Shimon Peres

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Optimists and pessimists die the same way. They just live differently. I prefer to live as an optimist.

Shimon Peres (born 2 August 1923) is an Israeli politician and the previous (until 2014) president of the state of Israel. He was Prime Minister of Israel from 1984 to 1986 and from 1995 to 1996 and Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel from 2001 to 2002, and became Vice Premier in a coalition under Ariel Sharon at the start of 2005.

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  • There's a great deal of criticism about the United States, but there is one thing that nobody criticizes the United States. Nobody thinks the United States went to strike against Iraq in order to gain land or water or oil, nobody thinks America has any ambitions about real estate. As it happened in the 20th century, the American boys went to fight in two world wars, many of them lost their lives. The United States won the wars, won the land, but you gave back every piece of it. America didn't keep anything out of her victories for herself. You gave back Japan, an improved Japan, you gave Germany, an improved Germany, you've heard the Marshall Plan. And today, I do not believe there is any serious person on earth who thinks the United States, whether you agree or don't agree with this strike, has any egoistic or material purposes in the war against Iraq. The reason is, for this strike, that you cannot let the world run wild. And people who are coming from different corners of our life, attack and kill women and children and innocent people, just out of the blue. And I think the whole world is lucky that there is a United States that has the will and the power to handle the new danger that has arrived on the 21st century.
  • Until the Yom Kippur War, in 1973, until then Israel didn't have a chance but to fight for her life. We were attacked five times, outgunned, outnumbered, on a small piece of land, and our main challenge was to remain alive.
  • There isn't a single person in Israel who wants to destroy or harm Egypt. In contrast, there's a whole country that openly wants to destroy Israel, and that's Iran. That is the difference between ours and Egypt's security problems. Egypt is not threatened by anyone. Israel is threatened by the second circle. Israel has never been and will never be a danger to Egypt. [...] Israel is not threatening Iran, Iran is threatening Israel. The situation is not similar.
  • The borders will be based on 1967, with the required security modifications. If we take a certain percentage of the Palestinian land, we will compensate them with land. We will not rob their land. Sovereignty yes, but no one would threaten this Palestinian state, and therefore the Palestinians also agree that it can be demilitarized. When the threats on Israel would also cease, I hope that Israel could be demilitarized too.
  • We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through but not a genocide [...] Israel should not determine a historical or philosophical position on the Armenian issue. If we have to determine a position, it should be done with great care not to distort the historical realities.
  • Optimists and pessimists die the same way. They just live differently. I prefer to live as an optimist.
    • "Serving 60 Years to Life". Newsweek Europe. 2005-12-12. 
  • Your majesty, the king of Saudi Arabia, I was listening to your message. I wish that your voice will become the prevailing voice of the whole region, of all people. It's right, it's needed, it's promising.
  • Historic justice has been done by killing Saddam.
  • India represents the new world in a unique sense. Traditionally democracies were trying to bring equality to all walks of life, today there is a change. Democracy wants to enable every country to have the equal right to be different; it's a collection of differences, not an attempt to force or impose equality on every country. I think India is the greatest show of how so many differences in language, in sects can coexist facing great suffering and keeping full freedom... Many of the countries in the Middle East should learn from you how to escape poverty. You didn't escape poverty by getting American dollars or Russian Roubles but by introducing your own internal reforms and by understanding that the new call of modernity is science. In between the spiritual wealth of Gandhi and the earthly wisdom of Nehru, you combined a great performance of spirit and practice to escape poverty...I know you still have a long way to go but you do it without compromising freedom. The temptation when you're such a large country to introduce discipline and imposition is great but you tried to do it, to make progress not with force and discipline but in an open way. Many of us were educated on the literature of India when we fell in love we read Rabindranath Tagore and when we matured we tried to understand Gandhi.

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