PERES TO DENMARK: "How Do You Fight Terrorism"?

Jerusalem----July 25....Danish Justice Minister Franc Hensen said that if Israel's ambassador designate, former Shin Bet chief Carmi Gillon, arrives in Denmark, he would be apprehended by authorities, according to Israel Radio reports.

The Danish Minister Minister said that Denmark must arrest Gillon because the country is committed to the United Nations to arrest persons responsible for torturing prisoners.

Tuesday evening, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres deflected the harsh criticism leveled at Gillon's appointment. Addressing the Knesset, Peres said that he was sure that Gillon would be an excellent choice as an ambassador between the two countries in which one of them "is in a state of crisis, but both of them look for peace."

Peres stated that it was Gillon who pressed for the easing of the torture methods formerly used by the Shin Bet. He said that Gillon was expressly seeking peace, and was considered so by many Palestinian security officials. The foreign minister said that it was impossible to ignore the vast damage done to the peace process by terrorism. Calling upon "our friends in Denmark," Peres said, "Do you have a different way to fight terror? A fair solution would have been found long ago, including a territorial one between us and the Palestinians, if it were not for the terrorism and violence."

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Following are Foreign Minister Shimon Peres’s remarks to the Knesset
yesterday, on the appointment of Carmi Gillon as Israel’s Ambassador to Denmark:

“The General Security Service (GSS) in Israel is more a defense organ
than a secret police. GSS officials are soldiers who are not in
uniform, for it is their task to defend the country against terror
organizations not in uniform.

A blind eye cannot be turned on the cruelty of terror. It claims many –
mostly innocent – victims, including children and women. The prevention
of terror and the fight against terror is neither simple nor easy. To
better understand this, it is necessary to cast a look on the new nature
of terrorist activities:

Terror by suicide bombers: So-called men of God recruit naive youths and
brainwash them into believing that their suicide would not constitute
their death, but would be their entrance ticket to the Garden of Eden,
where they can look forward to a new and great future. The clerics
themselves, naturally, do not wear explosive devices on their person as
do the suicide bombers. They are left behind to “bear” life on this

Observing these youngsters who gave in to the temptation of serving as
walking bombs, engenders grim pity. All monotheistic religions forbid
acts of self-destruction, and certainly suicide with the object of
killing others at random. However, in this instance, they are falsely
designated as a ‘martyr’.

The whole of the civilized world should have cried out against infamous
murders such as these, the product of distorted brainwashing. It is not
easy to fight human bombs, young people persuaded their death is not the
end of their lives, and prepared to blow themselves up at any moment,
even in the face of the arm of the law that tries to prevent mass

It is only at the point of departure, before they embark on their
assignment, that the murder can be prevented. The GSS saved many lives,
very often at the personal risk of its people, when they succeeded in
preventing suicide bombers from blowing themselves up in front of
schools, youth clubs and shopping centers packed with crowds.

The GSS does not determine its constitutional status or its legal
standing. This is determined by the Knesset and the judicial
institutions. This also applies to the head of the GSS. Just as
military commanders have no legislative authority regarding the army,
neither does the head of the GSS regarding the GSS: he discharges orders
according to the law, without having legislative authority. The person
appointed to this post is chosen for his integrity, reliability, sense
of judgement and courage, for the GSS operates in complex situations and
at times across the border, which is why it is vital that the state be
able to rely on his personal image and distinctive qualities.

For this reason Carmi Gillon was appointed to the position of head of
the GSS. He is considered to be a man of great integrity, extremely
honest, and surprisingly in the eyes of some, is a person favourably
inclined towards our Arab neighbours. A man who was, and still is, a
real proponent of peace.

Denmark is a fine country in my eyes. We have enjoyed good relations
for a long period of time. I would therefore like to address our
friends in Denmark, and not only them, and ask them, whether they know
of some other way to fight terror? Whether it is possible to turn a
blind eye on the extensive damage that terror inflicts on peace? After
all, a just solution would have been found a long time ago, including a
territorial solution, to end the conflict between us and the
Palestinians, were it not for the violence and terror.

True. Another issue in the fight against terror became a controversial
subject among us. The question of “moderate physical pressure” in the
case of “a ticking bomb” about to explode at any moment. The legal
aspect of the issue was dealt with in stages: at the first stage, it was
decided that GSS methods of interrogation had to be transparent. At the
second stage, it was decided to completely abolish the use of torture in

Many in Denmark will be surprised to learn that it was Carmi Gillon, the
head of the GSS, who was the very one who proposed transparency in the
methods of interrogation. And it was he that supported the notion of
abolishing torture altogether. And it is also possible that many will be
astonished to hear that Carmi Gillon is a notable champion of peace and
is viewed as such among many of the Palestinian security officials.

We appointed an ambassador to Denmark – a man who is thoroughly familiar
with the terrible dilemmas sometimes posed by matters of national
security, and who has not lost his faith in peace, as the best option
for making peace between the peoples, and bringing it to each people

One should abstain from placing blame without cause, and refrain from
creating images that have no foundation. Carmi Gillon has the capacity
to prove that the bitter truth is not necessarily in contradiction with
moral values and norms.

I am confident he will prove to be an excellent ambassador between two peoples, one of which is in the throes of deep distress, and the two, as one, seek peace.”