Nov. 15, 2006

Israeli leader Shimon Peres to speak at Cornell Nov. 28

Former Israeli prime minister and Nobel laureate Shimon Peres will visit Cornell on Nov. 28 to speak about Israel and the prospects for peace in the Middle East.

The talk, "A Conversation with Shimon Peres on Israel and the Middle East," is at 4:30 p.m. in Bailey Hall, and is free and open to the public. Tickets are required for admission; they are available by registering online at Details of ticket distribution will be sent to those who register online; a photo ID will be required to pick up a ticket.

Doors will open at 3 p.m. and close at 4:15 p.m. Early arrival is recommended, as all attendees are subject to a security check. No electronic devices, bags, backpacks, briefcases or packages will be allowed into the building.

The event will be broadcast live on CUTV Channel 100 on campus and Time Warner Cable Channel 16 in Ithaca, and streamed live on It also will be viewed on video screens by an overflow audience in Kennedy Hall's Call Alumni Auditorium and at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

During his visit to Cornell, Peres will meet with President David Skorton at a luncheon and will dine with student leaders following his lecture. He also will tour Duffield Hall with Cornell researchers.

"He's very interested in nanotechnology, so Dean [Kent] Fuchs is going to give him a tour of Duffield Hall and an explanation of Cornell's innovations," said Rabbi Ed Rosenthal, executive director of Cornell Hillel, which is co-sponsoring Peres' visit.

Rosenthal said alumnus Andrew Tisch '71 helped facilitate Peres' visit to Ithaca through Caravan for Democracy, which brings speakers from Israel to college campuses throughout the United States. The organization is an initiative of the Jewish National Fund and Media Watch International.

Peres served as Israel's prime minister from 1984 to 1986 and again in 1995-96. He is currently vice premier of Israel, minister for the development of the Negev and Galilee regions, and head of the Labor Party.

Peres, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East, culminating in the Oslo Accords.

Peres founded the Peres Center for Peace in 1996 to help realize his vision of a "new Middle East" and to achieve peace through socio-economic cooperation and understanding among people of the region. He is the author of "The New Middle East" (1993, with Arye Naor), "Battling for Peace: A Memoir" (1995), "For the Future of Israel" (conversations with novelist and correspondent Robert Littell, 1998) and "A Time for War, A Time for Peace" (2004).

He also has served as Israel's minister of foreign affairs and minister of finance, and he held positions in the Ministry of Defense from 1948 to 1965.

Peres' appearance at Cornell is sponsored by the university, Cornell Hillel/The Yudowitz Center for Jewish Campus Life, the Cornell Israel Public Affairs Committee ( and the Einaudi Center for International Studies. Co-sponsors include the Israeli Students Association and the Department of Near Eastern Studies.