Israeli President Shimon Peres: Live at Facebook, YouTube, Launch 2012

Written by Jeremy Lesniak

Israel’s president Shimon Peres is in Silicon Valley this week on a four-day whirlwind tour. He’ll provide the opening keynote at Launch 2012 on March 7, 2012 at 11 a.m. PT. Earlier today, on March 6, he also launched his Facebook page, which he said he hopes will provide a discussion forum to improve Israeli-Arab relations. And he launched his own YouTube channel.

aNewDomain — Israeli president Shimon Peres is in Silicon Valley this week on a four-day whirlwind tour. He’ll provide the opening keynote at Launch 2012 on March 7, 2012 at 11 a.m. PT.

Earlier today, on March 6, he also launched his Facebook page, which he said he hopes will provide a discussion forum to improve Israeli-Arab relations. And he launched his own YouTube channel.

Peres’ visit arrives at a time of tension — U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Washington D.C. on Monday, March 5 to discuss whether Israel should strike Iran and under what circumstances.

Peace “is no longer the business of governments but the business of people,” Peres told Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg in a streaming live interview from Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif. campus early this morning.¬†His talk covered issues of peace and war, social networking and tech in general, and particularly focused on the controversial issue surrounding Iran and nuclear arms.

Watch that interview here.

Peres, 88, is the first sitting Israeli president to visit tech companies in the Valley.

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Peres will provide the opening keynote in San Francisco at Launch 2012, an annual gathering that brings as yet unfunded startups and venture capitalists together. Launch founder Jason Calacanis, Israeli entrepreneur Yossi Vardi and Peres will also engage in a three-way dialogue about Israeli innovation today.

Social networking has, in its way, created a global society — and one that supports free expression to a degree that it will inevitably promote social change. “The great thing in life is not free speech but free expression,” Peres told Sandberg.

In addition to keynoting the Launch 2012 conference and appearing on a Facebook live stream today, Peres also announced his Facebook page. He’s no newbie, though. Here’s his video from his YouTube channel.

For aNewDomain, I’m Jason Lesniak.

2 Comments

  • While I think social media has the potential to facilitate great change- and, indeed, has already done so throughout the Arab world- it has also incited a wave of internet censorship among authoritarian regimes, as we’ve seen in Egypt, Libya, Syria, among others. I agree with you that social media will ‘inevitably promote social change,’ but the change may or may not be positive, and can be manipulated by both the people and government.

    Here’s a rather illuminating discussion on the topic from On the Media: http://www.onthemedia.org/2011/feb/18/the-global-impact-of-the-internet/