In an eloquent statement denouncing the conference, Foreign Minister Peres gave reporters a quick but detailed history lesson.
?In 53 years since the establishment of Israel,? Peres said, ?we were attacked five times with an attempt to overpower us and to bring an end to the State of Israel. We stood alone, outnumbered, outgunned, and we defended our lives.
?We won all the wars, we won a lot of territories. We gave back the territories, the water, the oil to Egypt. We gave back the land, the water to Jordan. We have withdrawn unilaterally from Lebanon in accordance with U.N. Resolution 425.
?We offered to the Syrians an exchange of land for peace. We have offered the Palestinians something that no Arab country did before us, because the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were under Arab control. We offered them an independent state. We offered them to withdraw from most of the territories. We offered them a position in Jerusalem. They have rejected it. Instead, there was the intifada, and even today there were four bombs in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.?
Peres thanked the U.S. for taking ?an extremely courageous position to make the world look more responsible, more balanced, more truthful.?
Peres also thanked the other countries that took a clear position against this ?unbelievable attempt to smear Israel with false colors,? among them Russia, India, the members of the European Union, the countries of East Europe, most of the countries in Latin America and many countries in Africa.
? Additional reporting by Avraham S. Lewin and JPFS.