On June 13, 2007 Peres was "elected President of the State of Israel by the Knesset. 58 of 120 members of the Knesset voted for him in the first round (whereas 38 voted for "Reuven Rivlin, and 21 for "Colette Avital). His opponents then backed Peres in the second round and 86 members of the Knesset voted in his favor, while 23 objected. He resigned from his role as a Member of the Knesset the same day, having been a member since November 1959 (except for a three-month period in early 2006), the longest serving in Israeli political history. Peres was sworn in as President on July 15, 2007.
Israel must not only be an asset but a value. A moral, cultural and scientific call for the promotion of man, every man. It must be a good and warm home for Jews who are not Israelis, as well as for Israelis who are not Jews. And it must create equal opportunities for all, without discriminating between religion, nationality, community or sex... I have seen Israel in its most difficult hours and also in moments of achievement and spiritual uplifting. My years place me at an observation point from which can be viewed the scene of our reviving nation, spread out in all its glory... Permit me to remain an optimist. Permit me to be a dreamer of his people. If sometimes the atmosphere is autumnal, and also if today, the day seems suddenly grey, the president Israel has chosen will never tire of encouraging, awakening and reminding - because spring is waiting for us. The spring will definitely come.— Shimon Peres, President's inaugural address, July 2007
On November 20, 2008, Peres received an honorary knighthood, "Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George from "Queen Elizabeth II in "Buckingham Palace in "London.
In June 2011, he was awarded the honorary title of "sheikh by Bedouin dignitaries in "Hura for his efforts to achieve Middle East peace. Peres thanks his hosts by saying "This visit has been a pleasure. I am deeply impressed by Hura. You have done more for yourselves than anyone else could have". He told the Mayor of Hura, "Dr. Muhammad Al-Nabari, and members of Hura's governing council, that they were "part of the Negev. It cannot be developed without developing the Bedouin community, so that it may keep its traditions while joining the modern world."
Peres described himself as a "Ben-Gurionist", after his mentor Ben-Gurion. He felt that Jewish sovereignty in the "Land of Israel was a means to a "progressive end in which the State of Israel both inspire the world and survive in a region of the world where it was unwelcome.
As a younger man, Peres was once considered a ""hawk". He was a protégé of Ben-Gurion and Dayan and an early supporter of the West Bank settlers during the 1970s. However, after becoming the leader of his party his stance evolved. Subsequently, he was seen as a dove, and a strong supporter of peace through economic cooperation. While still opposed, like all mainstream Israeli leaders in the 1970s and early 1980s, to talks with the "PLO, he distanced himself from settlers and spoke of the need for "territorial compromise" over the West Bank and Gaza. For a time he hoped that "King Hussein of Jordan could be Israel's Arab negotiating partner rather than "Yasser Arafat. Peres met secretly with Hussein in London in 1987 and reached a framework "agreement with him, but this was rejected by Israel's then Prime Minister, "Yitzhak Shamir. Shortly afterward the "First Intifada erupted, and whatever plausibility King Hussein had as a potential Israeli partner in resolving the fate of the West Bank evaporated. Subsequently, Peres gradually moved closer to support for talks with the PLO, although he avoided making an outright commitment to this policy until 1993.
Peres was perhaps more closely associated with the "Oslo Accords than any other Israeli politician (Rabin included) with the possible exception of his own protégé, "Yossi Beilin. He remained an adamant supporter of the "Oslo Accords and the "Palestinian Authority since their inception despite the "First Intifada and the "al-Aqsa Intifada (Second Intifada). However, Peres supported "Ariel Sharon's military policy of operating the "Israeli Defense Forces to thwart "suicide bombings.
Peres' foreign policy outlook was markedly realist. To placate Turkey, Peres allegedly downplayed the "Armenian genocide. Peres stated: "We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through but not a genocide." Although Peres himself did not retract the statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry later issued a cable to its missions which stated that "The minister absolutely did not say, as the Turkish news agency alleged, 'What the Armenians underwent was a tragedy, not a genocide.'" However, according to Armenian news agencies, the statement released by the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles did not include any mention that Peres had not said that the events were not genocide.
On the issue of the "nuclear program of Iran and the supposed existential threat this poses for Israel, Peres stated, "I am not in favor of a military attack on Iran, but we must quickly and decisively establish a strong, aggressive coalition of nations that will impose painful economic "sanctions on Iran", adding "Iran's efforts to achieve nuclear weapons should keep the entire world from sleeping soundly." In the same speech, Peres compared "Iranian President "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his "call to "wipe Israel off the map" to the genocidal threats to European Jewry made by "Adolf Hitler in the years prior to "the Holocaust. In an interview with Army Radio on May 8, 2006 he remarked that "the president of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map." However, after his death it was revealed that Peres had said that he prevented a military strike on Iran's nuclear program that had been ordered by "Benjamin Netanyahu and "Ehud Barak in 2010.
Peres was a proponent of "Middle East economic integration.
Peres is regarded as one of the founders of Israel's technology sector. Through personal meetings with the French government, he established collaboration treaties with France's nuclear industry in 1954. In 1958, he founded the re-organized "RAFAEL Armament Development Authority, under the MOD's jurisdiction. From his desk he would control all aspects of Israel's nuclear program (first as Director-General and after 1959 as Deputy-Minister. In the 1980s, he is credited with having laid the economic foundations for Israel's start-up economy. In later years, he developed an obsessive fascination with "nanotechnology and "brain research. He believed that brain research would be the key to a better and more peaceful future. He launched his own nanotechnology investment fund in 2003, raising $5 million in the first week. In 2016, he founded the 'Israel innovation center' in the Arab neighbourhood of "Ajami, Jaffa. The center aims to encourage young people from around the world to be inspired by technology. Laying its foundation stone on July 21, 2016, Peres said: “We will prove that innovation has no limits and no barriers. Innovation enables dialogue between nations and between people. It will enable all young people – Jews, Muslims and Christians — to engage in science and technology equally."
Peres announced in April 2013 that he would not seek to extend his tenure beyond 2014. His successor, "Reuven Rivlin, was elected on June 10, 2014 and took office on July 24, 2014.
On September 13, 2016, Peres, aged 93, suffered a "massive "stroke" and was hospitalized at the "Sheba Medical Center in Israel. He died two weeks later.
|“||Sometimes people ask me, 'What is the greatest achievement you have reached in your lifetime?' So I reply that there was a great painter named Mordecai Ardon, who was asked which picture was the most beautiful he had ever painted. Ardon replied, 'The picture I will paint tomorrow.' That is also my answer.||”|
|— Shimon Peres, 2011|
On hearing of his death, tributes came from leaders across the world. The President of Russia, "Vladimir Putin said: "I was extremely lucky to have met this extraordinary man many times. And every time I admired his courage, patriotism, wisdom, vision and ability." The President of China, "Xi Jinping said: "His death is the loss of an old friend for China." And the President of India, "Pranab Mukherjee said: "Peres would be remembered as a steadfast friend of India." The President of the United States, Barack Obama said: "I will always be grateful that I was able to call Shimon my friend."
Peres was described by "The New York Times as having done "more than anyone to build up his country’s formidable military might, then [having] worked as hard to establish a lasting peace with Israel’s Arab neighbors."
The funeral was held at "Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016, with his burial place in the Great Leaders of the Nation section between former Israeli Prime Ministers "Yitzhak Rabin and "Yitzhak Shamir.
About 4,000 mourners and world leaders from 75 countries attended the funeral, with President "Barack Obama among those who gave a eulogy. Since the funeral for "Nelson Mandela, this was only the second time Obama traveled overseas for the funeral of a foreign leader. Prime Minister "Benjamin Netanyahu also spoke. Among the other delegates in attendance and speaking were former President "Bill Clinton. Other delegates included "PA President "Mahmoud Abbas, President "Francois Hollande of France, Prime Minister "Justin Trudeau of Canada, German President "Joachim Gauck, President "Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico and King "Felipe VI of Spain. The UK delegation included "Prince Charles, Foreign Secretary "Boris Johnson, former Prime Ministers "David Cameron, "Gordon Brown, and "Tony Blair, and Britain's chief Rabbi "Ephraim Mirvis.
Personal life and family
In May 1945 Peres married Sonya Gelman, whom he had met in the "Ben Shemen Youth Village, where her father served as a carpentry teacher. The couple married after Sonya finished her military service as a truck driver in the "British Army during World War II. Through the years Sonya chose to stay away from the media and keep her privacy and the privacy of her family, despite her husband's extensive political career. Sonya Peres was unable to attend Shimon's 2007 presidential inauguration ceremony because of ill health. With the election of Peres for president, Sonya Peres, who had not wanted her husband to accept the position, announced that she would stay in the couple's apartment in Tel Aviv and not join her husband in Jerusalem. The couple thereafter lived separately. She died on January 20, 2011, aged 87, from "heart failure at her apartment in "Tel Aviv.
Shimon and Sonya Peres had three children:
|“||Every woman is civilization itself.||”|
|— Shimon Peres, December 2015|
- A daughter, Dr. "Tsvia ("Tsiki") Walden, a linguist and professor at "Beit Berl Academic College;
- An elder son, Yoni, director of Village Veterinary Center, a veterinary hospital on the campus of Kfar Hayarok Agricultural School near Tel Aviv. He specializes in the treatment of "guide dogs;
- A younger son, Nehemia ("Chemi"), co-founder and Managing General Partner of "Pitango Venture Capital, one of Israel's largest venture capital funds. Chemi Peres is a former helicopter pilot in the IAF.
Peres was a cousin of actress "Lauren Bacall (born Betty Joan Persky), although the two only discovered this in the 1950s. He said: "In 1952 or 1953 I came to New York... Lauren Bacall called me, said that she wanted to meet, and we did. We sat and talked about where our families came from, and discovered that we were from the same family".
Poetry and song-writing
Peres was a lifelong writer of poetry and songs. He wrote his first song when he was 8, during his childhood in Poland. He was inspired to write, including during cabinet meetings. Many of his poems were turned into songs, with the proceedings of the albums going to charity. His songs have been performed by artists including "Andrea Bocelli and "Liel Kolet. The most recent of his songs was "Chinese Melody" (recorded in Mandarin with Chinese and Israeli musicians), released in February 2016, which he wrote to celebrate the "Year of the Monkey (Music Video of 'Chinese Melody' on "YouTube).
During his presidency (2007-2014), Shimon Peres was noted for his embrace of social media to communicate with the public, being described as 'Israel's first social media president' which included producing comedic videos on his "YouTube channel such as 'Be my Friend for Peace' and 'Former Israeli President Shimon Peres Goes Job Hunting'. After retirement, he led a viral campaign to encourage children to study mathematics. In one video, he sends his answer to the teacher by throwing a paper plane (Video: Shimon Peres throws a paper airplane in the name of education on YouTube). According to the Wall Street Journal, his presence on platforms such as "Snapchat, allowed him to "pack more punch—and humor—into the causes he championed, especially peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians."
Places named after Peres
Following his death, it was announced that Israel's Negev nuclear reactor and atomic research center, that had been constructed in 1958, would be named after Peres. Netanyahu stated: "Shimon Peres worked hard to establish this important facility, a facility which has been very important for Israel's security for generations.."
Shimon Peres is the author of 11 books, including:
- The Next Step (1965)
- David's Sling (1970) ("ISBN 0-297-00083-7)
- And Now Tomorrow (1978)
- From These Men: seven founders of the State of Israel (1979) ("ISBN 0-671-61016-3)
- Entebbe Diary (1991) ("ISBN 965-248-111-4)
- The New Middle East (1993) ("ISBN 0-8050-3323-8)
- Battling for Peace: A Memoir (1995) ("ISBN 0-679-43617-0)
- For the Future of Israel (1998) ("ISBN 0-8018-5928-X)
- The Imaginary Voyage: With "Theodor Herzl in Israel (1999) ("ISBN 1-55970-468-3)
- Ben Gurion: A Political Life (2011) ("ISBN 978-0-8052-4282-9)
Awards and recognition
- 1957: Commander of the "Legion of Honour.
- 1994, December 10: "Nobel Peace Prize together with "Yitzhak Rabin and "Yasser Arafat.
- 2008, November 18: Honorary doctorate of Law from King's College London.
- 2008, November 20: Honorarily appointed Knight Grand Cross of the "Order of St Michael and St George.
- 2012, June 13: "Presidential Medal of Freedom from "US President "Barack Obama.
- 2014, 19 May: The "United States House of Representatives voted on H
.R . 2939, a bill to award Peres the "Congressional Gold Medal. The bill said that "Congress proclaims its unbreakable bond with Israel."
- 2015, 31 May: The "Solomon Bublick Award of the "Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in recognition of his contributions to the State of Israel, the pursuit of peace, higher education, and science and technology.
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- Affaire de Suez, Le Pacte Secret, Peter Hercombe and Arnaud Hamelin, France 5/Sunset Presse/Transparence, 2006
- Eden, By Peter Wilby, Haus Publishing, 2006
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- The Economic Diplomacy of the Suez Crisis, By Diane B. Kunz, Univ of North Carolina Press, 1991, page 108
- Suez: Britain's End of Empire in the Middle East, Keith Kyle, I.B.Tauris, February 15, 2011
- Neff, Donald Warriors at Suez, pp. 162–163.
- Neff, Donald Warriors at Suez, pp. 234–236.
- Neff, Donald Warriors at Suez, p. 235.
- Shimon Peres et l'histoire secrète d'Israël. Written by Michael Bar-Zohar
- The Protocol of Sevres 1956 Anatomy of a War Plot. University of Oxford. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- Los Angeles Times, July 19, 1976, p. 24
- Smith, Terence. "Uganda Rescue Gives Big Boost to Rabin", New York Times, July 16, 1976
- Chalk, Peter. Encyclopedia of Terrorism, Vol 1, ABC CLIO (2013) p. 217
- David, Saul. Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe, Little, Brown Publishing (2015) ebook
- Netanyahu, Iddo. Entebbe: The Jonathan Netanyahu Story, Balfour Books (2004) ebook
- Bar-Zohar, Michael; Mishal, Nissim. No Mission Is Impossible, HarperCollins (2015) ebook
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- “Why We Need a Palestinian State”, Le Monde, August 22, 1999
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- Jewish Virtual Library,["dead link]
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- Lazar Berman,'Bennett defends actions during 1996 Lebanon operation,' "The Times of Israel January 5, 2015.
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- East, Roger; Thomas, Richard (2003). "Israel". Profiles of People in Power: The World's Government Leaders (1st ed.). "Psychology Press. pp. 247–251. "ISBN "9781857431261.
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- "Israel's denials of the Armenian Genocide are hard to swallow", Middle East Eye, April 23, 2015
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- "Protest [against] Israeli foreign minister's remarks dismissing Armenian genocide as "meaningless"". Anca.org. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
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|""||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shimon Peres.|
|""||Wikiquote has quotations related to: Shimon Peres|
- Official Israeli Presidency website
- Shimon Peres on the Knesset website
- Official channel on YouTube
- The day Peres became a Sheikh!(Persian)
- Peres Center for Peace
- Biography at the "Encyclopædia Britannica
- Lecture at "NobelPrize.org
- Shimon Peres biography at the "Jewish Virtual Library
- Appearances on "C-SPAN
- Shimon Peres on "Charlie Rose
- Column archive at "The Guardian
- Shimon Peres collected news and commentary at "Ha'aretz
- Shimon Peres collected news and commentary at "The Jerusalem Post
- "Shimon Peres collected news and commentary". "The New York Times.
- BBC – Sharon seals new Israel coalition
- Peres's metaphysical propensity to lose by Matthew Wagner, published in "The Jerusalem Post, November 10, 2005.
- Former Labor Leader Shimon Peres Heading For Sharon's new party – recorded Report from IsraCast.
- Shimon Peres speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations about the Israel/Lebanon conflict on July 31, 2006
- Shimon Peres speaks at Cornell University – "A Conversation with Shimon Peres"
- "Presidency rounds off 66-year career" by Amiram Barkat, "Haaretz
- President Peres' address to the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 24, 2008
- on "YouTube by "Leon Charney on The Leon Charney Report
- on "YouTube by "Leon Charney on The Leon Charney Report
|Party political offices|
|Leader of the "Alignment
|Leader of the "Labor Party
|Leader of the "Labor Party
|"Prime Minister of Israel
|"Prime Minister of Israel
|"Prime Minister of Israel
|"President of Israel