The president’s irrepressible tinkering is every bit as predictable as were the unmitigated debacles of his pet Oslo project and of all its defeatist direct offshoots.
So who says you can’t accurately predict the future? admittedly, clairvoyance isn’t realistic in all circumstances, but in some instances not to sense what’s about to occur is to willfully avoid reality. In given situations what threatens to unfold is obvious.
So it was when Shimon Peres campaigned for the presidency in 2007.
I wrote then: “How Peres would exploit presidential office, given his past predilections, boggles the mind. A Peres presidency would be invitation to intrigue. It’s safe to assume he wouldn’t make do with a figurehead role, but would hyperactively preside over a parallel government and spawn an unimaginable surfeit of inventive visions, plans and proposals. Their common denominator would be the increasing Palestinization of this land and dangerous compromising of what Golda Meir called ‘the Jewish national interest.’”
There was plenty over the past few years to vindicate this forecast, but the most recent reports of Peres’s extracurricular activities are the clincher.
GET A load of the following samples from Haaretz (which fully approves of the president’s hijinks).
“Talks have recently been under way to arrange a summit meeting in Rome this April between President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The talks have reportedly been carried out without the involvement or even the knowledge of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whom Abbas has persistently refused to meet.”
Sounds familiar? Deja vu? The same old MO?
“The person behind the summit drive is Uri Savir, president of the Peres Center for Peace, who was one of the architects of the Oslo Accords and served as director-general of the Foreign Ministry when Peres was foreign minister.”
“Beit Hanassi never informed anyone in the Prime Minister’s Bureau about the proposed summit. And when Netanyahu’s staff finally learned of it from the Italian media reports, they were furious over Peres’s failure to inform them.”
Worse yet, Peres didn’t bother to quite deny stepping outside formal bounds. His spokesman merely said that “for now” Peres has “no plans to travel to Italy.” Presumably things might change.
But even that’s not all: “Peres, who is working overtime as super-foreign minister… has held private talks recently with political figures, in which he is pushing, as only he knows how, for the co-option of Kadima into the government to enhance Netanyahu’s diplomatic maneuverability.”
Why? For weeks now, according to another Haaretz report, Peres “has been making statements to the effect that Netanyahu cannot advance the peace process with the present coalition government controlled by the right wing.” Get it? Peres opposes the composition of a legally-constituted government. He actively seeks to change the legitimate status quo.
He dynamically ingrains the impression of a two-pronged government. He represents the high-minded, forward-thinking variant, whereas its counterpart is both benighted and inept. Netanyahu’s government isn’t distinctly pro-peace (if not worse), whereas Peres’s is on the side of the angels and has their sanction to present Netanyahu with faits accomplis.
After all, Peres is a dab hand at engineering facts. Long before his own presidency and Netanyahu’s premiership, Peres pursued furtive assignations during the tenures of two premiers. Covertly, behind the backs of both, he conspired in violation of every conceivable democratic principle.
THREE YEARS pre-Oslo, in 1990, when the country was governed by the second unity coalition under Yitzhak Shamir, Peres (already then not for the first time) engaged in unauthorized freelance negotiations.
When Shamir rejected Peres’s ultimatum (hatched with the infamous James Baker), Peres plotted to bring down Shamir’s government, which he did. To Peres’s exasperation, however, he subsequently failed to put together a substitute coalition. Yitzhak Rabin, who branded Peres “an unrelenting underminer,” dubbed this “the stinking maneuver.”
Ironically, when Rabin later won the premiership, recidivist Peres sidetracked him too, as he did Shamir. The difference was that Shamir fired Peres, whereas Rabin fell for the Osloite chimera.
Almost 2,000 Israelis were murdered, and thousands maimed for life. Stretches of historical homeland were relinquished and strategic assets surrendered to genocidal enemies, whom Peres imported here by the tens of thousands from Tunis as per the Oslo Accords.
Some 150,000 hostile Arabs were added into Israel’s population to further “family reunions” under Oslo. Those who made egregious concessions to still-implacable foes dramatically exacerbated the country’s demographic distress, the very one which purportedly served as their pretext for the Osloite machination in the first place.
Peres’s “New Middle East,” Oslo subterfuge and derivative Nobel Peace Prize earned him prodigious accolades from chic international cheerleaders. Yet here, in the sands of the reprobate Mideast, Oslo caused Arab aspirations to replace Israel and the delegitimization of its very existence to be tolerated as never previously in the valued venues of Peres’s social conquests.
Peres conferred respectability upon Fatah and ushered in Hamas rampages. In pre-Oslo days there was less call for targeted strikes, roadblocks, security fences and suchlike image-tarnishing measures. There was more peace prior to Peres’s peace.
More than anyone else, Netanyahu ought to be keenly aware of this. Where Peres is concerned, unremitting vigilance is of paramount importance. No one has the right to be surprised. Peres’s irrepressible tinkering is every bit as predictable as were the unmitigated debacles of Peres’s pet Oslo project and of all its defeatist direct offshoots.
JUST AS foreseeable was that the unilateral 2000 escape from Lebanon would invigorate Arab hostility, that the unilateral withdrawal from Gush Katif would embolden terror as never before and facilitate Gaza’s takeover by the most extreme of fanatics. No powers of prophesy were needed to figure out that constant relinquishment of previously held negotiating positions, and unceasing retreats from hitherto consensual “red lines,” would bring war closer and render accommodation more distant.
All these were as eminently inevitable as are Peres’s compulsory meddling, uncontainable glory-seeking, obsessive love of the limelight and infatuation with center stage.
All the above paid off handsomely. No other Israeli can boast Peres’s celebrity in the world’s long-established and ever-expanding haunts of anti-Israeli bon-ton. Much as they revile us there, they are likely to applaud him.
Peres is the indubitable darling of the world’s trendiest and most beautiful headliners. How diametrically opposed the affection showered upon him is to pejoratives like “hard-line,” “intransigent” or “inflexible” that always accompanied Golda’s name (though she hardly
headed a government which Peres could have described as right-wing).
Years ago Golda explained to me why she was so unloved internationally. “It’s so easy to win the world’s love,” she observed. “Just do as they wish. If you don’t, they’ll hate you.”
She shrugged: “What can I do? The world isn’t enamored of the Jewish national cause. The more you insist on Jewish interests, the less popular you’ll be and vice versa.”
Unlike her nemesis Peres, Golda preferred to be hated and diagnosed as hopelessly afflicted with “the Masada complex.”