Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres began a three-day Los Angeles visit Friday with an upbeat speech before about 300 local Jewish leaders and students at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in West Los Angeles.
Peres avoided detailed discussion of the current Palestinian uprising and instead praised the Israeli people in honor of the 40th anniversary of the nation, saying that "today we can say with pride we are one Jewish people."
Israel is seeking to "translate our strength to peace . . . and we shall achieve it," he said.
In brief comments to reporters before the speech, Peres said he believes that the Palestinian people "are beginning to feel the burden of their actions" and are growing "frustrated."
Peres' schedule in Los Angeles included a meeting with entertainment industry representatives Friday night and attendance at a Jewish festival on Sunday in Rancho Park.