by Richard H. Shulman

A fair assessment: Peres changed over the years

Most obituaries misunderstand Shimon Peres; Prof. Steven Plaut gets it right. Prof. Plaut finds that Peres: (1) earlier, accomplished a lot for Israel; and (2) the last couple of decades, he accomplished a lot for Israel's Arab enemies. Prof. Plaut (September 29, 2016) wrote:

By concentrating on his role in the Oslo debacle, it is easy to forget the fact that for most of his career, Shimon Peres was a great man. While he was hardly a founding father of the country, as the media are proclaiming in mindless unison, being too young in 1948, Peres played a critical role in Israeli arms procurement, in the creation of the Dimona reactor, in relations with France, even in erection of early settlements in the West Bank. He was Ben Gurion's sidekick in the rightish breakaway Rafi Party, which split from MAPAI.

Because it lasted so long, the majority of his career days were as a skilled diplomat and leader of the Labor Right, and as Ben Gurion's Robin. Had he retired 25 years ago, that would have been his legacy.

But he did not. He spent his last 25 years committing Oslo, endangering the very existence of Israel with his delusions. Hectoring the country that if there was no peace it was because Israelis did not want it enough, insisting to the end that almost all Israelis support the "Two-State Solution," whereas in reality almost none do. Proclaiming that Palestinians seek peace, whereas they seek genocidal jihad.

The obscene reaction to his death among Arabs serves better than anything else to prove how deluded he was.

An Ideological Assessment: NY Times Misstates Peres' Record

Leftist obituaries praise Mr. Peres for the later period, for appeasement of the Arabs. The New York Times is the prototypic case in point.

The New York Times tribute to Peres has, as usual, anti-Zionist misinformation and insinuation (Peter Baker, 9/30/16, A6). Mr. Baker is the Times' new Jerusalem Bureau Chief. Some commentators hoped that he would diverge from the typical anti-Israel Bureau Chiefs. No basis for hoping. The Times is anti-Zionist by ideology.

Who Is Responsible For Lack Of Negotiations, the article wonders, Abbas or Netanyahu? The statement feigns fairness by stating that each side blames the other. But that is not fair, and there is no doubt.

Abbas refuses to negotiate without preconditions that would doom Israel. One is to flood Israel with enough Arabs to end Jewish sovereignty. Abbas refuses to recognize Jewish sovereignty, meaning he is not making peace with it. In addition, He tries, in violation of Oslo, to get the UN to order statehood without negotiation. Meanwhile, he encourages terrorist war on Israel.

By contrast, Netanyahu offers negotiations without preconditions.

Who Doesn't Comply With Oslo?: "At the UN last year, Mr. Abbas threatened to stop complying with the P.A.'s obligations under the Oslo agreement, because, in Mr. Abbas' view, the Israelis were not complying with theirs."

That statement is mischievous. It leaves uncorrected a one-sided and false insinuation that the P.A. complies with its Oslo obligations and that Israel does not. A fair reporter would have asked specifically which obligations Israel does not fulfill and Israel 's response. The Times should not disseminate slander.

Israel does comply. Sometimes Arabs accusing Israel of not complying cite provisions not in Oslo. For example, Abbas has complained that Israel does not release all P.A. Arab prisoners convicted of terrorism. Oslo does not require that. Abbas wants to excuse Arabs who commit war crimes against Israel. Friends tell me they don't like Netanyahu. What about that loathsome Abbas?

By contrast, the P.A. flouts Oslo's major provisions. The P.A. was supposed to dissolve terrorist militias and repress terrorism. Instead, Abbas pays terrorists according to how many Jews they murder. The P.A. violates other provisions, such as limits on the size and weaponry of its forces.

Misunderstands Arab Hostility: Heads of the Arab states having peace treaties with Israel will not attend Peres' funeral. Mr. Baker explains this as a general Arab hostility toward Peres. No, the hostility is toward Israel. Any Arab leader who is friendly toward Israel and seeks genuine peace is liable to be assassinated. Egypt and Jordan never normalized relations with Israel. They therefore violate their treaties. Likewise, Arafat assured Muslims that the Oslo accords were not a peace agreement but to get territory from which to attack Israel. And so the Palestinian Arabs do.

Peres Actually Promoted War: Most obituaries credit Peres with a dream of lasting peace. Peres' proposals would lead to war. Netanyahu understands, however, that unless the P.A. recognizes the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty not subject to jihad, the P.A. doesn't intend peace. Jihadists don't make peace. Arafat and Abbas have urged a general Arab war on Israel, have been stating their bellicose intent, and have been making war. The hope of making peace under those conditions is delusional.

Peres was delusional. Oslo does not provide for Israel to enforce its provisions. Hence Arab violations. Israel invited Arafat, a fugitive, back to the P.A., to head it. What an immoral blunder! Arafat imposed a dictatorship that steals foreign aid for jihad, patronage, and personal bank accounts. Little is left for building prosperity. The P.A. standard of living, which had skyrocketed after Israel took over in 1967, and surpassed that of Arab countries, has fallen to a fraction of what it is, thanks to Oslo.

Peres' Fatal Proposals: Peres (and the State Dept.) proposed other concessions to the Arab aggressors. Israel would cede strategic borders and the Jewish patrimony in Judea-Samaria. These proposals endanger Israel.

Peres' Narrow Vision: Mr. Baker concludes with somebody's assertion that Peres saw the "bigger picture." Just the opposite. He failed to grasp the Arabs' broad goal and that jihadists cannot be negotiated with successfully.

Inane Peresisms: Peres asserted that Israel doesn't need border security, it just needs hotels for foreign Arab guests. Two books were written to expose Peres' inanities, so many were they.

Abraham Center On Peres

The same edition of the Times carries an ad from the Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. The Center usually proposes concessions that boost the Arabs' incentive for war. These concessions would not be offered if the Left had learned the danger from appeasement of the Nazis and Communists, whose totalitarianism, imperialism, and antisemitism are like Islamists'.

Undeserved Nobel Peace Prizes: The ad refers to Peres' Nobel peace prize, shared with Rabin and Arafat. Some of these prizes anticipate accomplishment or leftist politics. Thus prizes went to Obama, who later helped to destabilize the world, to Henry Kissinger, the carpet-bomber, and to the head of North Vietnam, who then purged S. Vietnamese. Arafat continued his war.

Peres Forced Oslo on Rabin: According to the ad, Peres persuaded Rabin to agree to Oslo. No, it was a fait accomplish sneaked over on Rabin. Rabin expressed opposition to it. Was it coincidence that he didn't live much longer?

Peace Treaties' Importance Exaggerated: Peres is given credit for the peace treaty with Jordan. Previously, the two countries had learned to prevent military conflict and repress terrorism. The treaty didn't accomplish much.

Peres Subversion: Reference to Peres' Presidency of Israel omitted his subversion of that ceremonial office into a policy-making one. He exerted unlawful authority.

Not Pragmatic: The ad calls him pragmatic. As explained, later in his career he was delusional.

Other Aspects Of Peres

Jonathan Pollard: Peres turned evidence against Pollard over to the U.S.. Otherwise, Pollard probably would not have had such a long, abusive prison term, if any.

Peres' Tactics: Peres used dirty tricks against candidate Netanyahu. Peres' agent provocateur pretended to be a right-wing thug, to turn public opinion against Likud. Peres' party blamed Netanyahu for creating a mood that led to Rabin's assassination, though the supposed evidence was of the dirty tricks. The Left used that fake evidence to smear the whole nationalist and religious sectors. Intimidation of them followed.


These are some quotes from Peres, collected and organized by Roger A. Gerber and Rael Jean Isaac under the title: What Shimon Says: Shimon Peres In His Own Words. It is available from Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) at[1].pdf

Some Shimon Says Sayings:

[Excerpt from an interview with Haaretz journalist Daniel Ben Simon the day following Peres' defeat by Netanyahu in the 1996 election for Prime Minister]

INTERVIEWER: What happened in these elections?
PERES: We lost.
INTERVIEWER : Who is we?
PERES: We, that is the Israelis.
INTERVIEWER: And who won?
PERES: All those who do not have an Israeli mentality.
INTERVIEWER: And who are they?
PERES: Call it the Jews.

"What was sown in Oslo cannot be erased. It began a new chapter, a chapter of hope, a chapter of security, a chapter of good neighbors, a chapter of peace." (Article by Peres, Yediot Achronot, September 17, 2001)

COMMENT: Spoken in 2001, these words are truly unbelievable. Peres has gone through the looking glass

"Instead of dwelling in the history of the past, we have to look to the history of the future." (Speech to American Jewish Committee, May 3, 2001)

"In almost every foreign war, it (the U.S.) has conquered territories. But in none of them has it even attempted to retain either territories or resources, or to rule over another nation." (Battling for Peace, p. 74).

COMMENT: Among the numerous territories retained by the United States as the result of war are (1) West Florida (i.e. parts of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, retained after the war of 1812); East Florida, ceded by Spain in the aftermath of the Seminole War (2) Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and part of Colorado and Wyoming after wars with Mexico in the 1840s (3) Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines after war with Spain in 1898.

"The world today is no longer connected by sea or land, it's connected by air. In the air, you don't have flags or history or geography or sovereignties or borders; you have real, net competition of brains. And this is the competition that I think Moses was awaiting all his life. So now it came. And we shouldn't lose it." (Speech to American Jewish Committee, May 3, 2001)

COMMENT: What does Moses have to do with it? "So now it came." What came? "And we shouldn't lose it." Lose what? Air?

"When the economy moved from land to science, technology a n d telecommunications, territories, borders, sea and land lost their importance. [...] The world is moving from a position of national strategy to a position of global strategy. From a battle between armies, to a fight against dangers. From a world of enemies (nationalistic), to a world of dangers (global)." (Terror, A Global Threat, October 21, 2001, by Shimon Peres, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website)

"In order for Israel to remain a Jewish state, Israel needs a Palestinian state and we have to do it right away." (Jerusalem Post, May 19, 1998)

[On being asked if Arafat is an enemy of Israel] "No, he is a partner who is making serious mistakes." (Arutz Sheva News Service, March 29, 2001)

COMMENT: Yasir Arafat did not prove to be a partner for peace and quite probably will not be one in the future. ... Mr. Arafat has violated almost every agreement he has signed with Israel in both letter and spirit." (Op-ed by Ehud Barak in New York Times, July 30, 2001)

"The dream permits us to change reality but the creation of reality is not like a dream." (Jerusalem Post, May 4, 2000)

"The only thing I believe, you see, is that we had a dream and we thought the dream would never have a reality. Now we have a reality and we have the right to dream again — to create a different reality." (Jerusalem Post, May 4, 2000)

COMMENT: Peres continues to dream and as a result, Israel continues to have nightmares.

"Arafat wants one day without funerals. Why can't the IDF do this?" (Mabat, Israel Television Channel One, Nov. 8, 2000)

COMMENT: For Peres the problem is not the ongoing murderous attacks by the P.A., but the IDF's attempts to defend Israel's citizens.

"We too and not just [the Palestinians] need to lower the level of incitement. When we say we will liquidate them, destroy them, banish them, that is incitement." (Haaretz, August 13, 2001)

COMMENT: Peres sets up a phony straw man, an unidentified "we" that calls for destroying and liquidating the Palestinians.

[French filmmaker Serge Moati, who made a documentary film Shimon Peres: A Fight for Peace, recorded an exchange between Peres and Arafat at the Erez checkpoint in 1994. Pulling a letter from Arafat out of his pocket, Peres harangued him:]

"I suggest not to write letters. Because if you write, we shall have to answer. We shall answer, we shall begin to complain. We shall say you didn't hand over to us the prisoners, you didn't do this and that, which will kill the Palestinian story in the American Congress. Because if we shall write a letter like this a n d it will reach the American press, it will be a catastrophe. And you know we are working today for the Palestinian cause in the American Congress more than you are." (Jerusalem Post International Edition, June 1, 1996)

[Describing why a cease-fire would be desirable from the Palestinian viewpoint]

"... Arafat's greatest gain [over the years] was world recognition of the Palestinian issue and the legitimacy given him. I don't think he wants to lose that legitimacy." (Jerusalem Post, August 28, 2001).

COMMENT: Peres admits that Oslo conferred the "greatest gain" upon Arafat and brought "world recognition of the Palestinian issue." A strange set of achievements for an Israeli Foreign Minister.

[Asked what would happen if an Arab leader who made peace with Israel was killed] "Well, the system of government is transitional, peace is permanent." (Middle East Quarterly, March 1995)

COMMENT: ... Peres frequently treats "peace" as a physical entity, rather than as a term describing a relationship between states or peoples.

"Israel and Jordan enjoy a model peace — a warm peace, a potential full of creation and building. Where there was enmity, there is amity. Where there was suspicion, there is cooperation." [Speech at Beit Gabriel, January 10, 1996]

COMMENT: Relations are so "warm" that the anti-normalization movement in Jordan (including the national bar association, leading union, business associations and 13 of Jordan's 20 political parties) has compiled a registry of 300 Jordanians who consort with "the enemy" (Israel). (New York Times, Oct. 15, 1999). Jordan's press association expelled three journalists who visited Israel for a week in September 1999. (Reuters, Nov. 17, 1999).

"We are approaching the stage at which it will become clear that terror has no future and is fated to die." [Speech at Inauguration of Winter Session of the Knesset, October 11, 1993]

COMMENT: Eight years later, Peres' predictive record will turn out to be zero but that will not stop him from plowing ahead, blinders firmly in place.

"Our struggle is against terror. And if you want to maintain an international united front, the subject must be terror. The subject can't be the Palestinians or Arafat, it must be the menace of terror itself." (Jerusalem Post Internet Edition, August 28, 2001)

COMMENT: Again Peres pulls his verbal trick, separating the act from the actor.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He can be reached by email at This article was submitted September 30, 2016 and is archived at http;//

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