Producer: WEOS (58:57)
Is it possible to broadcast an hour long live speech followed by a Q&A session? My instinct would be to say no not really. However, I was fascinated with this piece. I was absorbed from beginning to end. Shimon Peres is a wonderful speaker. Thoughtful, precise and engaging. I was surprised. I’ve always thought of him as lacking charisma and of being the ‘also man’ – even though he’s been around longer than any other Israeli politician and has held practically every important post in the government there. One wonders though, if someone of his sensibilities (as it comes across here anyway)and his stature isn’t able to bring peace to the region, then who can?
This is a programme of two halves. The first half an hour is a speech. His main thrust is that the economy and business are the most important aspects of a society. “Governments have budgets and not money,” he says cynically. Modernising is important and that the current clashes are with those who’re afraid of losing their way of life.
Also, the questions put to him were thoughtful and intelligent. This can sometimes be the trouble with Q&As. Questions can be trite and boring.
There are some very powerful moments especially when he describes as prime minister seeing the first suicide bombing of a bus in Jerusalem and the chants of traitor directed to him fom his own people.
The only problem with this is that of course it is one sided. Israel comes across as a country that is just defending itself from outside aggression and is reacting to circumstance. Isn’t it a bit more complicated than that!
However, pushing that aside, it’s worth listening to just to hear the views of a man steeped in history.