Statement From The President On Passover And The White House Seder Dinner


By Jueseppi B.







Statement from the President on Passover

As we prepare for our fifth Seder in the White House, Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Passover here in America, in the State of Israel, and around the world.


Tonight, Jewish families will gather with family and friends to celebrate with songs, wine, and food. They will read from the Haggadah, and retell the story that makes this holiday so powerful.


Last week, I visited the state of Israel for the third time, my first as President. I reaffirmed our countries’ unbreakable bonds with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres. I had the chance to speak directly with young Israelis about the future they wanted for their country, their region, and the world. And I saw once again how the dream of true freedom found its full expression in those words of hope from Hatikvahlihyot ‘am chofshi be’artzeinu, “To be a free people in our land.”


Passover is a celebration of the freedom our ancestors dreamed of, fought for, and ultimately won. But even as we give thanks, we are called to look to the future. We are reminded that responsibility does not end when we reach the promised land, it only begins. As my family and I prepare to once again take part in this ancient and powerful tradition, I am hopeful that we can draw upon the best in ourselves to find the promise in the days that lie ahead, meet the challenges that will come, and continuing the hard work of repairing the world. Chag sameach.



MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013

White House Video: ‘President Obama On The Importance Of Passover’



he White House late on Monday afternoon released this new video, “President Obama On The Importance of Passover.”  It blends President Obama’s remarks from his address to the Israeli people last week in Jerusalem with photos from his White House seders from 2009-2012 and other images.


The President earlier on Monday afternoon issued a Passover Statement.  He will host his fifth White House seder this evening at 6:30 PM in the Old Family Dining Room.



President Obama’s 2013 Passover Message


Chag Pesach Same’ach: President speaks of”unbreakable bonds” with Israel in holidaystatement…



President Obama on the Importance of Passover


Published on Mar 25, 2013

President Obama talks about the importance of the Passover tradition while speaking to the Israeli people in Jerusalem.








President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a Passover Seder Dinner for family, staff and friends, in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, March 25, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)















President To Celebrate Passover On Monday, March 25
Fifth Annual White House Seder










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Third Day Of His Middle Eastern Trip, President Obama Visits Jewish And Christian Landmarks


By Jueseppi B.








On Third Day of Middle East Trip, President Obama Visits Jewish and Christian Landmarks



Colleen Curtis
Colleen Curtis

March 22, 2013
07:12 PM EDT
President Obama places a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, March 22, 2013President Barack Obama pauses after adjusting a wreath placed in the Hall of Remembrance during his visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, March 22, 2013. Standing behind the President, from left, are: Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau; Israeli President Shimon Peres; Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu; and Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)



President Obama began the third day of his historic visit to the Middle East with a visit to Mount Herzl, Israel’s national cemetery, where he honored the significant contributions of two Jewish heroes, Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The President laid a stone from the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington on Mr. Rabin’s grave, highlighting the slain leader’s work to bring peace to the region.


Next up was a tour of Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Complex, where President Obama honored the memory of Holocaust victims by laying a wreath and rekindling the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance. He also joined Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu on a tour that included the Hall of Names, a circular chamber that houses the original testimony documenting every Holocaust victim ever identified, and the art museum where the President heard the story of Charlotte Salomon, a Holocaust victim who was murdered in 1944 in Auschwitz, but whose memory is preserved in the autobiographical artwork she painted while in hiding from the Nazis.  The President ended the poignant visit with a walk through the Children’s Memorial, which memorializes the 1.5 million Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust with candles reflected in a series of mirrors.



March 22, 2013

Remarks by the President at the Hall of Children, Yad Vashem




President Obama Speaks at Yad Vashem


Published on Mar 22, 2013

President Obama delivers remarks in the Hall of Children at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. March 22, 2013.







Speaking in the Hall of Children, President Obama remarked that while surrounded by evidence of man’s capacity for evil, “we also are reminded of man’s capacity for good.”

For here we learn that we are never powerless. In our lives we always have choices. To succumb to our worst instincts or to summon the better angels of our nature. To be indifferent to suffering to wherever it may be, whoever it may be visited upon, or to display the empathy that is at the core of our humanity. We have the choice to acquiesce to evil or make real our solemn vow — “never again.” We have the choice to ignore what happens to others, or to act on behalf of others and to continually examine in ourselves whatever dark places there may be that might lead to such actions or inactions. This is our obligation — not simply to bear witness, but to act.

For us, in our time, this means confronting bigotry and hatred in all of its forms, racism, especially anti-Semitism. None of that has a place in the civilized world — not in the classrooms of children; not in the corridors of power. And let us never forget the link between the two. For our sons and daughters are not born to hate, they are taught to hate. So let us fill their young hearts with the same understanding and compassion that we hope others have for them.




President Obama visits the Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, March 22, 2013President Barack Obama visits the Hall of Names during his visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, March 22, 2013. Standing with the President, from left, are: Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau; Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu; Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate; and Israeli President Shimon Peres. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)



President Obama then joined Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, which is built on the spot where Jesus is said to have been born. The President also stopped by the Roman Catholic Church of St. Catherine, which adjoins the Church of the Nativity, where he met with Palestinian children, as well as religious leaders and local officials.


In the afternoon, President Obama headed to Jordan, the final stop on the first foreign trip of his second term. He was greeted at Al-Hummar Palace in Amman by King Abdullah II and his son, Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, and participated in an official welcoming ceremony. The President and the King then held a bilateral meeting where they discussed several issues of importance to both countries, including the ongoing turmoil in Syria, and the 460,000 citizens of that country who have fled to Jordan seeking safety.


In a joint press conference that followedKing Abdullah II said the unrest in the country that borders his “will have disastrous consequences on the region for generations to come,” if not resolved. He highlighted the humanitarian crisis that has resulted, with one refugee camp growing so large it is now the fifth largest city in Jordan, and thanked the U.S. for  our help in shouldering the enormous responsibility. 




March 22, 2013

Remarks by President Obama and His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan in Joint Press Conference




President Obama Holds a Press Conference with King Abdullah II of Jordan


Published on Mar 22, 2013

President Obama and His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan hold a press conference. March 22, 2013.






President Obama told reporters that he had come to Jordan to build on the very strong foundation that already exists between our two countries and to deepen the already extraordinary cooperation. He also praised the Jordanian people — and their King — for their compassion during an extraordinarily difficult time for their neighbors. “His Majesty was the first Arab leader to publicly call on Assad to step down because of the horrific violence that was being inflicted on the Syrian people. Jordan has played a leading role in trying to begin a political transition toward a new government. We’re working together to strengthen a credible Syrian opposition.”


The President also reiterated the U.S.’s commitment to the security of Jordan, which is backed by our strong alliance.



President Obama and King Abdullah II  at the official arrival ceremony at Al-Hummar Palace in Amman, Jordan, March 22, 2013President Barack Obama and King Abdullah II stand at the dais as the honor guard is dismissed during the official arrival ceremony at Al-Hummar Palace in Amman, Jordan, March 22, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



From the Rhodes – The President in the Middle East


Published on Mar 22, 2013

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes checks in from the President’s trip to the Middle East as the President gets ready to leave Israel and the West Bank before heading to Jordan.








Learn more:




President Obama's State Visit To Israel And The West Bank Day Three



Barack Obama, Meir Lau






President Obama's State Visit To Israel And The West Bank Day Three



President Obama's State Visit To Israel And The West Bank Day Three



U.S. President Barack Obama tours the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem



Barack Obama, Abdullah II










U.S. President Obama hugs Israeli PM Netanyahu as President Peres watches on at Tel Aviv International Airport



President Obama's State Visit To Israel And The West Bank Day Three




Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu



President Obama's State Visit To Israel And The West Bank Day Three








U.S. President Obama meets Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III during a tour of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem



President Obama's State Visit To Israel And The West Bank Day Three



U.S. President Barack Obama holds a souvenir book presented to him by Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev during Obama's visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem












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Photos From The West Bank, Israel And Jordan


By Jueseppi B.







Most times, words are never needed, just look at the pictures…….






Employee arranges an Israeli national flag at the residence of Israel's President in Jerusalem, ahead of U.S. President Obama's visit































US President Barack Obama visit










































Barack Obama, Shimon Peres, John Kerry



Barack Obama, Shimon Peres








Barack Obama






























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Friday’s Schedule For Barack’s Middle East “Rock Star Tour.”

By Jueseppi B.








Friday’s Middle Eastern Itinerary:



Friday, March 22nd, 2013



Barack Obama, Shimon Peres, John Kerry











Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu





All times Israel – six hours ahead of U.S. EDT:


8:55 AM: President Barack Hussein Obama participates in a wreath laying ceremony at the grave of Theodor Herzl, Jerusalem.



9:10 AM: President Barack Hussein Obama participates in a wreath laying ceremony at the grave of Yitzhak Rabin.



9:35 AM: President Barack Hussein Obama tours the Hall of Names, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.



10:10 AM:  President Barack Hussein Obama lays a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance.



10:30 AM: President Barack Hussein Obama signs a guest book and delivers remarks in the Hall of Children.



11:15 AM: President Barack Hussein Obama has lunch with Prime Minister Netanyahu, King David Hotel, Jerusalem.



1:15 PM: President Barack Hussein Obama tours the Church of the Nativity with President Abbas, Bethlehem.



3:20 PM: President Barack Hussein Obama departs Tel Aviv for Amman, Jordan.




President Obama's Official Visit To Israel And The West Bank Day One





All times Jordan – seven hours ahead of U.S. EDT



4:55 PM: President Barack Hussein Obama arrives Amman, Jordan.




U.S. President Obama arrives at the residence of Israel's President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem




5:35 PM: President Barack Hussein Obama arrives at Al Hummar, the official offices of King Abdullah II of Jordan.



5:55 PM: President Barack Hussein Obama meets with King Abdullah.



6:45 PM: President Barack Hussein Obama has a press conference with King Abdullah.



8:50 PM: President Barack Hussein Obama attends a dinner with King Abdullah.




Barack Obama, Shimon Peres




Barack Obama




Barack Obama





Saturday, March 23rd, 2013:



  • President Obama will travel to Petra.
  • President Obama will begin his journey back to the United States.



Home Sweet Home

















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President Barack Hussein Obama And President Shimon Peres Of Israel Speak At State Dinner


By Jueseppi B.






The White House  Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

President Obama and President Peres of Israel Speak at State Dinner


Published on Mar 21, 2013

President Obama attends a dinner hosted by President Peres at the President’s residence in Jerusalem. March 21, 2013.




Remarks by President and President Peres of Israel at State Dinner

President’s Residence




8:15 P.M. IST



PRESIDENT PERES:  I think that’s the President’s remarks.  Mr. President, can I read your speech?  (Laughter.)  They are mistaken.  (Laughter.)



President Barack Obama, my dear friend, let me say first, Bravo.  Bravo, President.  (Applause.)



It is my great pleasure to welcome you tonight.  I was moved the way in which you spoke to the heart of our young Israelis.  Our youngsters, in time of need, are always willing to stand up and defend their country.  Today, you have seen how much the same young people long for peace.  How enthusiastic they were, how engaged they were, listening to the vision of peace, which you beautifully delivered and moved the heart.



Mr. President, this morning several rockets were shot from the Gaza Strip towards civilian targets in Israel, including Sderot that you have visited.  From here, in the name of all us, I want to convey our love to the inhabitants of the south around Gaza who carry this heavy burden courageously and continue to plow their land, plant their trees, raise their children.  It is an inspiration to each of us.  Today, the enemies of peace spoke in the only language they know — the language of terror.  I am convinced that together we shall defeat them.



Dear Barack, your visit here is a historic event.  We are so happy to receive you and your distinguished delegation.  I am very glad to see Secretary John Kerry — an old friend.  John, I know you are and I know you will be successful.  I’m not sure that the prophets have had speechwriters — (laughter) — but if they had, I imagine Isaiah would have said — but actually he has said on that occasion — and I’m quoting him, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation.” Well, you have to be satisfied with my language — I cannot speak like him.  (Laughter.)



It is my privilege to present you with our country’s highest honor — the Medal of Distinction.  This award speaks to you, to your tireless work to make Israel strong, to make peace possible. Your presidency has given the closest ties between Israel and the United States a new height, a sense of intimacy, a vision for the future.



The people of Israel are particularly moved by your unforgettable contribution to their security.  You are defending our skies — to you, revelation in the name of intelligence, which is the right way to preempt bloodshed.  The diplomatic and the military bonds between us have reached an unprecedented level.



When I visited you in Washington, I thought in my heart, America is so great and we are so small.  I learned that you don’t measure us by size, but by values.  Thank you.  When it comes to values, we are you, and you are us.  On occasions when we were alone you stood with us, so we were not alone.  We were alone together.  We shall never forget it.



During your previous visit to Israel, you asked me if I had any advice to offer.  Well, it’s not my nature to let questions go unanswered.  (Laughter.)  So just that while people say that the future belongs to the young, it is the present that really belongs to the young.  Leave the future to me.  I have time.  (Laughter and applause.)



I think I was right, because the moment you came into office, you immediately had to face daunting and demanding challenges day in, day out.  I prayed that you would meet them with wisdom and determination, without losing hope, without allowing others to lose hope.  The prayers were answered — after all, they came from Jerusalem and they came to us as a great message.  It is a tribute to your leadership, to the strength of your character, to your principles, that you have never surrendered to hopelessness.  You stood and stand firmly by your vision.  Your values serve your nation.  They serve our nation as well.



So I know that you will never stop to strive for a better world, as you said today in a good Hebrew — tikkun olam.  We have a rich heritage and a great dream.  As I look back, I feel that the Israel of today has exceeded the vision we had 65 years ago.  Reality has surpassed the dreams.  The United States of America helped us to make this possible.



Still the path to tomorrow may be fraught with obstacles.  I believe that we can overcome them by our determination and by your commitment.  I’m convinced that you will do whatever is necessary to free the world’s horizons and the skies of Jerusalem from the Iranian threat.  Iran denies the Shoah and calls for a new one.  Iran is building a nuclear bomb and denies it.  The Iranian regime is the greatest danger to world peace.  History has shown time and again that peace, prosperity and stable civil society cannot flourish when threats and belligerency abound.



Ladies and gentlemen, tonight the Iranian people are celebrating their New Year.  I wish them from the depths of my heart a happy holiday and a real freedom.



Israel will seize any opportunity for peace.  Being small, we have to maintain our qualitative edge.  I know that you responded and will respond to it.  The strength of Israel is its defense forces.  They afford us the ability to seek peace.  And what America has contributed to Israel’s security is the best guarantee to end the march of folly, the march of terror and bloodshed.



We watch with admiration the way you lead the United States of America, the way you have stayed true time and again to your bonds of friendship with us.  Your commitment and deeds speaks volumes about the principles that guides America.  To strive for freedom and democracy at home, but also all over the world, you send the boys to fight for the freedom of others.  What is uplifting is that the United States brought freedom not only to its own people, but never stops, and never will stop, to help other people to become free.



You represent democracy at its best.  You have deepened its meaning — namely that democracy is not just the right to be equal, but the equal right to be different.  Democracy is not just a free expression, but is self-expression as well.



You exemplify the spirit of democracy by striving for justice and equality and opportunity in the American society.  As the world has now become global and yet remains individual, and you offer those principles.  You have shown global responsibility and individual sensitivity.



On Monday night, Mr. President, we shall celebrate Passover, the Festival of Freedom, the Celebration of Spring.  The Celebration of Spring means our journey from the house of slaves to the home of the free that started more than 3,000 years ago. We remember it every year.  We are commended to feel as though each of us personally participated in that journey.  We shall not forget where we came from.  We shall remember always where we are headed, too, which is to make the Promised Land a land of promise, a land of freedom, justice and equality.



While reality calls for vigilance, Passover calls to remain believers.  Israel is an island in a stormy sea.  We have to make our island safe and we wish that the sea will become tranquil.  We converted our desert into a garden.  It was achieved by the talents of our people and the potential of science.  What we have done, Mr. President, can be done all over the Middle East, as you have rightly said tonight.  Israel is described as a start-up nation.  The Middle East can become a start-up region.



Dear President, you noted in your address today that peace is the greatest hope for the human being.  I share your vision.  Your call to reopen the peace process may pave the way for the implementation of the two-state solution agreed by all of us — as you said, a Jewish state, Israel; an Arab state, Palestine.



If I’m not wrong, next to you sits our Prime Minister who was just reelected.  He opened his address in the Knesset by reiterating his commitment to the two-state solution.  Dear friends, I have seen in my life I earned the right to believe that peace is attainable.  As you felt today, I know, this is the deep conviction of our people.  With our resolve and your support, Barack Obama, we shall win and it will happen.



Mr. President, I am privileged to bestow upon you the Medal of Distinction.  It was recommended by a committee of seven prominent Israeli citizens, headed by our former Chief of Justice Meir Shamgar, and includes our former President Yitzhak Navon.  It was my view and I was glad to accept their recommendation.  You inspired the world with your leadership.  Toda raba, Mr. President.  Toda from a grateful nation to a very great leader.



God bless America.  God bless Israel.  (Applause.)



PRESIDENT OBAMA:  President Peres; Prime Minister Netanyahu and First Lady Sara; distinguished guests and friends.  This is a extraordinary honor for me and I could not be more deeply moved. And I have to say, after the incredible welcome I’ve received over the past two days and the warmth of the Israeli people, the tribute from President Peres, the honor of this medal — I mean, as you say, dayenu.  ((Applause.)


Now, I’m told that the Talmud teaches that you shouldn’t pronounce all the praises of a person in their presence.  And, Mr. President, if I praised all the chapters of your remarkable life, then we would be here all night.  (Laughter.)  So let me simply say this about our gracious host.



Mr. President, the State of Israel has been the cause of your life — through bitter wars and fragile peace, through hardship and prosperity.  You’ve built her.  You’ve cared for her.  You’ve strengthened her.  You’ve nurtured the next generation who will inherit her.



Ben Gurion.  Meir.  Begin.  Rabin.  These giants have left us.  Only you are with us still — a founding father in our midst.  And we are so grateful for your vision, your friendship, but most of all, for your example, including the example of your extraordinary vitality.  Every time I see your President I ask him who his doctor is.  (Laughter.)  We all want to know the secret.



So, with gratitude for your life and your service, and as you prepare to celebrate your 90th birthday this summer — and since I’m starting to get pretty good at Hebrew — (laughter) — let me propose a toast — even though you’ve taken away my wine
— (laughter.)  Come on.  Bring another.



How are you?



SERVER:  Here you are, sir.  (Applause.)



THE PRESIDENT:  A toast — ad me’ah ve’esrim.  L’chaim! (Applause.)  Mmm, that’s good wine.  (Laughter.)  Actually, we should probably get this out of the photograph.  All these people will say I’m having too much fun in Israel.  (Laughter.)



Just a few more words, Mr. President.  You mentioned that this medal is presented in recognition of progress toward the ideals of equality and opportunity and justice.  But I am mindful that I stand here tonight because of so many others, including the example and the sacrifices of the Jewish people.



In a few days, as we do at every Seder, we’ll break and hide a piece of matzoh.  It’s a great way to entertain the kids.  Malia and Sasha, even though they are getting older, they still enjoy it — and there are a lot of good places to hide it in the White House.  (Laughter.)  But on a much deeper level, it speaks to the scope of our human experience — how parts of our lives can be broken while other parts can be elusive; how we can never give up searching for the things that make us whole.  And few know this better than the Jewish people.



After slavery and decades in the wilderness and with Moses gone, the future of the Israelites was in doubt.  But with Joshua as their guide, they pushed on to victory.  After the First Temple was destroyed, it seemed Jerusalem was lost.  But with courage and resolve, the Second Temple reestablished the Jewish presence.  After centuries of persecution and pogroms, the Shoah aimed to eliminate the entire Jewish people.  But the gates of the camps flew open, and there emerged the ultimate rebuke to hate and to ignorance — survivors would live and love again.



When the moment of Israel’s independence was met by aggression on all sides, it was unclear whether this nation would survive.  But with heroism and sacrifice, the State of Israel not only endured, but thrived.  And during six days in June and Yom Kippur one October, it seemed as though all you had built might be lost.  But when the guns fell silent it was clear — “the nation of Israel lives.”



As I said in my speech earlier today, this story — from slavery to salvation, of overcoming even the most overwhelming odds — is a message that’s inspired the world.  And that includes Jewish Americans but also African Americans, who have so often had to deal with their own challenges, but with whom you have stood shoulder to shoulder.



African Americans and Jewish Americans marched together at Selma and Montgomery, with rabbis carrying the Torah as they walked.  They boarded buses for freedom rides together.  They bled together.  They gave their lives together — Jewish Americans like Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner alongside  African American, James Chaney.



Because of their sacrifice, because of the struggle of generations in both our countries, we can come together tonight, in freedom and in security.  So if I can paraphrase the Psalm — they turned our mourning into dancing; they changed our sack cloths into robes of joy.



And this evening, I’d like to close with the words of two leaders who brought us some of this joy.  Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was born in Poland and lost his mother and sisters to the Nazis.  He came to America.  He raised his voice for social justice.  He marched with Martin Luther King.  And he spoke of the State of Israel in words that could well describe the struggle for equality in America.  “Our very existence is a witness that man must live toward redemption,” he said, and “that history is not always made by man alone.”



Rabbi Joachim Prinz was born in Germany, expelled by the Nazis and found refuge in America, and he built support for the new State of Israel.  And on that August day in 1963, he joined Dr. King at the March on Washington.  And this is what Rabbi Prinz said to the crowd:

“In the realm of the spirit, our fathers taught us thousands of years ago that when God created man, he created him as everybody’s neighbor.  Neighbor is not a geographic concept.  It is a moral concept.  It means our collective responsibility for the preservation of man’s dignity and integrity.”



President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, friends — our very existence, our presence here tonight, is a testament that all things are possible, even those things that, in moments of darkness and doubt, may seem elusive.  The stories of our peoples teach us to never stop searching for the things — the justice and the peace — that make us whole.  And so we go forward together, with confidence, we’ll know that while our countries may be separated by a great ocean, in the realm of the spirit we will always be neighbors and friends.



I very humbly accept this award, understanding that I’m accepting it on behalf of the American people, who are joined together with you.



May God bless you and may He watch over our two great nations.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)



8:44 P.M. IST










President Barack Hussein Obama is introduced to Miss Israel, Miss Yityish Aynaw.





President Shimon Peres and President Barack Hussein Obama embrace during a state dinner hosted by Peres in Jerusalem.










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