Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Peres in the Times

In an interview with the Times (London), Israel’s president Shimon Peres reflects a sense of optimistic resignation towards an Obama administration. After praising the president-elect in the highest terms the president of Israel could possibly offer–“A black man reaching the top position is the strongest answer to Hitler”–Peres offers his thoughts on Obama’s stated position on Iran:

If there will be a united policy on Iran and there is a new (lower) price for oil, then Iran will have to come to terms to a proportionate reality of our times. They have been behaving out of proportion. Dialogue should not just be just by words but by deeds. If you hang only on the tongue then I am not sure dialogue will produce more than speeches. If Iranians feel there is a body politic behind it (the push for talks) and they cannot just escape by sending Ahmadinejad to spread quick wisdom then there is a chance. They have to stop three things: they have to stop trying to control the Middle East, through supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas; the second to stop terror, to be the centre of terror, the financing of terror and so on; and third stop the combination of nuclear warheads missiles and threats. As a way of example, if Switzerland were to build a nuclear bomb, we would not be necessarily alarmed. But I would not say Ahmadinejad has a Swiss temperament.

In a subtle way–without explicitly denouncing Obama–Peres is strongly expressing opposition to Obama’s reckless rhetoric. Peres has set three pre-conditions that, should they ever be met, would alter the Middle East in such a way that Obama’s rhetoric might actually make sense. Peres does not want to get on the American president’s bad side. But he also can’t condone Obama’s proposed policies.

Another note: Peres is at his best in his defense of the Iraq war. It’s persuasive and fluid–and worth repeating:

The biggest failure in Iraq was not Britain but Saddam Hussein. If he had not been stopped in Kuwait he would have gone to Saudi Arabia. He was the greatest killer in the Middle East. He initiated the war against Iran and killed one million people, he killed hundreds of thousands of Kurds and fired missiles at Israel. If he would have remained he would have been a brutal dictator with unlimited ambitions. You don’t have to apologise for trying to bring an end to it. Churchill does not have to apologise for bringing down another brutal dictator. Thanks heaven.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.