FM Peres Meets with Members of US Senate Subcommittee on International Operations and Terrorism

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
January 16, 2002

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met on Tuesday, January 15, in Tel Aviv with members of the US Senate Subcommittee on International Operations and Terrorism Peres stated that government corruption is a prerequisite and a necessary condition for the development of terrorism. Terrorism begins at home, and is waged against the terrorists’ fellow countrymen.

Peres noted that the reason for poverty and deprivation around the world is the combination of corrupt leadership and religious self-righteousness. The large majority of the 55 Muslim countries around the world are not at peace with themselves: the bloodbath in Algeria, the civil war in Sudan, the riots in Indonesia, the Iran-Iraq war and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait are only a few examples of disputes that have no connection with Israel.

The war against terrorism is an ongoing struggle that will not end until terrorism is eliminated, like the war against cancer. One cannot be against terrorism around the world, while at the same time establishing coalitions with terrorist organizations inside one’s own country. Arafat must decide which path he is choosing.

Israel wants peace for the following reasons:

  1. The moral code that we have followed for hundreds of years is opposed to control over another people.
  2. It is clear to us that peace can only be accomplished through agreement based upon compromises.
  3. Israel wishes to remain a Jewish and democratic state (with a Jewish majority).

The negotiations with the Palestinians were halted because of the terrorism that has delayed the achievement of a settlement. Arafat must establish one clear authority over the various armed organizations. The Palestinian Authority must impose its discipline. As long as each organization shoots in a different direction, the future of the Palestinians will be harmed.