Israeli President Shimon Peres welcomed the citizens of Israel into his sukkah today and spoke to the crowd about the past, present and future of the State of Israel, expressing hope that the new year will bring what Israelis have longed for since the establishment of the state - peace.
Peres tried to keep things light and festive but with the looming threat from a possibly nuclear Iran, the president touched on the subject and just as he did during a meeting with Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef on Tuesday, likened the country's president to Haman, saying, "I think about the coming year and I pray that it will be the best year for the nation of Israel and that Haman the horrible (Ahmadenijad) who is threatening us will disappear one way or another, and that we will overcome him."
"I hope this year we will do the smart thing for our nation, and that is peace," he said. "Peace within our country, peace with our neighbors in the Middle East. Believe me, we will achieve peace…the peace of prophets which elevates the spirits. We have no choice other than to rely on our wits and not on our swords. Let us pray together for an Israel with no suffering, no despair and an Israel that will allow the entire world to benefit from all she has to offer."
Peres spoke of all of the economic gains over the past year and how the country continues to grow, bloom and expand from innovations in technology, business, agriculture and the environment.
"I remember the first day of the establishment of the State of Israel and during that time there was nothing here. The experts couldn't believe that all of this could come out of our country. From the barrenness with which we started grew a prosperous and beautiful country."