Itongadol/AJN.- Former president Shimon Peres spoke at The Jerusalem Post\’s Diplomatic Conference on Thursday, praising Wednesday\’s announcement that Tzipi Livni would be joining with the Labor Party for March 2015 elections. The former president also voiced criticism of Israel\’s current lack of a policy for pursuing peace with the Palestinians.
On the issue of the Herzog-Livni agreement, Peres said that there were "too many small parties," and therefore the political union is a blessing.
The president said that the time had come to get back to people supporting two major parties.
In response to a question from Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Steve Linde about the moribund peace process, Peres said that the Palestinians were making overtures to peace that the Israelis would be able to hear if they listened better.
He said that "peace is made with those who don\’t share our views."
In response to recent tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Peres said that Israel must renew negotiations to ensure that there is hope among the Palestinian people.
"We must bring an end to the conflict or at least start negotiating to bring an end to terror," Peres told Linde.
He said that he believes "100 percent" that there is still a chance for peace with the Palestinians. He spoke out against unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, saying that peace could only come about as part of an agreement.
In a dig at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Peres said that it was unclear if there was any diplomatic policy at all for Israel right now. He said that it was not a policy to say you support a Jewish state. but do everything to prevent it.
He said that Israel was in danger of losing its place as the Jewish state. "A Jewish state is not something you declare, it\’s something you are," he stated.