Peres has met with Obama and all reports today describe it as very positive. I shudder to think what might be cooked up by two supporters of J Street. Ted Belman
Peres’ Embrace of J Street
by David Bedein
He did ask to free Pollard, but what else happened. After all, Peres went to the US after his embrace of J Street and his letter of assurance that “remaining gaps are small and can be bridged”
President of Israel. Shimon Peres flies to meet with US President Obama after the recent Peres embrace of J Street, the organization which tried to get the US to vote against Israel at the UN, the organization that welcomed the BDS boycotters to its conference, the organization that most recently tried to stymie a US Congressional petition against Palestinian incitement.
At the J Street conference, Dr. Ron Pundak, director of the Peres Centre for Peace addressed the audience, and while viewed as the representative of Israeli President Shimon Peres, referred to PA President Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as a “dream ticket,” saying that Israel “will not find better leaders working for peace.”
Pundak indicated that he believed that Israel should arrive at an agreement with this “dream ticket,” – without delay – but that “unfortunately we do not have on our side a similar dream team”. President Peres indeed dispatched a letter of greeting, to J Street, dated February 26, 2011,
The Peres presidential letter was written one day after J-Street called on the US to support the PLO resolution at the UN Security Council calling for the halt of settlement construction, including east Jerusalem, which the Obama administration vetoed after all other permanent members voted were in favor.
On the very day that the PA entered into negotiations with Hamas, Peres wrote that, “This is a tumultuous time, but it is also a time of opportunity. An opportunity to rekindle the peace negotiations with the Palestinians leading to two states for two peoples-democratic states based on science and technology-that live side by side.”
Peres, wrote in his letter to J Street that “quiet diplomacy overcomes the prejudices and polarization is replaced by compromises. And combined with the art of policy making it secure the support of the respective publics, peace becomes tangible, for the remaining gaps are small and can be bridged.” [emphasis added].
J Street distributed the Peres letter on Capitol Hill. Immediately after the conference, on march 1st, and then again on March 15th, after the murders in Itamar.
In a statement to the press at the J Street conference, Peres Center director Pundak expressed satisfaction that even though the Israeli government chose not to send Ambassador Michael Oren or any representative from the government to the J-Streeet conference, Peres as President saw fit to send formal greetings to the conference.
“Peres believes in [ going in] one direction and the [Israeli] government believes in another. Peres is a man who believes in pursuing peace in any way, in any option and the [Israeli government under Netanyahu] is the opposite,” said Pundak. He noted that the current Israeli government was doing all it could to thwart a peace agreement.
“So there’s a conflict between two lines” [that of Peres and the Israeli government], Pundak added.
Pundak added that “The Peres center very much supports the activities of J-Street”, confirming that the Peres center is one of the “participating organizations” at the conference.
Pundak went on to say that the Peres Center would join the J Street effort to favor an Obama initiative to impose a solution.
Pundak,criticized “the person in the White house” for “doing nothing” to make a two state solution to become reality. He also said that Obama should take action in the very near future. When asked why he was calling on Obama to impose a solution on the parties, rather than getting out on the streets and working to convince Israelis of his position and cause his government to fall, Pundak replied: “ But, how do we do it?,
Pundak added that, ‘This is also an international interest not only our interest. We don’t have a government which is willing to move forward so we need to impose something.”
During the J Street conference, our agency dispatched the enclosed letter to the spokesman of Peres, asking him to explain how it could be
that “remaining gaps are small and can be bridged.”, considering the state of Palestinian education.
The spokesman confirmed that he received the letter. However, the spokesman of Peres says that Peres cannot answer the letter.
The spokesman for Peres was asked whether Peres has seen the Palestinian school books which prepare the next generation for war.
The Peres spokesman said that he did not know.
Speaking with the spokesman of Peres on four more occasions, the Peres spokesman continued to say that he cannot confirm if Peres knows about the content of Palestinian Authority school books
Now, on the eve of the Peres visit to Washington, the Peres spokesman will not confirm if Peres will raise the issue of the continued official Palestinian Auhority incitement during his visit to Washington.
It is noteworthy that since the inception of the Oslo process, Peres has consistently denigrated the issue of official Palestinian Authority incitement.
Throughout 1994 and 1995, when the Institute for Peace Education Ltd produced videos of Arafat’s speeches which continued to support Jihad holy war and the continuation of the war to liberate Palestine, then-Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres implored the Israel TV (there was only one channel then ) not to air Arafat’s speeches in the Arabic language.
On March 1, 2000, Peres addressed an international colloquium for the Jewish media, where Peres announced that the PA had adopted a PA school curriculum for peace. When I pointed out to Peres that the curriculum that he had quoted had been vetoed by the PA, Peres moved away from the microphone and said “I know”
In March, 2011, the Israeli government made a seminal decision to condition continued negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on the cessation of the official incitement in the Palestinian Authority media and PA schools.
The question remains: Will Peres ignore the official Israeli government decision concerning the cessation of Palestinian incitement during his meetings with President Obama and with leading members of the US Congress and the US media, or will Peres conform to policies advocated by the Peres Center for Peace?