President Shimon Peres, on Wednesday, 8 February 2012, made a special address at the Knesset on the occasion of a festive plenum session to mark its 63rd anniversary. He discussed several topics, including the peace process with the Palestinians and the Iranian nuclear issue.
President Peres addressed the Iranian people directly and said:
"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."
In regard to the peace process, the President said:
"We must ask ourselves what kind of a state we want? A Jewish state within secure and recognized borders, alongside an independent and de-militarized 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. The two-states for two-peoples solution calls for a renewal of negotiations. Yesterday was easier, and there is no guarantee regarding tomorrow. 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."
In regard to the Iranian threat, the President said:
"Iran is not only a threat to Israel. It constitutes a real danger to humanity as a whole. The present Iranian regime is imperialistic and aspires to be the region' supreme ruler. The world should learn the lesson drawn from the Nazi atrocities. Luckily, today there is a serious and strong Jewish state. It will not forget past crimes in order to ensure that they do not repeat themselves. I endorse the American position and the European position. And I believe they have still not had the last word."