Be Partners in Peace, Peres Urges Syria in Address to Congress
Compiled From News Services, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
In an emotional address to Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres urged Syria on Tuesday to put aside old grievances and join the drive for peace in the Middle East.
Peres repeatedly invoked the spirit of Yitzhak Rabin, his assassinated predecessor, in his speech to a joint meeting of the Senate and the House. Reminding his rapt audience of legislators, Cabinet officers, Supreme Court justices and diplomats that Rabin was slain by a foe of territorial compromise, Peres vowed to continue in the path of the "captain of peace."
But the address also marked a rite of passage as Peres stepped out from behind Rabin's shadow to raise, within the American chambers of power, a challenge to Syria to pursue peace vigorously.
"Mr. Speaker, with your permission," Peres said with parliamentary rhetorical flourish, "I would like to use this podium to turn to President (Hafez) Assad of Syria and say to him: Without forgetting the past, let us not look back. Let fingertips touch a new hope. Let each party yield to the other, each giving consideration to the respective needs of the other, mutually so. He to us, we to him."
Peres drew a standing ovation when he envisioned a day when "all 20 leaders of the Middle East" would be standing together to declare "the end of the war, the end of the conflict - thereby carrying the message to our forefathers and to our grandchildren that we are again, all of us, the sons and daughters of Abraham, living in a tent of peace."
Assad is demanding surrender of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the Six Day War of 1967. …