Peres: Blindness of extreme right could bring catastrophe
Within three years, the Middle East could turn into an arena of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, which because of the blindness of Israel's extreme right-wing could bring catastrophe upon Israel, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told the Knesset yesterday.
"You are bringing Israel to a point from which there is no escape," Peres said of the opposition of the far-right to diplomatic contacts with the Arabs.
Reacting angrily to MK Zvi Hendel's remark that had he lived, Yitzhak Rabin would have pressed for canceling the Oslo peace agreements, Peres said of the Israeli-Palestinian accords, "I don't regret them, I am proud of them, and Rabin would have stood here just like me!"
To Hendel's catcalls, Peres said of Rabin, whose 1995 assassination is being commemorated today, "I knew him better than you, and [unlike you] he had courage and had no demagoguery in him."
Peres also attacked the rabbis of the Yesha council settler movement, who this week issued calls advising soldiers against "evacuating their brothers" on illegal settlement outposts.
"You have no alternative other than virtual illusions. The rabbis of Yesha are the politicians of Yesha, the terrible politicians of Yesha," who Peres said were unfaithful to Israel's moral heritage. [Ha'aretz - 17 Oct 2002]