Shimon Peres z"l
That's okay, because I will have some time to work after I finish this post (and maybe another one) and Paris may be one of the most appropriate places in the world to talk about Shimon Peres, who passed away this morning at the age of 93, because he was fluent in French and because in his later years he so emulated the French.
Israel owes a lot to Shimon Peres, especially our alleged nuclear capability, which was his doing in the early 1960's. I saw a Facebook post this morning that claimed that Peres 'saved' the country from hyperinflation in the 1980's, but the person who wrote it was a child at the time, and I was an adult. I don't believe that's accurate.
There was much that Peres did in his later years with which I disagreed. Oslo (which was done behind Yitzchak Rabin's back). His treatment of Jonathan Pollard. His playing fast and easy with Jewish lives to achieve his goals. His undercutting of Begin on the Osirak attack. In fact, his undercutting of Israeli governments generally in his later years, including during his term as President (a position he turned from an honorary position into a political one). And he was reviled by many in Israel.
But most distressingly, Peres never seriously protested the kind of myths promoted by the New York Times in its obituary of Peres.
Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount set off the intifada - a longstanding myth never protested by Peres - is false.
Palestinian Communications Minister Imad Al-Faluji, Al-Safir, 3 March 2001. (Translated by MEMRI):
Whoever thinks that the Intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon’s visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque is wrong.. . . This Intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat’s return from the Camp David negotiations, where he turned the table upside down on President Clinton.Yasser Arafat’s wife Suha (pictured above) said the following (from Palestinian Media Watch):
On the personal level, I miss him very, very much. [Our daughter] Zahwa also misses him, you can’t imagine. She didn’t know him. She knows that Arafat sent us away before the [Israeli] invasion of Ramallah. He said: ‘You have to leave Palestine, because I want to carry out an Intifada, and I’m not prepared to shield myself behind my wife and little girl.’ Everyone said: ‘Suha abandoned him,’ but I didn’t abandon him. He ordered me to leave him because he had already decided to carry out an Intifada after the Oslo Accords and after the failure of Camp David [July 2000].Imad Faluji, PA Minister of Communications:
Whoever thinks that the Intifada started because of the hated Sharon’s visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque is mistaken. That was only the straw breaking the Palestinian people’s patience. This Intifada was already planned since [Arafat] the President returned from the recent talks at Camp David [July 2000].” [Private filming of speech by Faluji, Dec. 5, 2000]The Israel Project notes that American diplomat Dennis Ross recounts in his book The Missing Peace how the Israelis called Washington with proof that the Palestinians were “planning massive, violent demonstrations throughout the West Bank and the next morning, ostensibly a response to the Sharon visit.” Washington pressured Arafat to dampen the violence, but the Palestinian leader – again per Ross – “did not lift a finger to stop the demonstrations, which produced the second Intifada.”
Who was Shimon Peres. Some interesting quotes are here. He did some good for the State of Israel, but he took many actions, especially in his later years, that were based on delusions of grandeur that harmed many people.