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MIDEAST > Israel's Peres urges Syria intervention by Arab force

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Arab countries need to stop Syria’s al-Assad from killing ‘his own children,’ Israel’s president says, warning of a Damascus attack on Europe

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Israeli President Shimon Peres speaks during a meeting with French Imams on March 10, 2013 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA

Israeli President Shimon Peres speaks during a meeting with French Imams on March 10, 2013 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA

Israeli President Shimon Peres issued a call to the Arab League yesterday to intervene militarily in Syria “to stop the massacre” in the country amid the Arab republic’s two-year-old civil war.

“The Arab League can and should form a provisional government in Syria to stop the massacre, to prevent Syria from falling to pieces. The United Nations should support the Arab League to build an Arab force in blue helmets,” he said in an address to the European Parliament.

In the first speech to the assembly by an Israeli head of state in almost three decades, Peres said the free world “cannot stand by when a massacre is carried out by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against his own people and his own children.”

“It breaks all our hearts,” he said, adding that al-Assad was a threat to the entire region “and even for Europe” because he possessed a chemical arsenal.

Peres said Arab League intervention was the best solution to prevent chemical weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

“The intervention of Western forces would be perceived as a foreign interference,” he said.

The fate of al-Assad’s chemical arsenal was “a real problem,” he said at a news conference after the speech.

The Israeli leader received a standing ovation from the 754-member Parliament. Hailing the European Union’s feat in turning a continent at war into a continent at peace in six decades, Peres singled out Iran as the world’s number-one enemy.

‘Call terror, terror’

“The greatest danger to peace in the world is the present Iranian regime,” he said, attacking Tehran not only for “aiming to build a nuclear weapon” but also for violating human rights by hanging people and discriminating against women.

He also slammed Iran for supporting global terrorism, notably via “its main proxy,” the Lebanese Hezbollah, blaming the group for dividing Lebanon, supporting al-Assad and sowing terror across the world, most recently in Europe. The EU is already under pressure from Israel and the United States to put Hezbollah on a terrorist blacklist and Peres added his voice to the calls. “We appeal to you, call terror, terror,” he said. “Save Lebanon from terrorist madness. Save the Syrian people from Iran’s proxies. Save your citizens and ours from Hezbollah.”

The last Israeli head of state to address lawmakers from the bloc was Chaim Herzog 28 years ago.

March/12/2013

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Ken Alden

3/15/2013 6:51:35 AM

@T-d-U, your words; '@Ken- GAZA was captured from Egypt and the West Bank from Jordan.' You missed Sinai & Golan H. Here is the scoop on '67 War of aggression by Israel. Here’s what then Prime Minister Menachem Begin said in 1982: “In June of 1967, we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentration in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” Who is the Aggressor here? do some Research, Down Under!

mara mcglothin

3/14/2013 3:55:46 PM

Spot on! TURK DOWN UNDER.

Turk down under

3/13/2013 3:49:34 PM

Does anyone in this forum really want Iran to advance its nuclear capabilities or for Chemical weapons to fall into the hands of Hezbollah or the like? This is not only a danger to Israel but to the world as a whole! You should be applauding President Peres as did the Assembly. @Ken- GAZA was captured from Egypt and the West Bank from Jordan. I can't remember a time when the Palestinians demanded of the Egyptians or Jordanians-that that land was Palestinian land.

Ken Alden

3/13/2013 3:44:28 PM

@Jim Handley, you complaining that I am biased, what i have concluded that acording to Israeli participants of these here columns, anyone who does't genuflect at mention of Israel, is considered a Jewhater, antisemite,e.t.c.! If you realy read my postings as they a written, you never find me making disparaging Statements about jewish People or Religeon. Just note one thing that Jews and Arabs in Israel are victims of vicious Politicians, who exploit your fears just to stay in Power!

mara mcglothin

3/13/2013 3:30:21 PM

Why is the West expected to continually clean up the mess in the ME. Why can't all the "brothers" get together and take care of their own? Or would that be too convenient and then there would be on one to blame?

Ken Alden

3/13/2013 1:45:58 PM

No State in it's right mind and member of the UN can interject itself in Syria, without facing VETO from Russia, tha has "Ships on Station" in Syrian Port, it has evacuated all it Citizens out of Harms way and will intervene if its Interests are threatened. Everybody cheered on the "Arab Spring", that made Israel ever so cautious, as it is a Sponteneos Uptising that treatens to spill over into Israel, wherein Mr. Perez is gropping to circumvent Russia, no Dice, Mr. Peres! Arabs respect Russia!

Ken Alden

3/13/2013 1:18:16 PM

Lior U, I do not give-up my Sources but here is one for you and all those who can not stand the Truth: Read Thomas L. Ftirdman's book "From Beiruth to Jerusalem" a World Aclaimed Author,Pulitzer Prize Winner, a Juwish fellow, presently Bureau Chief for New York Times and stationed in Jersalem! The book deals extensivelly with Israeli Agression and atrocities of SAbra & Shatila Refugee Camps, among others! Just Google the Title on internet! Ten wrongs don't make One right! Remember Deir Yassir!

sam stevens

3/13/2013 11:30:20 AM

This is such good common sense, why have the Arabs never helped their neighbours, they even ignore the Palestinians,with all the money in the oil rich countries, none are interested in what happens there. That should tell those who argue Palestine should be a state, it shouldn't....the original 'Palestinians' are itinerant workers who never returned home & have been trouble ever since.

Lior Uziel

3/13/2013 10:52:00 AM

@Ken, can you please bring some proof of what you wrote? It is very interesting as it is the opposite of what is common knowledge in the world. For example, a proof is the state of Israel "deceleration" in which it is written that in the midst of the Arab attack (Israel was attacked by both the Arab citizens and 7 Arab countries when it was created, aiming to annihilate the Jews there in a similar manner as was done for them in Judah and Samara by Jordan) he calls the Arabs to make peace.

jim handley

3/13/2013 5:58:50 AM

@Eyal Yes Mr. Perez was selected to be the arab league chairman. Didn't you get the memo? You should applaud their sense of diversity. This could mean a new beginning for ME peace.
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