President Peres' Rosh Hashana Greeting

Video: Shana Tova from President Peres

    Greetings from the President of the State of Israel on the occasion of Rosh Hashana 5774
    September 2013

    ​Dear Friends,

    I am happy to extend my warmest good wishes to the Jewish Communities around the world, in my name and on behalf of the people of Israel at large, for the New Year – a new beginning – which I pray will bring peace, stability, economic growth and opportunities leading to great achievements.

    At the onset of Rosh Hashana, and as an omen of optimism for the year to come, Israelis and Palestinians have returned to the negotiating table with full force. At this time of hope for the future, we pray that these efforts will yield the long-awaited results we have all been yearning for, allowing us to enjoy the fruits of peace with hope in our hearts for a brighter future for us all.

    In the Middle East the dust has yet to settle on the dramatic changes that have swept across our region. We hope that from this period of instability will emerge the chance for the countries around us to find the freedom and prosperity for which they aspire, and that a promising dawn will rise over this part of the world. In these turbulent times, Israel remains an island of stability in a sea of uncertainty and will continue to stand strong in the face of adversity – whether it be terror, Iran's nuclear ambitions, or missile attacks on our citizens. Our prayers for a calm sea go hand in hand with the unyielding shield which we hold around our island.

    Israel has not been resting on its laurels and has continued to advance to new frontiers in science, technology and medicine, drawing on our exceptional human resources to spearhead these efforts. It has carved for itself an ever stronger foothold in these domains through exciting innovative and creative breakthroughs used to finding solutions for such issues as water and food scarcity that will constitute a huge relief to communities suffering from drought and other environmental issues, alongside cutting-edge techniques in brain research that will change our lives, and significant discoveries in space and the ocean’s bed that will shed light on so many of the mysteries of the world, among many others.

    While many challenges still lie ahead, we are confident of our strength and are ever more determined of our purpose as a contributing nation. The bond which has linked the Jewish communities abroad with Israel and the adage of being responsible for one another remind us that we are not alone on this mission. In this aspiration, the engagement of the young generation is essential, and we hope that each and every youngster will join us on this journey towards a better tomorrow. Together, we shall continue to strive for a better world – Tikkun Olam – and for an Israel in which moral values are fundamental to our way of life. 

    From Jerusalem, I wish all the Jewish communities the world over a year of peace, joy, good health and prosperity.

    Shana Tova U’Metuka!

    ​​(Communicated by the Office of the President)​​
  • ​​​​
  • Presisent Peres hosts foreign Ambassadors for Rosh Hashana toast

    President Shimon Peres, today (Tuesday, 3 September 2013), at his Jerusalem residence, hosted a reception and toast for the Jewish New Year with the foreign ambassadors in Israel. The President delivered remarks in which he addressed the tension in Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and other major diplomatic issues while stressing again that Israel has no part in the Syrian conflict but would defend itself if attacked, ""If Syria attacks us we will overcome them and that is why I believe it won't happen. We have enough of a deterrent, enough strength and defense. We have one of the best security infrastructures and one of the best militaries in the modern world."

    President Peres addressed the killing in Syria and said, "Assad has lost the right to be a leader by killing a hundred thousand people. He caused it. He wasn't elected properly, it was never a real democracy but even in a democracy you don't have the right to kill your own people. Assad will disappear one way or the other."

    On President Obama's decision regarding an American attack on Syria, President Peres said, "War is a very serious business and I would suggest to every leader to think as much as they can before rather than afterwards. I admire President Obama's attempt to examine every possibility to bring this horrible situation to an end. None of us can ignore it; we do not have the right to. I believe it will reach an end because moral borders are not less important that physical borders. Physical borders can be crossed by missiles, moral ones cannot be crossed. You are either wrong or right."

    Addressing the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians President Peres said, "We begin this year with good news and bad news. The good news is that the peace process has been renewed. It wasn't simple for the Prime Minister of Israel, who had to overcome serious problems, who has had to take a risk and to embark upon the desired but also the unknown. He did it, he did it rightly and I think he, and his government, deserves our appreciation. Abu Mazen continues to be against terror, he continues to strive for peace and I think he has shown courage by saying that though he's from Safed he won't return there which is a meaningful declaration. Before the start of negotiations there was a great deal of doubt but the fact that the two parties are talking is a victory for reason, I hope we shall continue."

    "We used to live in a world where children buried their fathers who fought in war but to see babies being killed by their own ruler, I do not believe that any human being can pass over it without considering it as the worst demonstration of evil. The peace process has been given nine months so at least we have nine months of optimism."

    ​​(Communicated by the Office of the President)