Peres insists: Abbas still a peace partner

Sunday marks the twentieth anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Former President Shimon Peres spoke to Army Radio ahead of the commemoration, where he noted that he is “worried” about Israel’s current security situation.

“I am full of worry, I will not hide,” Peres said. “There was always incitement against us, there has always been violence, there has always been terrorism, there has always been loneliness.”:

“But since the establishment of the State of Israel by David Ben-Gurion until the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin – we had stood on one thing: [that] Israel will be a Jewish and democratic State.”

“Today I do not know for what the state stands,” Peres continued. “The Prime Minister says one thing, members of the government say something else.”

“The prime minister said earlier at Bar Ilan University that he supports two states. Then he said he was for it, but against the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

Peres rejected the notion of a binational state, saying it would eliminate the Jewish character of the State of Israel.

“A binational state will not be a Jewish state, make no mistake,” he claimed, adding that the Arab world has also begun to take interest in the issue. “Ben-Gurion stood up and said ‘better Jewish state on part of the land of Israel than Israel without a Jewish state.”

Peres further opined that, despite the ongoing and unprecedented wave of Palestinian incitement against Jews – much of which is directly from the Palestinian Authority itself – PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is still a peace partner.

“He came out against terrorism, he came out in favor of peace, he set up a security force with our consent for participating in the war on terror,” he insisted. “We need to see the whole picture.”