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Grappling with the Unknown

April 12, 2012
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The EU can “change the threat [of oil sanctions] into an opportunity for Iran and cut Iran’s oil supplies to the Europeans. We will not leave enemies’ sanctions unanswered, and we will impose other sanctions on them in addition to closing Iran’s oil supplies to Europe.”

—Mohammad Karim Abedi, member of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission

To the people of Iran: “We were not born enemies and there is no need for us to live as enemies. Do not allow the flags of hostility to cast a dark shadow on your heritage. You are a sensitive people that aspire to friendship and peace, not conflict and wars.”

—President Shimon Peres, special address at the Knesset (Parliament)


jcjgphotography/shutterstock.com “In the past year, the cyber domain has become another battlefront, in addition to the ground, sea and air. The Internet has become a real battlefield.”

—Head of the Computer Service Directorate’s Cyber Defense Department in Israel

The worldwide Internet hacker network ”Anonymous” has released a video threatening to launch a cyber war against Israel: “For too long, we have tolerated your crimes against humanity and allowed your sins to go unpunished. You claim to be democratic, yet in reality, this is far from the truth. In fact, your only goal is to better the lives of a select few while carelessly trampling the liberties of the masses…We will not stop until the police state becomes a free state.”

—from an article by World Jewish Congress

“An escalation in cyber attacks can become a real threat to Israel’s stability. The virtual war on Israel is a concrete threat to Israel’s security. Today it’s hacking credit card companies, and tomorrow it will be stealing security information and harming infrastructures. Some say that lending this too much importance is paranoia, but…these are anti-Israel acts of violence and outright anti-Semitism that aim to destabilize Israel.”

—Yuli Edelstein, minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs

“In my view, the Israeli economy is a sort of miracle, and we have very talented people. If we succeed in resolving the problems of relations with our neighbors too, we will be able to achieve the growth, prosperity, and standard of living which we deserve.”

—Stanley Fischer, governor of the Bank of Israel at Herzliya Conference

“We must ask ourselves what kind of a state we want? A Jewish state within secure and recognized borders, alongside an independent and demilitarized Palestinian state, or a country without borders that will turn into a bi-national state? A bi-national state will be a bi-national dispute…It is for the Palestinians to choose between the path of Hamas, which aspires to terrorism, and the path of Fatah, which is ready for dialogue. We opted for peace, for a historic compromise.”

—President Shimon Peres

“The primary obstacle to peace is not settlements. The primary obstacle to peace is the so-called ‘claim [right] of return.’…You will never hear Palestinian leaders say ‘two states for two peoples.’ If you ever hear them say ‘two states for two peoples,’ please phone my office immediately. Call me ‘collect’ in the event of such an unprecedented occurrence. You won’t hear them say ‘two states for two peoples’ because today the Palestinian leadership is calling for an independent Palestinian state, but insists that its people return to the Jewish state. This would mean the destruction of Israel.”

—Ron Prosor, Israeli ambassador to the UN, in an address to the Security Council

“My goal for the Palestinian people would be to live in peace, to live in prosperity, to have the dignity of a state, to have freedom, and they can achieve it any morning they are prepared to say: Israel has a right to exist, we give up the right to return, and we recognize that we’re going to live side by side.”

—Newt Gingrich, former US House Speaker

“We will never recognize Israel. The resistance will continue until all Palestinian land, including Al-Quds [Jerusalem], has been liberated and all the refugees have returned.”

—Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya, speaking in Tehran, Iran

“Our children are our glory and honor. They were created to be fertilizer for the land of Palestine, and for our pure land to be saturated with their blood.”

—from Fatah-sponsored Palestinian Authority TV, translated by the Palestinian Media Watch

In Spite of the Unknown
 “You have no better friend in the world than Canada, no stronger ally who will stand up for you. We won’t stand behind you; we will stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel.”

—Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, in a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres

“The best way to have peace in the Middle East is not for us to vacillate and to appease, but is to say we stand with our friend Israel; we are committed to a Jewish state in Israel; we will not have an inch of difference between ourselves and our ally Israel.”

—Mitt Romney, former US Governor of Massachusetts

“Here I am, standing before the parliament of the Jewish state, and more importantly, in front of people born in Croatia, and with no ambiguity, I apologize and I ask for forgiveness from all the Holocaust survivors and all the victims…We offer our friendship and our partnership for a better future for our countries and our citizens…The two words that I returned to on this visit were: peace and cooperation: peace for Israel, peace for Palestine.”

—Croatian President Ivo Josipović, addressing the Knesset (Israeli Parliament)


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