31 August 2010
Over 300 delegates and guests have attended the annual WJC Governing Board meeting in Jerusalem. It took place on the eve of peace negotiations in Washington between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israeli President Shimon Peres delivered the opening address, calling the peace process “the most important task of our time.” The 87-year-old Israeli head of state said a solution to the conflict in the Middle East was “two states for two peoples, and the establishment of a democratic, demilitarized Palestinian state on the side of Israel.”
“All other solutions are dangerous,” Peres told the World Jewish Congress meeting. He said he wished Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu well. “I send my profound blessings for this mission and its success.” Peres also praised Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak’s efforts to bring about a peace deal: "Mubarak stood like a rock in the Middle East to prevent a regional war." The Israeli president said he was certain Mubarak's journey to Washington would be a major factor in helping to achieve peace. He also saw significance in the participation of King Abdullah of Jordan.
In his opening speech, WJC President Ronald Lauder called the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority "one of the most fateful moments" in the history of Israel. Lauder pledged that world Jewry would continue to actively support Israel. "The international threats to Israel only serve to make us stronger," Lauder told the 300 delegates and guests. “We stand by Israel. Every one of us stands by Israel, shoulder to shoulder, now and forever.”
VIDEO: Watch President Peres' speech in full here.
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