Which are you prouder of establishing--the Oslo peace accords or Israel's nuclear program?
Even though the peace failed?
It didn't fail. It's not yet finished. I think it will happen in the coming decade. If we are able to mobilize all the goodwill necessary, we can have it very early, because the platform is known, the principles were agreed on.
The Arab Spring has resulted in Islamist-dominated governments in Tunisia and Egypt. How will this affect relations with Israel?
I'm optimistic. Islam has different interpretations. There is soft Islam and strong Islam and extreme Islam. So we have to see what their interpretation of it is.
As a longtime dove, do you feel that Israel should pre-emptively strike Iran's nuclear facilities?
The question is really if we should use all capabilities to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear party. If you can do it with economic sanctions or political sanctions, so much the better. I don't think you have to announce everything that you're going to do.
Remind me, does Israel have nuclear weapons?
Look, Israel doesn't intend to introduce nuclear weapons, but if people are afraid that we have them, why not? It's a deterrent. I want to tell you a small story. Amr Moussa was the Foreign Minister of Egypt. One day he came to me and said, "Shimon, we are such good friends. Take me to Dimona. Let me see what's going on." I said, "Amr, are you crazy? I shall take you, and you'll see there's nothing there. You'll stop being frightened, and then I should be out of my job."
You just joined Facebook. You know it's a major time suck, right?
I think peace should be done not only among governments but among people. It was impossible before the Facebook.
Did you just say that before Facebook, peace was impossible?
Peace among people. People can converse directly, without the intermediary of the government. And politicians today are conditioned by the people more than the people are being governed by the politicians.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently told TIME that relations between Turkey and Israel would not be normalized until Israel apologizes for the Turkish deaths on board the Mavi Marmara in 2010. Is there a reason not to do so?
We have to find a way out, but we cannot lie. I met all the soldiers who were on the ship. They did their best not to kill anybody. What happened was a matter of self-defense.
There are about 6 million Jews who are citizens of Israel and more than 7 million who aren't. One million Israelis live abroad. It's not as if Jews are flocking there. What do these demographics say about Israel's future?
Look, we have existed for 4,000 years--2,000 years in diaspora, in exile. Nobody in the Middle East speaks their original language but Israel. When we started 64 years ago, we were 650,000 people. So, you know, we are maybe swimming a little bit against the stream, but we continue to swim. Israel has its attractions. It's the most dramatic country in the world. Everybody's engaged. Everybody argues. When I leave Israel, I get a little bit bored, you know?
If you could have been the leader of another country, which would you choose?