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Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 9/30/2016
Former Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres was a very successful brand. He was presented to the world as stately, wise, a relentless advocate of peace, and a sane voice amidst a conflict deemed senseless and unending.
Now that he is dead at 93, international media are rife with touching tributes and heartwarming eulogies of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, one of Israels most sagacious founding fathers, who was also seen as a giant among men.
These attributes were mostly based on sentiment rather than fact, however, full knowledge of the mans legacy certainly lingers among many Palestinians, Lebanese and advocates of peace and justice in the Middle East.
The truth is, Peres was never truly a peacemaker he never laboured to achieve fair and just political compromises that would preserve the dignity and rights of the Palestinians, along with securing the future of his people. In fact, he was a maximalist, a man who blatantly shoved his ideas forward in order to achieve his goals, no matter what the method or the price.
Nor was he a leader with specific qualities that allowed him to excel in particular fields of politics. Instead, he was the embodiment of the archetypical Israeli politician who swapped roles and rebranded himself as the occasion or role required.
Over seven decades, Peres served as prime minister (twice) and president, though he never actually won a national election outright, wrote Ben White in MEMO. He was a member of 12 cabinets and had stints as defence, foreign and finance minister.
He was also characterised as a warrior at home, and a peace dove in global forums. He came across as kind and stately, and Western media often embraced that erroneous image with little questioning. more.. e-mail The October War: legitimate questions and missing answers
Adel Suleiman, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 9/30/2016
The 43rd anniversary of the 1973 October War will be marked next week; this war deserves some serious reflection in light of the situation in the Arab world today. This includes very dangerous fissures and the fact that the Israeli enemy is reinforcing its presence and gaining more acceptance, and even encouragement, from some Arab regimes. The purpose of such reflection is not merely to mark the anniversary of the most honourable and noble war fought by the Arabs against the Israeli military machine. It is also to re-read, re-think and re-evaluate the lessons learned from the war, which still provokes a great deal of controversy and disagreement to the extent of violent clashes in many instances. The debate revolves around a number of questions that seem legitimate and focus on three main aspects.
What was the nature of the war and was it organised and planned to be a war of mobilisation or liberation? Was there a specific and clear agreement in this regard between the partners in Cairo and Damascus, based on which military coordination was arranged? This is important, given the stark contrast between the Egyptian and Syrian battle fronts and the lack of territorial contiguity between the two that would allow for operational cooperation and mutual support.
There are no definitive answers to any of these questions from any reliable sources. All we find are justifications, assumptions and, at times, accusations between the allies in the war, Egypt and Syria. Researchers have no other option but to attempt to make conclusions from some of the available facts.
In terms of the wars nature regarding its limitations or comprehensiveness, we always refer back to Hafiz Ismail, Egyptian President Anwar Sadats national security adviser, who sent a letter to the US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, on 7 October, on Sadats orders. Discovered after the war, the letter told Kissinger, We do not intend to deepen the engagements or widen the confrontation. This means that the strategic decision.... more.. e-mail Peres: The Nobel Peace Laureate who was far from peaceful
Hossam Shaker, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 9/29/2016
Peres colluded with the construction of the Apartheid Wall built by Israel on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, despite the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice against the construction of the structure.
The world saw him as a friendly diplomat who called for peace and talked about the importance of the future generations in his speeches, using phrases such as the future of our children and their children. Well, Shimon Peres went AWOL and we can all see what became of the political peace project, which reinforced the dominance of the Israeli occupation over the land and destroyed the chances of the Palestinians ever having a bright future, or even a viable state.
The truth is that Israels occupation could not have done without a politician like Peres, who climbed the ladder to a civil role that is usually reserved for retired generals holding leadership positions. He was forced, in the autumn of his life, to take a lead on Israeli diplomacy, even when a vengeful, racist and arrogant man Avigdor Lieberman was the foreign minister.
Peres was keen on being seen in the corridors of power in the guise of a peacemaker and he seemed to be a political visionary who spoke about the future in the way of a dreamer. He spoke tirelessly about the culture of forgiveness and he wanted his name to be associated with peace by means of multiple acts, including an eponymous centre dedicated to peace.
However, the reality speaks another language. Shimon Peres was always an example of those Israeli officials who ignore throughout their decades in prominent positions the rights of the Palestinian people, international humanitarian law and UN resolutions. He completely disregarded the Geneva Conventions and continuously and repeatedly violated them at the cost of innocent lives and human rights. more.. e-mail Drop the farcical obits, Shimon Peres was no peacemaker
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera 9/30/2016
The Palestinian leadership's biggest failure was trusting the likes of Shimon Peres.
It is infuriating to read, listen and watch the western coverage of the death of former Israeli prime minister and president, Shimon Peres.
As leaders and representatives of the "peace process" industry express sadness, as they pay their final respects to one of their own, a fanciful and farcical narrative about the "tireless peacemaker", the "political philosopher", and a "brave statesman" has dominated the airwaves and the newspapers.
I get the idea that when paying one's "respects" to the dead one needs to be positive, and well, respectful. But that's not the role of a journalist or an intellectual. Unless of course you're an American celebrity journalist, like Barbara Walters, whose dream finally came true when she gave Shimon Peres a big hug at the end of an interview on The View.
How about some facts and - dare I say - some truths for a change?Some truths
How, for example, after a quarter of a century of peace process, there's no peace, and only more of the same occupation and Palestinian dispossession. (To be sure, why don't the peace supporters descending on Jerusalem this weekend visit any random refugee camp for a chat, or drop by Gaza for some refreshments?)
How the Oslo agreements and their implementation have led not to a Palestinian state, but rather to more illegal Jewish settlements that paved the way towards a system of apartheid.
How, after the Oslo agreements were signed, Peres supported settlement building that increased by some 50 percent from 1993-1996. more.. e-mail
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