Oct 3, 2016
Upon his death at the age of 93, political leaders and media commentators praised Shimon Peres as an “advocate of peace” in the Middle East. After all, hadn’t Peres even received the Nobel Peace Prize for being one of the Israeli leaders who signed the 1992 Oslo Accords with Israel’s arch-enemy, the PLO?
But just as the Oslo agreement has not produced any peace in the quarter century since, Peres was no man of peace – not in any moment during his long career in Israeli politics.
As a young man, Peres was part of one of the Jewish nationalist organizations in Palestine that served as the foundation of the state of Israel. And Israel was founded on the principle of exclusion of the Arab population – which meant not only depriving Arab Israelis of full citizenship rights, but also the actual physical removal of Arab people from what was to become a “Jewish state.” Jewish gangs attacked Arab villages and carried out massacres, forcing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs to flee their ancestral land and become refugees.
Today, almost 70 years after its founding, Israel is still surrounded by refugee camps. And during all these years, the Israeli state has never abandoned its policy of attacking the Palestinian population. It’s above all this staunch Israeli policy, fully supported by Israel’s main sponsor, the U.S., that has made peace impossible in the Middle East.
For how can there be peace between Israel and the Palestinian people when, for example, Israel funds, gives military protection to, and even organizes the Jewish settlers who occupy Palestinian territory? Peres, as a cabinet minister, was one of the early architects of this aggressive plan to grab Palestinian land.
For decades, Peres always stood by, and himself actively implemented, Israel’s policy of aggression and expansion, including massacres. In 1996, for example, Peres was Prime Minister when Israeli warplanes bombed a U.N. camp at Qana, Lebanon, killing 106 Palestinian civilians, half of them children.
For decades, the U.S. has generously funded Israel’s military, effectively using it in its effort to control the Middle East. As part of Israel’s political elite, Shimon Peres thus served the interests of the U.S. ruling class in the Middle East for many decades.
That’s why big media in the U.S. call Shimon Peres today a “man of peace.” The “peace” he stood for was the “peace” of the Palestinian graveyard. He was every bit a man of war and aggression his whole life.