Ninth President of Israel Shimon Peres delivered a speech Monday at the Herzliya Conference and addressed pressing issues on the agenda. In his opening remarks Peres launched a special website in the war against the BDS movement against Israel which operates via social media.

The former president was asked by journalist Ben Caspit about the financial boycotts against Israel and replied: “BDS organizations create ignorance and hatred. It is important to understand that the embargo prevents negotiations – organizations in the BDS movement want to kill the peace negotiations through boycotts and they will achieve nothing but hatred. The CEO of Orange made a mistake and it is good that he came to apologize. We have friendly countries but we need to understand that the boycotts influence independent companies – we need to work on our advocacy with global companies to show them that we truly are turning to peace.” Peres stressed the importance of the Israeli government speaking with one clear voice to the world – is it in favor of two states or not?

Regarding US – Israel relations Peres said “All disputes between Israel and the US can be resolved amicably and privately. Obama should be judged by his actions and it is important to recognize the truth – there is no security problem Israel has faced that Obama has not responded to. He supported Israel on the settlement issue at the United Nations even though his opinion differed because he cares for Israel. We have always received any request made to Obama even when his opinion differed.” The outcry at Jack yesterday at the conference was shameful – Jack has supported Israel and is not our enemy – so what was the shouting for? If you shout a little bit of truth into your lie does the lie become the truth? Clearly not- we must stick to the truth.”

Regarding the agreement with Iran Peres said: “Obama has managed to unite a coalition of determined countries, led by China and Russia, to act against Iran and this must be appreciated. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@Jspace_News” suffix=”-Peres”]There should never be nuclear weapons in Iran’s hands[/inlinetweet], but the first step is to try and resolve the dispute through non-military means. A good agreement with Iran is not measured only through the number of centrifuges, but rather according to the number of countries partnering together to ensure that Iran adheres to its commitments. We can only judge the agreement with Iran when we learn all of the details; military action is always on the table.

Professor Uriel Reichman, President and Founder of the IDC Herzliya, opened by saying “It is a great honor for us to host 9th President Mr. Shimon Peres, and I thank him for a long partnership with the IDC Herzliya. On this momentous occasion, I wish to state that the IDC recently mobilized to address the issue of Israeli public relations. We have reached a point where the movement against Israel questions its very right to exist, when the supporters against Israel are volunteer organizations, including academic institutions and students. We have therefore decided to open a special program at the IDC to study public diplomacy focusing on addressing these struggles. In [this program] students will regularly engage in practical workshops and will work against this serious phenomena we see across the world. Student activities will not be in the name of any government body, and will export the idea of the state of Israel, which has a right to exist under international law, the liberal state of Israel. Some of our students have been joining forces for some time to promote Israeli advocacy, long before this program began to operate.

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