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Monday, October 3, 2016

A Palestinian Perspective on the Legacy of Shimon Peres

A Palestinian Perspective on the Legacy of Shimon Peres

by Nadia Naser-Najjab
Even those with only a passing familiarity with Israel or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will undoubtedly have some awareness of Shimon Peres. Peres was an elder of Israeli politics, whose own history has been inextricably interwoven with that of Israel. Older readers will (perhaps wistfully, perhaps not) recall something of Peres’s style of politics, which was almost the diametric opposite of the incumbent Israeli prime minister. Where Benjamin Netanyahu offers division, Peres offered reconciliation; where Netanyahu offers abrasiveness, Peres offered compromise; where Netanyahu offers war, Peres offered “peace.”
In this final respect, Peres could perhaps be said to be far more than a politician. After all, the cause of peace bestows a much more elevated status upon its adherents. Peres’s ostensible promotion to the cause of peace suggested that he had transcended beyond the grubby everyday immediacies which preoccupied lesser political contemporaries. The peace project, which has become inextricably interwoven with Peres’s own political career, provided him with a clear sense of purpose and a not inconsiderable level of international acclaim.

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