A Last Interview with Simon Peres

Simon PeresSource: David Samuels in Tablet Magazine, September 29

Extract:

…I was among the first to visit China. And they knew from my biography that I am a graduate of an agricultural school. So the foreign minister says, “Have a look at the Chinese agriculture.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was so primitive! So backwards. I said, “What are you doing?”

We suggested to them that we start with seeds: an Israeli seed of wheat gives you a yield that is three times more than the Chinese one. Then they did the same with milk. And we are today the best friends of China.

That’s the reason why, when I come to China, they still ask for my advice. I sat for three hours with Xi, and I told him, “Look what’s happening to you. You are today economically almost like America. And you smell power as well. But listen to me: you have to decide either to be a giver or a taker. The biggest mistake is if you’ll use the power to take. The greatest wisdom is if you give….”

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