Israeli Deputy PM on Fighting Terror on All Fronts

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," August 10, 2006, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, today's terror bust in the U.K., Israel's fight again Hezbollah, link the two? Is it further proof you have to crush terrorists wherever they breed?

I asked Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and former Prime Minister Shimon Peres if he sees a link between those two.



I mean, today, the world is divided, not like previously, between left and right, East and West, but within terror and anti-terror.

The problem today are not the old military confrontations, but the new attempt of groups, of terrorists, to destroy life, because they feel that this may endanger their old tradition, while they cannot live in the old tradition.

So, this is the same approach. They are godless. They are cold. They are ready to kill indiscriminately. Whether in the skies or on the land, doesn't matter.

CAVUTO: The citizens who have been rounded up so far in what could have been the terrorist attacks in the skies, Mr. Prime Minister, were — at least at this point — all British citizens.

Do you think this reinforces the view that the terrorists have infiltrated all countries, in all areas, at all times?

PERES: No. I think that we were not alert enough to all the dangers. We didn't imagine that they can reach such a height of irresponsibility and hatred.

I mean, nobody else but them could have exploded buildings, the twin buildings, and killing thousands of people in New York, God knows, or — or to kill them while they're flying in the skies, or to kill wherever they are — on vacation, in churches, in synagogues, in mosques.

But, we didn't pay enough attention. And now I think they will force the world to organize themselves, in order to defend the lives of our children, of our parents, of our own lives.

CAVUTO: But what if they don't? I mean, as you indicated, sir, this was a foiled attempt. And people have short memories, right?

PERES: Right.

CAVUTO: They forget. So, they're likely to forget, right?

PERES: Yes, but we need leaders that have at least a medium-size memory...


PERES: ... or a long-sized memory. I mean, forgetting is dangerous. There are things that you have to remember, as long as it is dangerous.

There are things that you forget, and it's meaningless. But, when you are facing a danger or facing an attack, better be alert, and don't forget any indication or any precedent.

CAVUTO: These reports, Mr. Prime Minister, that Iranian — Iranian soldiers were among those who — who were killed in attacks yesterday in southern Lebanon, if you had more evidence, or your government had more evidence, that Iran's role was much more widespread, would that change the way you conduct the battle? Would that change the way you view Iran? Would it even change the way you might even go into Iran?

PERES: No, we wouldn't change our view, because we know that the Hezbollah and the Hamas, under this — under the spell of the Iranians, including Syria, too, and the battle exceeds the frame of conflict between us and the Palestinians.

What, actually, the Iranians want now to achieve is to govern the Middle East, to have the Middle East under the spell of Iran. And that is the reason why so many Arab countries are revolting against Hezbollah. They want to give the Middle East Arab and Sunnite, and not to make it Iranian and Shiite.

So, this is a very serious conflict. I wouldn't judge everything by the rhetorics. But, when you look deeper, that's the real conflict today, between a — an attempt to introduce an Iranian hegemony, and the will to remain independent, secular, and religious, and scientific at the same time.


CAVUTO: All right. Shimon Peres.

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