Peres: Trump’s foreign policy proposals would be ‘a very great mistake’

Julie Wiener

Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv, Nov. 30, 2015. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv, Nov. 30, 2015. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

(JTA) — Israel’s former president Shimon Peres said carrying out Donald Trump’s isolationist foreign policy vision would be “a very great mistake.”

In an interview with published Monday, Peres — who is 93 and served in numerous roles in Israel’s government since its founding in 1948 — did not refer to the Republican presidential nominee by name.

But asked about Trump’s statements on foreign policy, the Nobel Peace Prize winner said, “To suggest that America will disconnect her relations with NATO, that America will leave the whole field open to other countries — in my judgment it’s a mistake. A very great mistake.”

Last month Trump suggested in an interview with The New York Times that U.S. military support for NATO member states might be conditional on whether those members’ fulfill their obligations to the bloc.

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During the interview, Peres, who turns 93 on Tuesday, also addressed other topics, such as a project he’s working on that seeks to bring together Israeli and Arab tech entrepreneurs.

“We want to make not just a Startup Nation, but a Startup Region,” Peres said of his project, the Israeli Innovation Center. “Science doesn’t have flags. Science doesn’t have borders.”

Asked about the Palestinian Authority ’s threats to sue Great Britain over the 1917 Balfour Declaration, Peres compared the move to refighting the Crusades, the medieval battles for control of the Holy Land.

“The past is dead,” he said. “The future is the agenda.”

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