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Shimon Peres: A Complicated Legacy

Posted September 28th, 2016 at 4:41 pm (UTC-5)
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If you live until age 93 with more than 60 years in the public eye, you are going to have your share of admirers and detractors. What makes Shimon Peres so interesting is how many seemingly contradictory adjectives are used to describe him.
Consider these words from about a dozen articles used to describe Peres: arrogant, humble; pragmatic, Utopian; integrity, duplicitous; arrogant, eloquent; ambitious, technocrat; flawed visionary, strategic thinker; hawk, dove, Mr. Security; patriot, traitor, statesman.
Although they share the Nobel Peace Prize for the Oslo Peace Accords, Peres and Israel’s assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had a longtime political rivalry, so bitter that Rabin described Peres as “the indefatigable subverter.” The irony is not lost that Peres will be buried alongside Rabin on Friday. President Barack Obama will lead the American delegation to Peres’ funeral.
Peres has been Israel’s defense minister and foreign minister; its president.and prime minister, although he was unable to win an election to lead the country. As the last of Israel’s founding fathers, Peres leaves a complicated legacy.

Whither Peace 20 Years After Rabin’s Assassination?

Posted November 4th, 2015 at 4:03 pm (UTC-5)
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A deal between Israelis and Palestinians now seems impossible. The current narrative is whether or not they are sliding towards a third intifada. Today it seems clear that the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was committed to making some kind of deal with the Palestinians beyond what was agreed to in 1993. Rabin, who helped engineer victory for Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, was a believer in military might before negotiations. And maybe that was what was so threatening about him. Rabin had fought for Israel’s existence. And then, he shook the hand of his enemy, Yasser Arafat. Whatever it might have looked like in reality, peace was very possibly at hand when he was shot and killed in Tel Aviv 20 years ago today.