May 07, 2007

Shimon bar None

No drama in Israeli politics is complete without the cameo appearance of its oldest and most experienced exploiter of all crises for his own benefit and advancement; Mr Shimon Peres.

Few knew Peres in politics and in private more
intimately than the late Yitzchak Rabin. Rabin famously described Peres as an inveterate schemer and liar.

Just as he was scheming to take over the presidency from the besieged Moshe Katsav, a new opportunity presented itself in Olmert's difficulties last week.

The wily architect of the Oslo carnage wasted no time. Within hours of praising Olmert as "one of the best prime ministers there has ever been" he was reported to be plotting with Yossi Beilin to take over the leadership of Kadima. The idea is that Beilin's Meretz-Yachad party of the Left will join the coalition and replace the ultra-right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party's support which Avigdor Lieberman would no doubt withdraw in protest.

Once he supplanted Olmert as leader, Peres would shell out the appropriate goodies to coalition members to assure their complete support. To keep the Labor party on board he only needs to promise more land to the Palestinians. To keep Meretz happy he would promise to throw more Jews out of their homes. And to keep Shas to heel, well as usual ... it's only a question of money.

As for the Gil pensioners' party, they will go on supporting any government as long as the cries of evicted settlers don't disturb their afternoon nap.

Peres is the consummate schemer, bar none. He has shown the world how far you can get by losing elections.
Indeed, he might today be congratulating Segolene Royale on losing the French election. "Cherie, if you learn my technique, I can have you sitting in the Elysee Palace within 12-months."

Peres is as happy grubbing around in the filth of corrupt politics as Olmert seems to be in its equivalent in the business world.

But he is at his most dangerous when given the power to dismantle Israel as a Jewish state.

This sinister agenda is tellingly revealed by an exchange with an interviewer for Haaretz after his election defeat by Netanyahu in 1996.

Interviewer: "What happened in these elections?"

Peres: "We lost."

Interviewer: "Who is we?"

Peres: "We, which is the Israelis."

Interviewer: "So who won?”

Peres: β€œAll those who do not have an Israeli mentality.”

Interviewer: "And who are they?”

Peres: "Call it the Jews."

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