President Shimon Peres, along with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday evening hosted the annual reception for foreign diplomats and consular staff in Israel. Representatives of foreign countries in Israel arrived to express their congratulations to Israel on its 65th anniversary.
Speaking to the staff, Peres expressed Israel's consolations to the U.S. over the deaths and injuries in Boston, where several bombs exploded at the conclusion of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 140. “In the name of the Israeli nation and the Jewish people, I wish to express our condolences to all the families who suffered losses, and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” Peres said. “At times like these we are all one family. We feel one with those families who have paid such a high price.
“Terror is a major problem today,” Peres said. “Terrorism is not a policy by governments, but a threat that causes fear and divisiveness, and destroys innocent people.”
Peres also discussed the Mideast peace process. He praised Netanyahu for his supporting the establishment of an Arab state by the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria. “The nation is united around the two-state solution today,” said Peres. “It is better to live in peace and neighborly relations than in a constant quarrel in a single state. We must negotiate, and we can do this with the Palestinians. It is not an issue of one leader or another. I hear what PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas says. I do not have to agree with him on every issue, but he is firm in his conviction and stance against terror. I am sure we will be able to overcome our differences,” Peres added.
Netanyahu also related to the deaths in Boston. “A day of happiness in Boston turned into one of tragedy and fear. We send our condolences to President Obama, the American people, and to the families of the victims. Today Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with the American people.”