JERUSALEM, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Israeli President Shimon Peres warned the lack of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians could lead to the resumption of terror.
"If there is no diplomatic decision, the Palestinians will go back to terror. ... The silence that Israel has been enjoying over the last few years will not continue ... most of the world will support the Palestinians, justify their actions, level the sharpest criticism at us, falsely label us a racist state, " Peres said in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday. "The world's Jews want an Israel they can be proud of and not an Israel that has no borders and that is considered an occupying state."
The strained relationship between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is due to their individual policies, he said. "The problem is Obama would like to reach peace in the Middle East and has to be convinced that Israel agrees with this. ... He demanded an end to settlements and got a negative response. ... ," he said laying the blame on the current government for permitting settlement activity to continue. Obama believes peace should be made with the Muslim world, Israel doesn't appear to be thinking on those lines, he said.
Netanyahu does not agree that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is a peace partner, he said. "To my mind he [Abbas] is an excellent partner. Our military people describe to me the extent to which the Palestinian forces are cooperating with us to combat terror," he said. " .. If the people of Israel heard from the leadership that there is a chance for peace, they would take up the gauntlet and believe it," he said.