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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Shimon Peres’

Peres & Associates Turning Political Cache into Millions in Cash

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

On Sunday, Globes disclosed that former president Shimon Peres, who will turn 92 this August, was hired as consultant for the multi-billion dollar Israeli-based generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA). Working through the recently incorporated Peres & Associates, Shimon Peres will be providing consulting services at the rate of $10,000 per month, with options for additional, as hoc earnings.

The revelation was nothing new to followers of the career of Shimon Peres, nicknamed a “tireless schemer” by the late Yitzhak Rabin.

On the eve of his retirement from office last year, the Peres presidential palace had run an annual budget of more than $15 million—the highest since the establishment of the state—and included $1.25 million a year for an unprecedented barrage of international flights, millions more on hosting extravagant events (funded by a murky combination of state funds and private donations), and hundreds of thousands for employee expenses.

The idea behind Peres & Associates came to life two years or so before the end of President Shimon Peres’ term in office, when his team began planning the next phase in his career.

Initially, the Peres team was going to move its operations to the Peres Center for Peace, founded in 1996 to serve as the home base for Israel’s longest serving politician (or, as the official website puts it, to promote peace-building between Israel and its neighbors).

But the center has been plagued by dwindling donations and burgeoning budgets, to the point where it was deemed unfit to serve Shimon Peres’ ambitions.

That’s when the idea was born for Peres & Associates, which was incorporated last July.

According to Calcalist, the new firm developed a polished business model, using the retired president’s contacts around the world to benefit Israeli companies that are active in global markets. Peres would promote these companies’ business abroad—for a fixed retainer—based on a detailed price list.

The sole shareholder and CEO is Chemi Peres, Shimon’s son, whose day jobs include being managing general partner of the Pitango hedge fund, which he co-founded, managing more than $1.6 billion. Chemi Peres is also chairman of the board of the Peres Center for Peace.

An senior Israeli high-tech manager told Calcalist: “Peres & Associates approach high-tech companies and offer them assistance in selling to foreign governments and government agencies, places where the name Peres opens doors. In exchange for opening doors and helping in closing deals, they want retainers in the tens of thousands of dollars, as well as 8 percent of the future transaction.”

After salaries and taxes, most of Peres & Associates’ profits are eventually supposed to be funneled to the Peres Center for Peace. On its face, the plan sounds a lot like a more modest version of former president Bill Clinton’s global charity work, only the Peres venture has been hitting some unfortunate walls.

A week ago, Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank, hired Peres for $30,000 a month to promote its activities in the U.S. and other international markets. According to YNet, Peres was expected to make speaking appearances at bank events, including, this April, at a ceremony marking Bank Hapoalim’s 40 years in America. But the plan crashed under a backlash of hostile comments in the press, to the point where Peres had to go on Israel’s Channel 2 News to announce he killed the deal.

Peres denied that the money was going to him, personally—it all went to public projects, he insisted. He also denied that his role was that of a lobbyist for the bank.

Israelis, whose average hourly income stands at between $10 and $12 hated the idea of Peres turning his influence and connections into $360,000 a year plus options. So Peres finally gave up the deal.

Secretary of State Kerry’s Yom HaShoah Message

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued the following statement on Thursday, April 16, Yom HaShoah, 2016.

Teresa and I join all Americans today in observing Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. We bow our heads as we both mourn and honor the six million Jews and millions of others who perished in the most painful and horrific chapter in human history.

We lack the power to rewind the clock or to bring back those who were murdered. But we do have the power of remembrance, and we will never cease to honor the memory of those who were killed, to grieve their loss, and to cherish their names.

We remain indebted, as well, to the Holocaust survivors who, despite unspeakable trauma, continue to recount their painful experiences so that the passage of time does not lead to the forgetting of what must never be forgotten. We also draw inspiration from the reality that every child of every survivor is added testimony to the utter failure of Hitler’s evil plan.

I was profoundly moved in 2013 when I visited Yad Vashem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-President Shimon Peres. A siren wailing through Jerusalem and then a nation standing together in silent reflection signify a profound tribute to the fallen, and a call to consciousness for us all, now and in perpetuity.

For us, then, remembrance is the beginning, not the end of our responsibility. The duty we have is an active one: to work with countries and partners around the globe to fight bigotry wherever it arises, to confront aggression, insist on truth, uphold the rule of law, and promote respect for the rights and dignity of every human being.

The ‘Most Illegitimate’ Regime; the Jihadist Middle East; and Remembering Yehuda Avner

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015


The P5 +1 are convinced that Iran is a legitimate negotiating partner. But Dan Diker, host of VOI’s National Security, has the opposite idea. Dan joins Yishai in-studio to discuss the folly of the nuclear talks. He also raises historical precedents for US-Israel tensions, such as the diplomatic assault launched on the Jewish state by the administration of President Gerald Ford. He then draws parallels between the holidays of Purim and Passover, using them as parables for today’s times.

Then, Ali Jabber is a pseudonym for an Arab who sees Israel as the harbinger of peace, democracy and human rights. He joins Yishai to discuss why so many other Arabs are still mired in the jihadist mindset.

Finally, Yishai talks about Israeli diplomat Yehuda Avner, who died recently. Avner worked as an adviser to prime ministers Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, and wrote speeches for prime ministers Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol. He also served as ambassador to Australia, Ireland and the UK. Yishai reads passages from Avner’s highly acclaimed book, “The Prime Ministers,” describing Esther Cailingold, a young Jewish female fighter writing her final letter as she took part in a battle of Israel’s War of Independence.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Richard Gere Coming to Israel

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Richard Gere will be coming to Israel on Sunday.

Gere will be meeting with former president Shimon Peres, and checking out co-existence initiatives by the Peres Center for Peace.

Gere has appeared in over 50 movies, including the well known, “Pretty Women” (an Ehud Olmert favorite) and “An Officer and a Gentleman”.

Yehuda Avner (86), Advisor, Ambassador and Author

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Yehuda Avner, former adviser to Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres and Yitzchak Rabin passed away on Tuesday at his home in Jerusalem. He was 86.

Born in the Manchester, England in 1928, Avner made Aliyah in 1947. He joined Israel’s Foreign Service in 1958.

Avner served as Israel’s ambassador to Australia and the UK. He also worked as a speechwriter for Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol.

He was the author of the book, The Prime Ministers, that described his experiences with Israel’s Prime Ministers.

Toby Press is set to release, in a few months, a new novel he wrote called, The Ambassador.

His son-in-law, David Sable, released the following very touching statement:

Dear Friends,

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the passing of Ambassador Yehuda Avner, Begin’s Shakespeare…an articulate champion of the Jewish people and the State, who took his last breaths, at home, in his beloved Jerusalem.

There is so much to say and so much to share and such a rich life to celebrate. Suffice it for now that he always saw himself as a Yerushalmi – a person of Jerusalem…not just from Jerusalem…and to him Jerusalem was a crazy mosaic that encompassed all of its inhabitants.

He was a true servant of the Jewish people…in his role as advisor to the Generation of Legendary Leaders of Israel he was never political, never took personal gain, never shied from conflict…with his bag always packed.. he went; listened, advised and wrote giving voice to the Prime Ministers he served and voice to our cause and our people.

The consummate Ambassador he represented Israel during tumultuous times and was respected by friend and foe alike as he brought his skills to the corridors of power and the backrooms of deals.

He was passionate about art, music, literature and theater and loved nothing better than getting seats to see the latest Opera at the Met or a private tour of the newest exhibition at MOMA.

His legacy is Medinat Yisrael, the State of Israel, to which he dedicated his life to building. His gift to us…his words… which will live on and continue to inspire future generations around the world.

So much more to share….a lifetime in fact.

With deep respect and love for my friend, and in celebration of a life well lived…

David Sable

Peres Plays Down Aliyah and Ignores Intermarriage

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres slapped Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu behind the back on Sunday for encouraging terrorized Jews to make Aliyah instead of doing so without being pushed by hatred.

Speaking in New York at an event by the Times of Israel newspaper, Peres insisted, “Jews can live all over the world. Just keep your children Jewish.”

The intermarriage rate in the United States is approximately 60 percent. It is above 70 percent in most of Europe, and Israel’s premier president of platitudes can’t connect the dots. The reason is that Peres refers never miss an opportunity to knock Netanyahu. even if at the expense of Aliyah.

The Prime Minister commented after this week’s murder of a Jewish guard at a Copenhagen synagogue, “I would like to tell all European Jews and all Jews wherever they are: Israel is the home of every Jew.”

Last month, at the funerals in Israel for French Jews murdered by a terrorist in an attack on kosher deli, in Paris, Netanyahu told mourners, ”Today we have a state of our own, one that is blossoming and advanced, one that spreads great light like a lighthouse of morality; a state that takes its fate in its hands.”

But Peres, instead of promoting Israel’s “lighthouse of morality” and encouraging people to have the desire to make Aliyah, preferred to exploit the event in New York to jab his long-time political enemy Netanyahu while broadcasting the old-time Israeli smugness that Israel does not have to ask anyone to come to the country.

“Come because you want to live in Israel,” Peres said, which would have been a reasonable statement if it weren’t for the fact that although Peres’ father and family were Zionists, no one made the move to Israel until anti-Semitism hastened their emigration from Europe..

Peres was born in White Russia and was  ruled by Poland between the world wars. As anti-Semitic violence escalated, Peres’ father traveled to Tel Aviv in 1932 to put down stakes in Israel and then called for his family, including the future president of Israel, to make Aliyah in 1934. Those who remained behind were massacred by the Nazis.

Peres Joins His Predecessors

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

A bust depicting former Israeli president Shimon Peres was placed next to sculptures of the former eight presidents in the garden of the President’s residence in Jerusalem, on February 01, 2015.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/peres-joins-his-predecessors/2015/02/01/

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