Excerpts from the Greenpeace Mediterranean press release:
The activists exposed themselves seconds before the president of Israel, Shimon Peres, started his speech in the Tel-Aviv University. Greenpeace activists opened three big banners reading "Strip the Middle East of Nuclear Technology" and "A New Middle East = Nukes Free Middle East ".
"We asked the organizers of the conference to a have an unbiased and more balanced panel to discuss the real nuclear challenges in the Middle East, instead of having a panel full of ‘security’ specialists, only justifying the Israeli need for nuclear weapons", said Sharon Dolev, Greenpeace Mediterranean Disarmament campaigner in Israel.
"Our message today is loud and clear", added Dolev, "there is no place for nuclear weapons in the Middle East which is prone to conflict to begin with. There is an immediate need for finding a way of regional discussion and agreement between the countries in the Middle-East. There is no need to hold on to the traditional Israeli approach of having nuclear bomb in order to exist. The Israeli ambiguity policy, which is considered in Israel as a serene and measured approach, is interpreted in the rest of the world as aggressive and childish."
“The reality we are living in has changed drastically. Nowadays, Israel is not the only country toying with a nuclear program. In addition to the Iranian nuclear ambitions, we are witnessing an abundance of Arab countries moving towards the start of a nuclear program (amongst them: Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Tunisia).
Sometimes you need a light touch when taking on issues as deadly serious as this one. Peres himself was reportedly amused. But there's no doubt the protest will stick in his mind, and be talked about.