Shimon Peres


Peter Beinart is so important in Jewish culture because he insists on humanizing Palestinians, and refuses to use the Holocaust lens of perpetual victimhood when considering Palestinian resistance. Palestinians are not driven by Jew hatred, as so many pro-Israel leaders argue, but by a natural response to dispossession and occupation.

Israeli nostalgists like to argue that Israel was an idealistic country till Netanyahu. For instance, Chemi Shalev of Haaretz brags on a record of backing MLK Jr and African liberation movements. The records of the Israeli National Archives directly contradict these claims, and show Israel propped up several African dictators, and sought to gain diplomatic and material advantages, such as a monopoly on diamonds in the Central African Republic.

Back in 1983, a settler leader explained to the writer Amos Oz that Defense Minister Shimon Peres had allowed the settler movement to thrive in the West Bank and they only needed to get to 100,000 settlers in five years to end the possibility of a Palestinian state “for good.” So why has the US establishment ignored this truth — there will not be a two-state solution — for 30 years?

More than 80 world leaders attended Shimon Peres’ funeral today in Jerusalem with addresses from both President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, both of whom spoke of the late president and prime minister’s work to achieve a lasting agreement with the Palestinians. Though hailed as Israel’s ambassador of peace, absent were Palestinian leaders in Israel’s government, detractors who remembered the statesman as the architect who “masterminded the occupation and settlement-building,” in the West Bank and Gaza.