Saint Shimon

By David Isaac, Shmuel Katz Blog

Shimon Peres has achieved sainthood. It’s not clear how it happened. Maybe it’s just that Israelis have a soft spot for the “pioneering” generation and Peres, a protégée of David Ben-Gurion, is the only one left standing.

It’s ironic as Israel’s current president was, until now, never popular with Israel’s voters. He may have been popular at one time with the Socialist International, of which he was voted vice president in 1978. He may have been popular with the Nobel Foundation, which gave him the prize for peace in 1994. And he may have been popular within his own Labor Party, of which he was chairman from 1977-1992.

But popular with the Israeli people? Not so much.

Peres did serve as Israel’s prime minister three times, but not because the Israelis voted for him. The first time was in 1977 when he stepped in for Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, forced out over a scandal involving his wife’s bank account. He then attempted to lead the Labor party to victory in 1977 and 1981, failing both times. In 1984, he shared the top spot with Yitzhak Shamir when a Likud-Labor national unity government was formed. In 1995, he again stepped in for Prime Minister Rabin after the latter was assassinated. In 1996, he ran for prime minister and lost.

Peres was the man who could not be prime minister, at least by election. This didn’t stop him from doing tremendous damage to the state, mainly outside the prime minister’s office. It was as Foreign Minister in 1993 that he negotiated the Oslo Accords behind the government’s back and then presented it to Prime Minister Rabin as a fait accompli. The country still hasn’t managed to extricate itself from the gruesome results.

But the Israelis seem to have forgotten the reasons they didn’t like the man and he’s now treated with reverence – an untouchable according to MK Aryeh Eldad. The favorite public figure in Israel according to a recent poll in Haaretz. Even though he continues to behave just as subversively as president as he did in every other position he held.

His dastardly character must have been evident early on because Moshe Sharett, Israel’s prime minister (1953-1955), wrote in his personal diary: “I have stated that I totally and utterly reject Peres and consider his rise to prominence a malignant, immoral disgrace. I will rend my clothes in mourning for the State if I see him become a minister in the Israeli government ….”

Sharett was a good judge of bad character. Over his career, Peres has made it a habit to undermine Israel’s duly elected governments. Most recently, he did it with the current one. Mr. Obama created a great deal of sturm and drang by calling for Israel to withdraw to the ’67 lines. But less reported was that Mr. Peres reinforced that this was a good idea in a meeting with Obama six weeks before.

Shimon Shiffer reported in Yediot Ahronot on June 10: “Senior sources in the American Government told me that Obama and Peres agreed in a closed meeting between the two that an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians must be based on the principle of Israeli withdrawal to the ’67 borders with border adjustments, or as Peres told Obama: the Palestinians must receive territory equal in size to the ’67 borders. In other words, any territory that Israel demands to annex from the [West] Bank must be paid for by Israel with territory from the Negev.”

This underhandedness is par for the course with Peres. As Shmuel Katz wrote in “Squeezing Israel” (The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 1, 1982), following a visit Mr. Peres paid to Washington to consult in Reagan’s Mideast plans:

Shimon Peres has allowed himself – also in his public appearances in the U.S. – to stray far from the accepted norms of what is morally permissible in the political struggle. He is the first opposition leader in a democracy to campaign openly abroad against the foreign policy of his own country, to intrude himself into the handling of its diplomacy, and to allow himself to be manipulated into giving advice in effect to a foreign leader on how to contend with the policy of his own democratically elected government.

It becomes clear from the same article that Shimon Peres had it in his head that Israel should withdraw to the ’67 borders for many years. As Shmuel writes:

There is, however, a deeper significance in the fact that Mr. Peres has spoken approvingly of the “Reagan plan.” Many people have seen his remarks as an endorsement of the plan. It is certainly very nearly a complete endorsement. What else indeed does it mean when Mr. Peres says (on ABC television) that “we found in the president’s position a rather very close approach to our own?”

A very close approach? To a plan which calls in fact for the surrender of Gaza, of Samaria, of Judea including east Jerusalem? A “very close approach” to the traditional State Department doctrine which denies Israel’s rights beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines? A very close approach to the Rogers Plan – if newly-painted-and-powdered – whose acceptance Labour Prime Minister Golda Meir – in an interview in The New York Times on December 23, 1969 – declared (I wrote in error in a previous article that she had made the statement privately) “would be treasonable.”

Treason is a word Israelis have to dance around unless they want to end up in jail. So let’s use a secret code and call it mischief, for which Peres has an unlimited capacity. In most countries, Peres’ “mischief” would have at the least earned him an early and ignominious retirement. In Israel, he jet-sets around the world as its revered president; last of the pioneering generation, the nearest thing the Jewish State has to a saint.

June 28, 2011 | 3 Comments »

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  1. A note of clarification. The “Palestinian” Authority has made it clear that any territorial swaps, proposed by their chief negotiator President Barak Obama, must be, not of equal size but of equal value, which means the Arabs gain larger swaths of territory, starting at the 1949 armistice lines and rolling back towards the 1947 partition plan lines, in the steady implementation of the “plan of stages” announced by Yasser Arafat in 1974. That said the issue has never been one of borders, lines, refugees, “occupation” or Jerusalem. It has ALWAYS been about the Arab-Muslim refusal to accept an independent sovereign Jewish state in the Middle East. They never will. To use the term “saint” in connection with this sleazy politician even in jest is an insult to the word “saint.” “Subversive Shimon” he is by his own actions against the Jewish state, and so he should be known as and written in the annals of history.

  2. Since then I have met Israelis who want to make peace at any cost.

    Even at the cost of slavery and dhimmitude to islam? How demoralizing that Israelis have this outlook. I believe in liberty at any cost.

  3. Israel is a very strange place. I live in Quebec, another strange place. Sad what has happened to Israel re: weak dealings with the musloids, especially those in Israel, the spinelss well paid politicians who act against its interests when it is oppurtune for them: Bibi and his munchkin Barak, Peres, Livni, the arabs in the knesset, Beilin, Btselem, I am afraid to go there with my family. Safer to go to Germany.

    Poor Gilad Shalit and his family. The Israelis can change things if they wish but I must say that every Israeli I have ever met is a leftist. The last time I met a strong proud Israeli ready to kill every arab anywhere anytime was over 30 years ago. Since then I have met Israelis who want to make peace at any cost. Hence this is the legacy The Govt of Israel must deal with: 20 years of Oslo and the peace process thanks to the Clintons, Biden and Obama whom the US Jews adore. I do not see the situation that the West is in ending well.