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Ringing the bells. Peres Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Ringing the bells. Peres Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
 
 

Peres bursting with anger

Op-ed: President has every right to speak up if he believes government leading Israel to disaster

Eitan Haber
Published: 01.01.13, 11:03 / Israel Opinion

What did those who elected Shimon Peres as president of the State of Israel think? That he would limit himself to taking part in a mezuzah hanging ceremony at the new Shekem branch at Kastina Junction? Or settle for kissing children at Shoshana's kindergarten in Tel Aviv at the opening of the new school year?

 

Shimon Peres, the most senior Israeli politician, is currently the greatest expert and has the most experience in foreign and domestic policy. He is watching the State of Israel's conduct from the second floor of the President's Residence - and explodes with anger.

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Sitting in his bureau, among the thousands of books and hundreds of souvenirs from all over the world, Peres believes the current government's policy is leading Israel to what he refers to as a "disaster." So what is a man of his stature to do? Pat little children on the head in one of Sderot's nursery schools?

 

Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first president, said that as president of Israel all he is allowed to do is stick his nose in a handkerchief. Shimon Peres uses the handkerchief to wipe the sweat off the faces of the current Israeli premier and his ministers.

 

As president, Shimon Peres believes the government's diplomatic paralysis is leading the country towards disaster. And he is not the only one. Many Israeli ambassadors who are attending the Foreign Ministry's annual conference are under the same impression.

 

In closed conversations, Peres says he fears for the State of Israel's fate. If this is the case, it is his duty – not just his right – to speak up. The issues are far too important, and if the president believes this is the "time of Jacob's trouble" then he must ring all the bells. And this is precisely what he is doing.

 

Those who are trying to muzzle the president are like the people who immediately after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 asked the Israeli leaders, army officers and journalists: Where were you? Why did you not speak up? Why did you not warn us? Today, President Shimon Peres is trying to warn us all.

 

 

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