Although the Peace Game itself, which was held Wednesday night in Seville, Spain, was of average quality, there was no doubt that the final score (3-1 for the Spanish all-stars over the Israeli/Palestinian all-stars) was the least important result of the match.
Before the match, Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres, who organized the game, and Jibril Rajoub, senior advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, met for an hour and a half discussing the current political developments between Israel and the Palestinians and ways to move forward with the peace process.
“We understand Israel’s security needs and the citizens’ wishes to live in safety and security,” said Rajoub at the joint press conference after the meting. Rajoub added that there is a need for a third player – the international community – which could bridge the gaps. “The two sides can’t do this alone. You have a strong and reliable partner. There is no military solution, only a political one,” he concluded.
Peres backed Prime Minister Olmert’s decision to stop the restraint policy and to target Kassam launchers and said that Israel must act to defend its citizens, but will still pursue negotiations for peace. “We want to see a Palestinian state which is democratic and independent. This is our policy. We hope that Abbas could supply the needed security which is demanded of him and we must not lose hope,” Peres added.