Yair Zivan International Media Coordinator, Office of the President of
Israel, 052-3450061

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