Shimon Peres Quotes

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Shimon Peres

Peres in 2007
9th President of Israel
In office
July 15, 2007 â€“ July 24, 2014
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Benjamin Netanyahu
Preceded by Moshe Katsav
Succeeded by Reuven Rivlin
8th Prime Minister of Israel
In office
November 4, 1995 â€“ June 18, 1996
Acting: November 4, 1995 – November 22, 1995
President Ezer Weizman
Preceded by Yitzhak Rabin
Succeeded by Benjamin Netanyahu
In office
September 13, 1984 â€“ October 20, 1986
President Chaim Herzog
Preceded by Yitzhak Shamir
Succeeded by Yitzhak Shamir
In office
April 22, 1977 â€“ June 21, 1977
Acting
President Ephraim Katzir
Preceded by Yitzhak Rabin
Succeeded by Menachem Begin
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
March 7, 2001 â€“ November 2, 2002
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Deputy Michael Melchior
Preceded by Shlomo Ben-Ami
Succeeded by Benjamin Netanyahu
In office
July 14, 1992 â€“ November 22, 1995
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Deputy Yossi Beilin
Eli Dayan
Preceded by David Levy
Succeeded by Ehud Barak
In office
October 20, 1986 â€“ December 23, 1988
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
Preceded by Yitzhak Shamir
Succeeded by Moshe Arens
Minister of Defence
In office
November 4, 1995 â€“ June 18, 1996
Preceded by Yitzhak Rabin
Succeeded by Yitzhak Mordechai
In office
June 3, 1974 â€“ June 20, 1977
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Preceded by Moshe Dayan
Succeeded by Ezer Weizman
Minister of Finance
In office
December 22, 1988 â€“ March 15, 1990
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
Preceded by Moshe Nissim
Succeeded by Yitzhak Shamir
Minister of Transportation
In office
September 1, 1970 â€“ March 10, 1974
Prime Minister Golda Meir
Preceded by Ezer Weizman
Succeeded by Aharon Yariv
Member of the Knesset
In office
November 3, 1959 â€“ June 13, 2007
Personal details
Born Szymon Perski
(1923-08-02)August 2, 1923
Wiszniew, Poland
Died September 28, 2016(2016-09-28) (aged 93)
Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, Ramat Gan, Israel
Resting place Mount Herzl
Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Israel
Political party Mapai (1959–1965)
Rafi (1965–1968)
Labor (1968–2005)
Kadima (2005–2016)
Other political
affiliations
Alignment (1965–1991)
Spouse(s) Sonya Gelman (m. 1945; d. 2011)
Children Zvia
Yoni
Chemi
Alma mater The New School
New York University
Harvard University
Religion Judaism
Awards Nobel Peace Prize (1994)
Military service
Allegiance  Israel
Service/branch Haganah
Israeli Defense Forces

Later on, there were some problems with our navy, so he made me the head of the navy – all things that I hardly knew anything about. I was basically an ignorant young man.
Shimon Peres
I have a brother younger than me. My mother was a librarian, so from her, I got the taste to read.
Shimon Peres
When you have two alternatives, the first thing you have to do is to look for the third that you didn't think about, that doesn't exist.
Shimon Peres
In order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear country you have to introduce a system of verification and inspection.
Shimon Peres
The uprising in Egypt was initiated by the young generation. The uprising achieved two things. One is it made the lives of dictators impossible. Today, if you are looking for a safe job, don't become a dictator.
Shimon Peres
Israel welcomes the wind of change, and sees a window of opportunity. Democratic and science-based economies by nature desire peace. Israel does not want to be an island of affluence in an ocean of poverty. Improvements in our neighbours' lives mean improvements to the neighbourhood in which we live.
Shimon Peres
I think I was a good student, because I jumped over a school. My main interest was basically history and literature. Sports were basically basketball and swimming at a pool. I was so happy.
Shimon Peres
I was learning, as I did in the Ministry of Defense. I never knew, but I always learned.
Shimon Peres
In Israel, a land lacking in natural resources, we learned to appreciate our greatest national advantage: our minds. Through creativity and innovation, we transformed barren deserts into flourishing fields and pioneered new frontiers in science and technology.
Shimon Peres
Israel's doors are open to collaboration with Bulgaria.
They thought that I was a man with reasonable judgment, so I was never under pressure from my parents; I could do whatever I wanted. I never had a negative word from them, nothing whatsoever.
Shimon Peres
Television has made dictatorship impossible but democracy unbearable.
Early in the morning, I fell in love with the girl that later on became my wife. At that time, we were so naive. I wanted to charm her, so I read her Capital by Marx. I thought somehow she would be convinced by the strength of his criticism about capital.
Shimon Peres
For me, dreaming is simply being pragmatic.
One of the most important branches of the Egyptian economy is tourism. No bikinis, no tourism. So they have to decide what to do.
Shimon Peres
A solution of two national states – a Jewish state, Israel; an Arab state, Palestine. The Palestinians are our closest neighbors. I believe they may become our closest friends.
Shimon Peres
Israel has its attractions. It's the most dramatic country in the world. Everybody's engaged. Everybody argues. When I leave Israel, I get a little bit bored, you know?
Shimon Peres
You know when civilization began? With the invention of the mirror.
What should be the future of Israel? Is the land the most important choice, and for that reason to keep the whole of the land at any cost, or to have a partition and build the Jewish state on part of the land? And the other part?
Shimon Peres
One of the things the United States does well is building coalitions. What the U.S. knows is that if you don't have a coalition with you, you will have a coalition against you. I don't want to see China and Russia on the side of Iran more strongly than they are.
Shimon Peres
The older generation had greater respect for land than science. But we live in an age when science, more than soil, has become the provider of growth and abundance. Living just on the land creates loneliness in an age of globality.
Shimon Peres
The Jews' greatest contribution to history is dissatisfaction! We're a nation born to be discontented. Whatever exists we believe can be changed for the better.
Shimon Peres
We asked the workers to give up 25 percent of their salaries. Imagine! We asked the industrialists to freeze all costs, no matter what the inflation is.
Shimon Peres
Look, I worked with American Republican presidents and Democratic presidents, all of them, and each of them has shown a deep and profound friendship to Israel, you know? I can't remember anybody who was in that sense negative as far as Israel is concerned.
Shimon Peres
The United States is the only power in history that became great by giving and not by taking. I think the crisis was when the United States had more money than ideas. Money doesn't produce money. Ideas produce money.
Shimon Peres
I believe that peace with the Palestinians is most urgent – urgent than ever before. It is necessary. It is crucial. It is possible. A delay may worsen its chances. Israel and the Palestinians are, in my judgment, ripe today to restart the peace process.
Shimon Peres
There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary.
Shimon Peres
I joined the army as a private. I was offered a rank at that time, but I refused. I preferred to remain a private. First of all, I wasn't taken by ranks, and before I knew it, they put me in the most sensitive positions anyway.
Shimon Peres
I think peace should be done not only among governments but among people. It was impossible before the Facebook.
Shimon Peres
Look, Israel doesn't intend to introduce nuclear weapons, but if people are afraid that we have them, why not? It's a deterrent.
Shimon Peres
The problem of the Middle East is poverty more than politics.
The Middle East is ailing. The malady stems from pervasive violence, shortages of food, water and educational opportunities, discrimination against women and – the most virulent cause of all – the absence of freedom.
Shimon Peres
The Iranian regime suppresses its own people as well as others in the region. It prevents peace by sponsoring terror globally. With the ultimate weapon that it is deceptively developing, the regime aims to gain hegemony over the entire Middle East and hold the world's economy hostage.
Shimon Peres
There was one occasion when I was very young – eight years or seven years old – that Jewish businessmen went through the forest, and they were assassinated. And that was for the first time I saw in our paper where there were assassinations in our place.
Shimon Peres
Israel was born under the British mandate. We learned from the British what democracy means, and how it behaves in a time of danger, war and terror. We thank Britain for introducing freedom and respect of human rights both in normal and demanding circumstances.
Shimon Peres
I didn't plan to be a politician. The founder of our country, David Ben-Gurion, called me from the kibbutz to serve in the underground. We were short of manpower, short of arms. I was 24 years old. I was supposed to serve my country for one or two years. I am 89 years old this year, and I keep going.
Shimon Peres
My heart goes out to the brave citizens of Syria, who each day risk and even sacrifice their lives to achieve freedom from a murderous regime. We in Israel welcome the historic struggle to forge democratic, peace-loving governments in our region.
Shimon Peres
You know who is against democracy in the Middle East? The husbands. They got used to their way of life. Now, the traditional way of life must change. Everybody must change. If you don't give equal rights to women, you can't progress.
Shimon Peres
The internet, Facebook and Twitter have created mass communications and social spaces that regimes cannot control.
Shimon Peres
And in England there has always been something deeply pro-Arab, of course, not among all Englishmen, and anti-Israeli, in the establishment. They abstained in the 1947 UN partition resolution… They maintained an arms embargo against us in the 1950s… They always worked against us. They think the Arabs are the underdogs.
Shimon Peres
Peace with the Palestinians will open ports of peace all around the Mediterranean. The duty of leaders is to pursue freedom ceaselessly, even in the face of hostility, in the face of doubt and disappointment. Just imagine what could be.
Shimon Peres
When I look at the record of President Obama concerning the major issue security I think it's a highly satisfactory record from Israeli point of view.
Shimon Peres
Now, I learned soon enough, that among the three, two don't trust the third one – the third one is the government. Both industry and unions feel the government is a talking organization and a spending organization.
Shimon Peres
He was the editor of our paper. He created the publishing house in Hebrew. He was – I wouldn't say the 'guru' – but really he was our teacher and a most respected man. I wrote for the paper of the youth movement.
Shimon Peres
In the Middle East, the conflict today is a matter of generations and not of cultures.
Shimon Peres
Bringing an end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians may help the young Arab generation to realise their aspirations. Israel is more than willing to offer our experience in building a modern economy in spite of limited resources to the whole region.
Shimon Peres
He taught me literature, and he actually taught me how to read. He was my personal mentor.
Shimon Peres
The present Arab uprising didn't stem from Israel. The old guard is trying to keep down the young chickens. The old guard is better organized. They may win elections, but unless they have a solution to poverty, to corruption, to oppression, they will not last. I am with the young people.
Shimon Peres
Today, the people are governing the governments. And when they begin to talk to each other, they are surprised, they can be friends. Why should we hate each other?
Shimon Peres
Look, we have existed for 4,000 years – 2,000 years in diaspora, in exile. Nobody in the Middle East speaks their original language but Israel. When we started 64 years ago, we were 650,000 people. So, you know, we are maybe swimming a little bit against the stream, but we continue to swim.
Shimon Peres
I worked with a group of people who argued day and night – professors, officials, the Minister of Finance – but there were decisions that I had to make.
Shimon Peres
That was my first lesson from Ben-Gurion. Then I saw him making peace, and I saw him making war. He mobilized me before the war. The man was a very rare combination between a real intellectual and a born leader. There is a contradiction between the two.
Shimon Peres
When I am speaking about American presidents, I have to speak about my very special relations with President Clinton. He contributed more to peace than anybody else in the American sense.
Shimon Peres
If I tax them, in fact, I'm not taxing the capitalists, I am taxing the people who have saved, trusted. It was very controversial, those sorts of things. But finally, it worked out.
Shimon Peres
Bulgaria is a true friend of Israel, that stood up to save the Jewish people 70 years ago in Europe, and who stood by throughout the terror attack that took place in Burgas last July.
Shimon Peres
What is wrong with the Iranians in addition to the nuclear bomb? This is the only country on Earth in the 21st century that has renewed imperialistic ambitions. They really want to become the hegemon of the Middle East in an age that gave up imperialism.
Shimon Peres