Israel's first PM wanted two-state solution: Peres

08:46, November 15, 2010      

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Caption A man walks past a float depicting Israel's first prime minister David Ben-Gurion during a celebration marking Jerusalem Day in Jerusalem June 3, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

Israeli President Shimon Peres, speaking on Sunday at the 38th memorial ceremony for David Ben-Gurion, said Israel's first prime minister supported a two-state solution with the Arabs.

"Ben-Gurion was the first to support the two-state solution, but he believed that our immediate duty is to save the people and release them from dependency on foreigners, something which is impossible to do without ceding some parts of Israel," Peres said at a ceremony held at Kibbutz Sde Boker, south of Beersheba.

Ben-Gurion "knew that a state cannot be built on a UN resolution - but rather with tears and bricks," Peres said of his political colleague, noting that Ben-Gurion "worked to achieve warm relations with the United States, which became a strategic asset."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the event, held at the communal village where Ben-Gurion retired to in 1953, after resigning from the government and spent the last years of his life with his wife.

Netanyahu called his predecessor "one of the rare people who definitely forged the history of the people," according to the Ynet news site.

"Three principles guided Ben-Gurion to declare statehood. The first was security, because peace without security does not last. The second is that Jerusalem is the heart of the nation. On the subject of Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion stood his ground with impressive courage before the world and determined that Jerusalem is an organic and indispensable part of Israel as part of Jewish heritage," Netanyahu said.

Source: Xinhua


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