Syria has crossed a moral boundary, President Shimon Peres said, speaking in favor of international intervention during a visit to Jerusalem police headquarters Thursday.
“The situation in Syria is not a local incident but a crime against humanity and a breach of international law,” he said. “As such the responsible world is coming together to respond. Syria has crossed a moral boundary. The whole world was witness to the horrific pictures of Syrian children who lay dead on the floor. President Obama spoke on behalf of the whole of humanity when he said this breach of international law, this mass murder, could not go without an appropriate response.”
He added: “We must understand that the response is global, not local. We are seeing a serious coalition coming together, both militarily and diplomatically.
As of Thursday morning, however, the “serious coalition” Peres spoke of seemed to be less certain than in past days. British Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly decided to wait for UN inspectors to finish their report before holding another vote in Parliament. And in the US, Obama was facing calls to put the prospect of attacking Syria to a vote in Congress.
Peres, a Nobel Peace laureate, said on Monday that the international community must remove the chemical weapons from Syria, and the UN should task the Arab League with setting up a temporary government in Syria to stop the bloodshed. Peres is arguably the most high-profile Israeli official to publicly support international intervention in the Syrian civil war that has killed over 100,000 people.
Despite pleading for intervention in Syria, he stressed Thursday that Israel would not take part.
“Israel was not, and is not, involved in the Syrian fighting, but if anyone tries to harm us we will respond with all our might.”
He said talk of Israel coming under attack in the wake of a US-led strike at Syria was “an attempt to create panic, but Israel is too experienced to fall for false propaganda. We must remain united, respect the decisions of the government and act upon the instructions of the Home Front Command. We should all have faith in the IDF.”