Czech president Miloš Zeman has spoken out in defence of Israel and outlined a path to peace in the Middle East that begins with the diasarmament of dedicated terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
The 72-year-old veteran of the Prague Spring uprising against the old Communist regime as well as the Velvet Revolution which took it down, laid out his plan in an address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental forum which predates the European Union.
Asked the simple question, “What can you do, and what can we do, to bring peace to the Middle East?” Mr. Zeman took to the podium to deliver his formula. He said:
My response will probably be a deep disappointment to you. I am a friend of Israel – a deep friend of Israel. That is why I think that peace in the Middle East should be based primarily in the safety of Israel. I know the history of all the wars starting from 1948. Israel was victorious in every war, but had it been defeated it would have meant the end of that State – the Jewish State. Unfortunately, in some countries or movements – Hezbollah, Hamas, and others – there survives a tendency to diminish or to destroy Israel. What should we do to have peace in the Middle East? We must disarm the terrorist organisation, and first of all Hamas and Hezbollah.
Mr. Zeman, who was elected Czech president in early 2013, has long been a supporter of Israel and its right to exist. Four years ago he visited the Jewish state and had this to say about Israel’s future:
I completely understand the need for an independent Jewish and democratic state. There is an amazing resemblance between Czech history and Israel’s history.
More recently Mr. Zemen has cautioned that Europe’s long history of peace and prosperity based on its fundamental respect for Judeo Christian principles of law is under threat from Muslim migration.
Mr. Zelman has also pointed to the migrant invasion flooding Europe and accused refugees “with iPhones” of exploiting their children to get asylum in the European Union (EU).
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