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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Shimon Peres’

Ron Pundak, Active in Many Failed Peace Initiatives, Dead at 59

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Ron Pundak, who was the executive director of the Peres Center for Peace, an architect of the Oslo Accords, and an active participant in the Geneva Initiative, died from cancer on Friday. Pundak was 59 years old.

Pundak is being widely lauded as a great peace activist and a visionary.

Israel’s President Shimon Peres said that Pundak, was a warrior, a man of values and an intellectual.

“He [Pundak] dedicated his whole life for the achievement of peace with our neighbors. He was willing to do anything for peace, sacrifice his life and dedicated each and every moment of his life to it. Ron was a family man, a great soul and he will be missed,” Peres said.

Israeli politician Tzipi Livni said: “There are war heroes but Ron was hero of peace. He was a Zionist who believed in peace and was not deterred by extremists, cynics and the hopeless.”

However, the Oslo Accords and the Geneva Initiative have both resulted in great harm to Israel.

And at the J Street Conference in 2011, Ron Pundak told the audience something to which they responded with thunderous applause.

“Israel,” Pundak said, “can live with a nuclear Iran and it must not base its policies on a worst-case scenario.”

Funeral arrangements had not yet been made before Shabbat.

Obama and Peres Polish Up their Persian for Iran’s New Year

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

President Shimon Peres and President Barack Obama delivered their annual greetings to Iranians celebrating the new Persian year and played up prospects of peace.

Peres showed off his language skills – actually those of his speech writers – by starting with, “Iraniane Gerami, Novruzetan Piruz Bad,” which can be translated as “Iranian citizens, wherever you are, Happy Nowruz.”

Obama began his video greetings with “Dorood,” or “to praise.” It is said by Muslims every time they hear the name of the Islamic prophet Mohammed.”

Presidents love impressing foreign people with greetings such as “Shalom,” which they don’t understand not only mneans “Peace” and “Hello” but also means “goodbye,” but unfortunately without the connotation of “good riddance.”

“The Jewish people and the Persian people, the Iranian people have a very long history and we’re going to have a long future,” said Peres, implying optimism that Iran will not succeed to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

“We are old cultures, we learn history, we make history and we respect history,” he said.” We have a heritage of values; we are not just business peoples but two nations that respect culture, that respect human dignity. We call to live in peace and understanding.”

That is why brining Israeli flags is such a popular sport in Iran.

On the other side of the ocean, President Obama said, “Since taking office, I’ve offered the Iranian government an opportunity –if it meets its international obligations, then there could be a new relationship between our two countries, and Iran could begin to return to its rightful place among the community of nations.”

The odd thing is that that he already has given Iran a spot closer to center stage in the international community although it has not met its “international obligations,” but there is nothing like trust to usher in the new year.

“Last fall, I spoke with President Rouhani,” Obama continued, “It was the first conversation between an American president and an Iranian leader since 1979. I conveyed to President Rouhani my deep respect for the Iranian people, just as he expressed his respect for the American people….

“Since then, we’ve made progress. For years, the international community has had concerns that Iran’s nuclear program could lead to Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, which would be a threat to the region and to the world. Under the initial agreement we reached in November, the Iranian government has agreed to limit key parts of its nuclear program. Along with our international partners, the United States is giving Iran some relief from sanctions.” Iran has “agreed” but has not carried out the agreement, but trust the president, because he said, “As I’ve said before, I’m under no illusions…. If Iran meets its international obligations, we know where the path of dialogue and greater trust and cooperation can lead…

“Real diplomatic progress this year can help open up new possibilities and prosperity for the Iranian people for years to come.

And what happens is Iran does not meet its international obligations? Obama undoubtedly will be back next year with the same speech.

If you want to hear all four minutes and 47 seconds of it, here it is.

Peres Confused over ‘Isolation’ and ‘Peace’

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

The subject of President Shimon Peres’s speech at the Sixth Annual Negev Conference in Sderot on Tuesday was not a surprise, but his contrasting a peaceful-seeking nation with one that is isolated says volumes about his view from the Ivory Tower.

After his expressing his delight at the Israeli government’s going along for the ride with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to the Peace Process Cemetery, Peres said, “We are not an isolated nation’ we never were. We are a nation that seeks peace.”

He was wrong on one point. Israel indeed is an isolated nation. The reason it is isolated is his second point – that Israel seeks peace.

Bibi Wants President Shimon to Squeeze One More Year

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Many years ago, the late humorist songwriter Chaim Cheffer wrote a seemingly innocuous ditty called “How Did the Flea Rise Up,” about this industrious flea who may have been born in a mouse’s fur, but he knew he was meant for larger animals, and so he kept rising up the ranks, to a doggie, then to a donkey (he hated that one because donkeys have to work), moved up to a horse and then, finally, made it to the government.

It was sung by the satirical group Mo’adon Hateatron (Theater Club), became a hit, and everybody in Israel, but everybody, knew it was about Shimon Peres, the indefatigable climber. According to Cheffer himself, who devoted part of his video last will to this song, Peres himself knew it too, which is why he and the gifted lyricist were not very close.

It’s all I could think about this morning.



Shimon Peres’s term is coming to an end (not a minute too soon, if you ask me, but few do) this July. This was supposed to conclude a career that began with him carrying Ben Gurion’s attaché case and making coffee, and ended with repeated failed bids to win the Prime Minister’s seat all to himself (he did share it with Likud’s Yitzhak Shamir), then some more back stabbing and more dirty tricks, and then the presidential palace, which he successfully incorporated into the promotional machine that bears his name (the Peres Center for Peace—for wire transfers include SWIFT# WFBIUS6S)…

It was all supposed to be over for the country’s favorite flea, and then I saw the reports about the new maneuver in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, to change the way Israel receives its presidents. According to Army Radio, the new plan is to let the voters pick directly, through a popular vote, their symbolic figure who has no real function other than whatever hits his fancy.

OK, there’s one constitutional function for the Israeli president: after an election, he or she meet with all the new Knesset factions, and collect from them recommendations as to whom should be tapped to build the next coalition. The law determines that it must be the MK with the best chance to form a government, the president’s role is largely a formality. As is the fact that he signs the laws and treaties passed by the Knesset. Even pardons must be approved by the Minister of Justice, who has the power to veto a presidential pardon, if it’s been deemed unethical.

Because the role is strictly ceremonial, the Jewish equivalent of the Queen of England, the president has been selected, rather than elected, by the Knesset. Occasionally this process has included a floor fight, but no one, until this morning, has seriously considered picking the president through a popular vote. It’s just not worth it.

Enter the only other equally indefatigable politician in Israel’s history: Benjamin Netanyahu. As of today, in addition to all the other challenges he’s facing at home and abroad, Bibi is now thinking of changing the constitution regarding picking a president.

In Israel, you see, what we do to change the constitution is Bibi says “I want this change in the constitution” and we vote on it and it passes.

Very dynamic country, Israel.

Anyway, government sources have confirmed to Walla that it’s really the case, and that Bibi wants direct elections for president, which means that legislation covering this couldn’t possibly be ready in time for the vote this July, so Shimon will get to rule another year.

Peres Can’t Leave His Ghetto Mentality

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

President Shimon Peres met with the Congressional Black Caucus in Jerusalem Tuesday and whined about the long-suffering Jews whose only friend on Planet Earth is the United States, may it live another 120 years.

“We’re fortunate to have our special relations with America, we’re alone, isolated and often attacked, and you support us not because of oil but because of values,” Peres said. “When it comes to defending our land, there was no request which President Obama did not accept.

“President Obama and Secretary Kerry are trying to bring peace to this region. Secretary Kerry’s contribution has been incredible,” he said. “This is a small country with a long history and while it is not simple, it can be done.”

Poor, poor Israel, So isolated. So often attacked. Just like in Europe. Just like in Spain, Just like in the Crusades, Just line under the Roman and Greek empires.

Forget Israel under Kings Saul, David and Solomon. Forget the First and Second Holy Temples. They only were footnotes to the suffering Jew, with his wretched hand held out for support from the high and mighty, from the United States of America, from President Barack Obama himself.

Peace, peace, peace, says Peres. Just give us peace. Take our land. Sure, it is where we live and used to live, but the Arabs need another country, and charity begins away from home.

We have the whole Negev to ourselves. Sure, the Bedouin are taking it over, but we still control Be’er Sheva. And it has the country’s largest mall.

And Kerry really is incredible. He has promised us peace, so let’s make the painful concession of giving up our ability to defend ourselves and considering Israel a Jewish state.

After all, with friends like the United States, we don’t care about enemies. Just look how Obama stared down Assad. Look how he outsmarted Iran. Look how he has stabilized Egypt.

If Peres has his way, Israel will always be poor, poor Israel.

Rabbi Ovadia’s Daughter May Bid to Succeed Peres as President

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite as Democratic presidential candidate for the 2016 elections, and if the Republicans continue to prefer arguing rather than uniting, she will succeed.

In Israel, none other than Adina Bar Shalom, the Haredi left-wing daughter of the late Torah sage Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is contemplating running for the post that will be vacant with the end of the term of President Shimon Peres this year. The Knesset elects the president.

Bar Shalom, 69,  said last month that she has not talked with anyone about the possibility of running, but she told the Forward this week she might take the plunge. She said she is now talking about the prospect with several key people and supporters who believe she can be a “bridge between religion and the state.”

One of the reasons for her hesitation on declaring herself as a candidate is that she wants to know who else will be running. Another woman, former  Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner whose decisions were left-leaning, said Thursday she intends to run for president.

So far, veteran Knesset Members Reuven Rivlin of the Likud and Binyamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer of Labor have announced their candidacies, as has outsider Dan Shectman, who like Bar Shalom has no  experience in politics. The Technion University scientist  is a Noble Prize winner in chemistry.

The position of presidency had been a ceremonial one until Ezer Weizmann actively pushed political policies during his term of office in the 1990s, and Peres has often acted more like Prime Minister then president.

Bar Shalom might win support from Israel’s popular media, which would promote her because of her leftist views and because she is a woman, considered to be a credential in and of itself by a pro-feminist media.

She told the Forward she firmly believes Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas is a “partner for peace” and believes his statements that “I won’t allow terrorists and terror” and “I prevent the terror.”

She founded a college for Haredi women in 2000 and which now is also open to men, who learn separately from women.

Peres: Israel Won’t Tolerates Attacks on Holy (Christian) Sites

Monday, December 30th, 2013

President Shimon Peres delivered a Christian New Year’s message enthusiastically proclaiming that Israel “will continue to guarantee access to holy sites for all” in the wake of recent “price tag” attacks on Christian sites.

“There is no place for violence in our society, even more so when it targets people or places of faith,” he said in remarks that have not been heard often, if it all, following official Palestinian Authority policies to obstruct Jews from praying at holy sites in Judea and Samaria.

President Peres hosted a reception on Monday at his residence in Jerusalem for the heads of the Christian denominations in Israel and said, “The State of Israel will not tolerate aggression against members of the clergy. I feel angry at the insults some religious leaders in Israel have faced recently. Israel has always been and will always remain committed to freedom of worship, freedom of religion.”

That is not entirely true. Jews are not free to pray on the Temple Mount; they need armed escorts to pray at Joseph’s Tomb (Kever Yosef) in Shechem; they often are victims of rock throwing at Rachel’s Tomb (Kever Rachel), despite its being surrounded by a wall; anti-Semitic vandalism often takes place at the Patriarchs’ Cave (Ma’arah HaMachpela) in Hevron; and the ancient synagogue in Jericho is usually out of bounds.

Any Jew trying to visit the ancient synagogue in Samoa, in the southern Hevron Hills, would leave in a coffins, or if lucky, on a stretcher.

Peres again offered his solution to the problems between Arabs and Jews. Just give the Arabs what they want, and there will be peace.

“Our peace talks with the Palestinians are ongoing; they are the greatest promise for our people and for the Palestinians,” in remarked. “An agreement between us can bring a change in the relations between Jews and Muslims and between all faiths.”

At least this time he said an agreement “can” bring peace instead of stating it “will” bring peace, just like every other agreement the past decades only brought war.

Greek Orthodox Patriarch His Beatitude Theophilos III told the invited guests on behalf of the Christian leader, “We take this opportunity to express our appreciation in particular to you, Mr. President for the determined and strong voice that you have been raising in condemning the wave of ‘Price Tag’ crimes in our country, and especially in Jerusalem….

“In order to avoid repeating the mistakes of bitter experience, there is more that can be done, both to facilitate access to the Holy Places for pilgrims from a distance as well as from our local communities.”

Of course, he did not remind anyone that until 1967, when Israel took back sovereignty of Judea and Samaria and all of Jerusalem after nearly 2,000 years and opened all holy sites to all religions, they were closed under the Jordanian occupation.

Real Hero at Bus Bombing Was a Child

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

The real hero who helped prevent mass casualties in Sunday’s metropolitan Tel Aviv (Bat Yam) bus bombing was a child who told the bus driver that’s someone had left a bag on the bus, one of the passengers told President Shimon Peres Monday.

The Jewish Press reported here that the bus driver, Michael Yoger, insisted he was not a hero.

President Peres met with Yoger to praise him for quick thinking by stopping the bus and evacuating passengers before the bomb exploded and later spoke with the passenger, David Papo, who identified the “bag” as a bomb.

“A child told the driver that someone had left a bag on the bus,” Papo told President Peres. “I don’t know why, but I decided to examine it because I didn’t understand how someone could leave such a big bag on the bus. I tried to lift the bag, but it was so heavy that it raised my suspicion further.

“When I opened the bag I saw what it was. When the explosion happened, we were in the road helping the police to stop passersby and the traffic. Only afterwards when I saw the hole in the bus did I understand the damage that could have been caused.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/real-hero-at-bus-bombing-was-a-child/2013/12/23/

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