Peres speaksAnd we are on our way showing a video presentation on the delegitimization of Israel.
You can watch a webcast of today's proceedings here. Ronald Lauder is speaking right now.
Lauder says open letter to Obama one of the most important things they have ever done, but gives himself and WJC too much credit for change in American attitude, which has more to do with the reality of upcoming midterm elections.
Peres now speaking.
When Bibi goes to DC determined to represent his people and to implement agreed two-state solution. Peres mentions that 'Palestine' must be demilitarized - says all other solutions are dangerous. Says that he fears that Gaza will be a separate terror state - wants Judea, Samaria and Gaza united and demilitarized. Thinks Bibi is well-prepared and sends him his blessings for success of mission.
Says Obama has changed in last couple of months. Says that direct talks are much more serious than proximity talks and Obama made the right decision to move on. Peres says he was once a postman and that young boy who sent love letter to girlfriend every day ended up with girlfriend marrying the mailman.
Mubarak an important participant and has done more than anyone outside Israel to prevent war in our region. Peres believes Mubarak going to Washington to bring peace.
Talks about Abdullah of Jordan and says that it will be a very interesting gathering uniting the four participants, which is a real wish for peace.
Says it's good that there's an agreed platform of a two-state solution.
Third, a common sense that there's not too much time. The window is open but if it's not used now other events may take away this important occasion (you all know I disagree with this - I don't see any opportunity here and I don't believe that the 'Palestinians' are any more ready for peace now than they were ten years ago - had to put that in).
No Prime Minister has been able to do what he wanted or to avoid doing what he did not want to do. That's the reality.
Says we're witnessing ideological, religious and political confrontation in the Middle East - will it become a Muslim hegemony (many Arabs giving up nation states and willing to accept Muslim hegemony). Arabs made 23 states after British left without a 'Palestinian state.' The 23 states did not meet all expectations. There is now a new appetite to build an empire, not by kings but by religious leaders. The center is Iran.
Iran trying to convert Lebanon into a battlefield. It is sending arms to Lebanon, to Hamas. Gaza is occupied by Hamas and will be free as soon as they stop shooting us.
If Iran goes nuclear, no one will sleep quietly at night.
If we make peace, then the excuse for which they are using Israel for their imperial ambitions will disappear (Peres accepts linkage - I don't believe that's correct).
There's another confrontation between the new world and the old world. There is a clash among civilizations and a clash among nations.
Iran thinks they can run the world but they can't. Peres says there's a double danger - the weapons they're going to develop and their government. Bombs don't fire themselves.
Today most people agree that there should be a 'two-state solution.' We left Gaza and cannot understand why they started to shoot at us as soon as we left (which is only explainable if you understand that the 'Palestinians' want to destroy the Jewish state and not live in two states side-by-side in peace - that's my view again).
[If you have the impression that Peres is rambling a bit, yes he seems to be].
He says there are 21 suburbs in Jerusalem that were never built so why start building them now.
Peres says a good Jew cannot be satisfied. Huh?
He says we have to go back to our moral sources and keep our eyes on the future.
Now in Q&A after long stream of consciousness speech.
Peres says we have to stress positive side to fight delegitimization and that world will come around if we stress the positive side.
Almost forgot to tell you the best part: Peres implied that the Jewish people - and not God - had written the ten commandments.