Shimon Peres

Israeli pioneer dies at 88

By Jennifer Lipman, June 1, 2010

One of the founders of Israel’s Labour party, who was a key figure in the development of the Jewish state, has died at the age of 88.

Israeli politicians have paid tribute to statesman and writer Arie “Lova” Eliav, who served in five different Knessets and was instrumental in settling new immigrants into Israel.

Born in Moscow, he moved to Israel as a child and at 15 joined the pre-state Hagana. After fighting for the British Army in the Second World War, he was a key figure in bringing immigrants to Israel in the run up to independence.

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Peres denies South Africa nuclear offer

May 27, 2010

The author of a new book on the relationship between Israel and South Africa has accused Israeli President Shimon Peres of evading the question of whether he offered to sell nuclear weapons to the apartheid regime in the 1970s.

"If Peres denies he made such an offer, perhaps he would like to explain exactly what he did discuss at these meetings," said American academic Sasha Polakow-Suransky, author of The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's secret alliance with apartheid South Africa, published this week in the US.

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Peres denies offering South Africa nuclear weapons

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2010

The Israeli president has slammed The Guardian newspaper for its claim that Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons in the 1970s.

Shimon Peres said the allegations had no basis in reality and demanded a correction after the newspaper accused Israel of holding secret negotiations with South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, in March 1975.

The newspaper said an American academic had uncovered secret documents showing that as Israel’s defence minister, Mr Peres had offered three sizes of warheads to the apartheid regime.

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President Peres is turning against Bibi

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 11, 2010

Two or three times a day, Shimon Peres stands in the President's mansion, receiving groups of blushing beauty queens, farmers and international parliamentarians. Each group gets its share of smiles, joint photographs and the standard joke, always some reference to the great man's age.

In the absence of a royal family, only the 86-year-old mega-statesman can lend grandeur to the informality of Israeli official events.

But no one ever expected him to be just a figurehead. The man eternally branded by Yitzhak Rabin as "a tireless schemer" could not stop playing politics even if he tried.

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Peres remembers Holocaust in German Parliament speech

By Jessica Elgot, January 27, 2010

Israeli president Shimon Peres has delivered a historic speech to the German Parliament for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Mr Peres visited Berlin to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

His visit has been tightly protected, with 3,000 German police officers on duty and road blocks in the centre of the German capital.

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Peres' speech to German parliament: In full

January 27, 2010

I stand here before you, as the President of the State of Israel, the home of the Jewish People.

While my heart is breaking at the memory of the atrocious past – my eyes envision a common future for a world that is young, a world free of all hatred.

A world in which the words "war" and "anti-Semitism" will be dead words.

In the Jewish tradition that accompanies us for thousands of years, there exists a prayer in Aramaic recited when mourning the dead, in memory of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters.

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IDF 'angel' donates own blood to save baby

January 21, 2010

The baby brought to the IDF field hospital was in desperate condition. With an extended abdomen, severe anemia and sepsis, he needed O negative blood at once.

IDF paramedic Maayan Lunz didn’t waste a moment. Within minutes, she was donating her own.

This was just one of many extraordinary scenes in the IDF camp set up in the aftermath of last week’s devastating Haitian earthquake. The Israeli field hospital was the first able to offer surgery and complicated medical care in the ruined city of Port-au-Prince.

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Shimon, stay out of politics

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 28, 2009

During the recent Succot festivities, an extraordinary meeting took place in the succah of rabbi Yosef Elyashiv in Jerusalem. Rabbi Elyashiv — now in his hundredth year — is a talmudic sage without equal in the Charedi world. As spiritual leader of the Degel Hatorah party (now part of United Torah Judaism, which has two seats in the current Knesset) he also naturally wields a certain amount of political influence within as well as beyond Jewish state.

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Guardian omits Rabin, Peres, Begin from Nobel list

By Jessica Elgot, October 9, 2009

Complaints to The Guardian newspaper over an incomplete list of Nobel peace prize winners have led to a hasty amendment on the paper's website.

The incomplete list was up for four hours, despite comments below the list which pointed out the omissions of Yitzak Rabin, Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres.

Immediately following the announcement of President Barack Obama's win of the 2009 Nobel peace prize, Guardian news editor Simon Rogers posted what he claimed was "every peace prize winner ever", stating that the information came from the website Nobelprize.org

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Obama's Nobel: new peace hopes for Middle East?

By Jessica Elgot, October 9, 2009

Israeli politicians have responded the US president Barack Obama’s Nobel peace prize win, asking him to stand firm on his commitments to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East.

The announcement of the prize was made while Israeli president Binyamin Netanyahu was in Washington for more talks with Mr Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell.

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