The state of the Nobel Peace Prize had worsened Tuesday, two weeks after a stroke. He was 93 years old.
By Gilles Paris (.)
Of all the leaders of his country, he was both the oldest and the least Israel. Long unpopular among his people, always willing to fun his persistent inability to universal suffrage, yet unquestionably best Salesman of Israel . Cultured, loving literature, sometimes visionary, and at the same time winding, rough with his opponents as with its allies, especially as incapable of resist to the attraction of power .
Because of his choices and his life, Shimon Peres, died Wednesday, September 28 to 93, eighteen times minister or premier, camped opposite the guns of the Israeli hero. He remained a kind of animal policy hybrid – between fashioned shtetl, the Jewish home of Europe Central and Yishuv, the destination of the first alyas in Palestine representative – and so far from his contemporaries, whether Yitzhak Rabin or Ariel Sharon
For the beginning, Shimon Persky is not a sabra. The son of a timber merchant, was born August 2, 1923 at Vichneva in Poland ( Belarus Current). A thousand Jewish inhabitants, wooden huts scattered along the road, no electricity.
The maternal grandfather, very religious, is the head of the community. The future president will tell, in a book of interviews with Robert Littell (Conversations with Shimon Peres Denoël, 1997), he breathed long paper packing oranges, arrivals from Israel, this earth unknown but so close, fantasized.
In 1934, at the age of 11, as Shimon Peres arrives in Palestine under British mandate. He lives in a kibbutz in Galilee, integrates a school of agriculture where his conscience shape policy. It also decides change name, leaving Persky to Peres (eagle). A name which earned him decades later the easy irony commentators about raptors endangered.
Etroits contacts with France
converted to socialism Jewish pioneers, he climbs in the hierarchy of youth movements with astonishing speed. When war broke out in 1948 after the proclamation of the State of Israel, it is already responsible for staffing within the army holding long illegal, the Haganah.
While another promising young pioneer, Yitzhak Rabin, made a name in the Palmach, the elite corps, Shimon Peres, he is responsible for procurement of weapons from Israeli Forces defense now called “IDF”. A capital work, but a task of the shadows, where the false documents and false identification occur.
In 1949, with his wife Sonia and their daughter, Shimon Peres moved to the United States. He spent a few months at Harvard. At the same time, he worked for the mission of the Ministry of Defence, with priority given to the acquisition of weapons for the young Jewish state.
On his return, David Ben-Gurion appointed him assistant general manager, then quickly Director General, Ministry of Defence. It plays a major role in overseas contracts, particularly in Eastern Europe, under the thumb of the Soviet Union (USSR), despite the official ban of the United Nations (UN). It is responsible for creating the first company in air military equipment.
At the Ministry of Defence, Shimon Peres established close contacts with the France which conclude with the signature of the first contracts in 1955. This is the prelude to the joint expedition Suez, conducted with the British a year later, which ended with a resounding fiasco. Links with Paris however, are not cut, far from it. On the contrary, thanks to aid of France was born the program nuclear Israeli military, whose existence is officially neither confirmed nor denied until today.
At the heart of the Israeli military presence
In 1963, the US embargo is lifted. Shimon Peres, meanwhile become Knesset member, is negotiating with Washington an agreement for the supply of missiles. A year later, after Patton tanks and Skyhawk fighters. The lightning offensive of 1967, during the Six-Day War, the pinnacle door Yitzhak Rabin, Chief of Staff since the early 1960s but its success owes much to the stubbornness of Shimon Peres that allowed the arm Israeli ed of have of powerful materials.
From one war to another, it remains at the heart of the Israeli military presence, while venturing into politics in the footsteps of his mentor, David Ben Gurion. The latter is then in the twilight of his career. He broke with the powerful party Mapai, leading his loyal second. Not for long.
In 1968, Shimon Peres rebounds and became the new general secretary of training Labor renamed Avoda. But it lasting up against Golda Meir, which facilitates the ascent of Rabin rival until his retirement after the war of 1973. It should be content of junior ministerial posts.
In the early 1970s, according to a terminology that is not yet in force, Shimon Peres is among the “hawks” in his camp. He is best determined in the daring operation by the Israeli army in Uganda in Entebbe, to release hostages of pirates Palestinian air.
And he is careful not to upset Gush Emunim’s plans, the Bloc of the Faithful, which launches in the colonization of the Palestinian territories conquered a few years earlier.
After the unexpected withdrawal of Yitzhak Rabin before the 1977 elections, following a controversy related to the possession by the latter’s wife from a bank account in the US, it assists in the triumph defeated Menachem Begin’s right-wing nationalist and first alternation policy of Israel.
He believes prevail at the polls in 1981. Public television ad even briefly victory, but in vain. Shimon Peres simply direct opposition. He rose well to power briefly from 1984 to 1986 but under the terms of an agreement with the right which provides rotation for the post of Prime Minister.
After two years, his record is not negligible: it has tamed a triple-digit inflation that threatened the country and removed the majority of Israeli troops from Lebanon where they were mired since “operation Peace for Galilee” launched by Ariel Sharon in 1982. But in 1988, Israeli voters prefer him again the right, with which he still call .
Four years later, his rival, Yitzhzak Rabin, who qualify for the “indefatigable schemer” in his memoirs, outweighs him over the Labor primaries. Then the former chief of staff led his side to the electoral victory. A new political page opens in the life of Shimon Peres, without doubt the most important.
Nobel Peace Prize awarded in 1994
Cohabitation at the head of the executive of the brothers Labour enemies looks perilous. It will not happen. Disputes and grudges go be transcended by a project peace with the Palestinians, the peace that Rabin promised upon election. Shimon Peres is the prime contractor. He managed to convince Premier him let elbow and then he contacted discreetly with the Palestinian side.
On 13 September 1993, the Oslo Accords were signed on the lawn of the White House. The handshake between Israeli Prime Minister and Yasser Arafat is immortalized, but Shimon Peres is honored together with the two leaders by Nobel Peace Prize awarded in 1994. The award crown a political evolution that began more than a decade ago. It is now the “dove” the most famous of Israel. For better or for worse.
The worst fact, soon. On 4 November 1995, Rabin was assassinated in Tel Aviv by an Israeli extremist. Shimon Peres accessed again as prime minister by default. Its mandate is valid only until elections scheduled in May of the following year and he refuses to go, what nevertheless asks the widow of his former rival, Leah Rabin.
In February, a wave of Palestinian attacks in a row in the assassination by Israel of a military framework of the Movement of the Islamic Resistance (Hamas) was quick to break dream of Oslo had pushed the Labor responsible to imagine lyric, “New Middle East ” freed the shackles of the past and converted to globalization.
Again, Shimon Peres was proclaimed the winner by excessive precipitation, before being declared defeated by Benjamin Netanyahu. So back to the opposition.
His career now seems over. He has more than 70 years and Labour are now turning to the most decorated soldier of the whole of history of Israel, Ehud Barak, came later on in politics and on which they rely for save a peace process in distress.
Indeed, Barak, elected triumphantly in 1999 on the promise of peace decides push Peres to the exit. This is gratified that a Department of cooperation which means an early retirement. Supreme snub, discreet Likud member Moshe Katsav, facing him wins in the election to the honorary position of president of the state. The failure of the Camp David negotiations in July 2000, yet the sign of Barak defeated at the polls by Ariel Sharon in February 2001.
One form of defeat
Struck in the head, turn to the Labour Shimon Peres who tries to negotiate their best interests in the government of national unity that the Israelis are calling for. He becomes Minister of Foreign Affairs and seek to avoid the collapse of Oslo with former Palestinian partners, Ahmed Qurei and Mahmoud Abbas swearing being driven by conviction and realism.
The Palestinian state is now a necessity for Israel, he assures while keeping to draw too precisely borders. His influence on Ariel Sharon is however limited. He is accused by his detractors of just “sell” abroad the policy based solely on the strength of the new Prime Minister, which it nevertheless seems united by complicity veterans on the return.
After the new Labour defeat in the 2003 elections, he becomes also the Pope transition at the head of a party dormant, who sees Ariel Sharon apply to its way a part of his program by advocating the withdrawal from the Gaza strip.
In November 2005, withdrawals, Shimon Peres breaks with Labour to join Kadima, the centrist launched by Ariel Sharon for his part seceded Likud. A wise bet that allows it to access the state presidency in 2007, and 84 years of age a wise become respected and popular. Time tributes came, even if it still happens to cross iron, as the Davos Forum in 2009 with the Turkish prime minister at the time, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In July 2014, Shimon Peres left after seven years as president, his official residence in Jerusalem, find his apartment in Tel Aviv. His successor, Reuven Rivlin, cultured man and tireless defender of minority rights, is nevertheless opposed to the idea of a Palestinian state.
One form of defeat for Shimon Peres, powerless to ward like all his generation, pessimism that won Israeli society.
The former president had experienced several health alerts in recent years. Tireless advocate of Israel, always ready to profess that education was worth more than the land controlled percentage, down from Israel’s new nationalist and religious orthodoxy, Shimon Peres seemed to become almost immortal.