President Shimon Peres
President Shimon PeresIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The grassroots Samaria (Shomron) Residents Council is calling on Members of Knesset to support a move to oust President Shimon Peres and replace him with a more moderate president.

Their appeal comes in wake of Peres’s controversial speech at a memorial for Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl, in which he warned that settlements “can lead to a threatening demographic change, that is, a risk to the Jewish majority in Israel.”

Peres has made several similar statements since becoming president, the Residents Council noted. On the day he was sworn in as president, he gave an interview to AP in which he said Israel must leave “the territories,” referring to Judea and Samaria. In other interviews, he has called for a new Arab state to be established in Judea, Samaria and Gaza under the leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

“Shimon Peres was chosen as the president of the Jewish state,” the group wrote in a letter. “But that is not stopping him from serving, at the same time, as the Palestinians’ most effective lobbyist for the establishment of a terrorist state in Judea and Samaria."

“He is turning up his nose at the stance held by the Israeli public, and disrespecting his office as a representative of the Jewish public,” the letter continues. It later says, “The president must be told that he can join the Meretz, Balad or Kadima party list, but he cannot continue to serve as president.”

Activists are hoping to convince MKs to sign the missive. They are calling to replace Peres with “a national president who represents the country, who prefers the interests of the Jewish people and not those of Arab nations.”