Over a seven-decade career in politics, Shimon Peres has helped guide Israel through wars and existential threats. But now, with the country embroiled in a new wave of violence, the 92-year-old elder statesman worries that if its leaders do not get serious about pursuing peace with the Palestinians, it will be in an eternal state of war and risk losing its Jewish majority, the AP reports.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, the former president stopped short of directly criticizing Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. But he also made no secret that the values he and the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin inherited from Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, were in jeopardy.
“Better to have a Jewish state on part of the land than have the whole land without the Jewish state,” he said. “Israel should implement the two-state solution for her own sake because if we should lose our majority, and today we are almost equal, we cannot remain a Jewish state or a democratic state.
“That’s the main issue, and to my regret they (the government) do the opposite.”
Here are some other comments he made in his AP interview:
“The alternative to two states is a continued war and nobody can maintain a war forever. If you say we should live on our sword don’t forget that there are other swords as well.
“A politician and a government should be judged by one way only, on the record of what you do or did, not on what you say.” Read more.