Foreign Minister Shimon Peres addresses the Solidarity Delegation from New York: Governor George Pataki, Mayor Rudolph Giulianni, and Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg

Jerusalem, December 9, 2001

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres: Governor Pataki, Mayor Giulianni, Mayer-elect Bloomberg, first of all let me say that we are deeply moved by your visit here. We couldn’t think of a better team of people representing so much in the life of our generation, and the meaning of our country. We are deeply moved, really, by your coming here at this time, on this occasion. I know that that you were embraced and kissed wherever you went around, became victims of love, but for the right reasons.

I want to tell you, Governor, for us, the State of New York is not just a state in the United States, but a state of mind. Every Israeli is partly a New Yorker. I remember visiting with you the towers of the World Trade Center, your office, the beauty that your office governed over, and your sense of pride in being a governor of such a great state and a great city.

Mayor Giulianni, you are really a symbol for all of us. The way you stood up with dignity, determination and hope in such a trying time in the history of your city – incomparable, impossible. I want to thank you in the name of all of us, for being what you are, for doing what you did, for saying what you are said. I told Mayor-elect Bloomberg that as a politician, I have one remark: "Better have the press say that you don’t have a chance to be elected and be elected, than having the press saying you will be elected and not to be elected." My hardiest congratulations on your election.

What happened in New York is not just an American experience, it is the story of our time. Not only because the city and all of us were amazed to see millions of people all of a sudden facing death and fire and horrors – and unexpectedly, without any organization, in the face of this horror, to demonstrate such dignity. The first impression in our eyes was the dignity of the people. It was the best answer to the horror of the killers, and in the face of such an unknown situation, the people demonstrated, almost instinctively, dignity and unity; despite the exposure of blood and flesh, and pain, they did not lose hope. It was the greatest demonstration that I can recall of dignity, unity, and hope.

Let me just say another word. Globalization began with the new age of economy – economy based on science, technology, hi-technology, very much coming from the United States of America, and making the whole world suddenly a global occasion. We witnessed the globalization of the world as a result of science and technology, because borders disappeared, as well as distances and prejudices. We felt all of a sudden that we were living on the same planet, giving up whatever we had in our memories and opening a new vista for so many people over the world: from China to Russia; from India to Latin America, not to speak about the United States and Europe, with the United States playing the leading role.

Then we discovered the ugly part of globalization, which is terror. Terror, too, can become global. And while the US hoisted the flag of a strike against terror, we understood that fighting terror, strangely, is also fighting corruption. Terror can reside only in places where you have darkness, where you have irresponsibility, where you have dictatorships, where you have corruption. It goes together.

It was so symbolic to see that the attack against the Taliban brought men and women together as equals in the fight against terrorism. Maybe the greatest achievement in the 20th century was the liberation of women, saving half of the humanity from discrimination and giving them equality, and we see the same thing again.

There is just one camp: an economy based on science, and science means to be honest. You cannot have a scientific lie. This is the camp based on science, openness and cooperation on one hand, and fighting corruption, darkness and discrimination on the other hand.

You are the leaders of it, first of all by example, and then by declaration, together with the very clear language of President Bush. So we have you here as people who took the most dangerous bull by the horns and showed us that you can turn it into a horse galloping towards freedom.

You are welcome, and thank you very much.  

 FM Peres addresses the Solidarity Delegation from New York- Governor Pataki- Mayor Giulianni- and Mayor-elect Bloomberg-9-Dec-2001
 FM Peres addresses the Solidarity Delegation from New York- Governor Pataki- Mayor Giulianni- and Mayor-elect Bloomberg-9-Dec-2001
Solidarity Delegation from New York – MFA Spokesman