Thursday, November 10, 2016

855 Shimon Peres, father of Israel's bomb and sponsor of Settlements, celebrated as a Peacemaker

Shimon Peres, father of Israel's bomb and sponsor of Settlements,
celebrated as a Peacemaker

Newsletter published on 1 October 2016

(1) Shimon Peres celebrated aas a Peacemaker, despite invasion of
Lebanon and Qana massacre
(2) Shimon Peres, father of Israel's Bomb, promoted Settlements in Galilee
(3) Arab world sheds no tears for Peres, brands him a "war criminal"
(4) Shimon Peres obituary: Peacemaker or war criminal? - Jonathan Cook
(5) Obama: 'Peres ... showed us that justice and hope are at the heart
of the zionist idea'
(6) Peres: Jerusalem must remain united ie under Jewish rule
(7) Peres supported invasion of Iraq
(8) Peres Praises Murder of Hamas Leader

(1) Shimon Peres celebrated aas a Peacemaker, despite invasion of
Lebanon and Qana massacre


"Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics and Engineering Physics)"
(sadanand@ccsu.edu)

  Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:06:38 +0000

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/29/the-butcher-of-qana-shimon-peres-was-no-peacemaker/

The Butcher of Qana: Shimon Peres Was No Peacemaker

by Robert Fisk

September 29, 2016

When the world heard that Shimon Peres had died, it shouted
"Peacemaker!" But when I heard that Peres was dead, I thought of blood
and fire and slaughter.

I saw the results: babies torn apart, shrieking refugees, smouldering
bodies. It was a place called Qana and most of the 106 bodies – half of
them children – now lie beneath the UN camp where they were torn to
pieces by Israeli shells in 1996. I had been on a UN aid convoy just
outside the south Lebanese village. Those shells swished right over our
heads and into the refugees packed below us. It lasted for 17 minutes.

Shimon Peres, standing for election as Israel’s prime minister – a post
he inherited when his predecessor Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated –
decided to increase his military credentials before polling day by
assaulting Lebanon. The joint Nobel Peace Prize holder used as an excuse
the firing of Katyusha rockets over the Lebanese border by the
Hezbollah. In fact, their rockets were retaliation for the killing of a
small Lebanese boy by a booby-trap bomb they suspected had been left by
an Israeli patrol. It mattered not.

A few days later, Israeli troops inside Lebanon came under attack close
to Qana and retaliated by opening fire into the village. Their first
shells hit a cemetery used by Hezbollah; the rest flew directly into the
UN Fijian army camp where hundreds of civilians were sheltering. Peres
announced that "we did not know that several hundred people were
concentrated in that camp. It came to us as a bitter surprise."

It was a lie. The Israelis had occupied Qana for years after their 1982
invasion, they had video film of the camp, they were even flying a drone
over the camp during the 1996 massacre – a fact they denied until a UN
soldier gave me his video of the drone, frames from which we published
in The Independent. The UN had repeatedly told Israel that the camp was
packed with refugees.

This was Peres’s contribution to Lebanese peace. He lost the election
and probably never thought much more about Qana. But I never forgot it.

When I reached the UN gates, blood was pouring through them in torrents.
I could smell it. It washed over our shoes and stuck to them like glue.
There were legs and arms, babies without heads, old men’s heads without
bodies. A man’s body was hanging in two pieces in a burning tree. What
was left of him was on fire.

On the steps of the barracks, a girl sat holding a man with grey hair,
her arm round his shoulder, rocking the corpse back and forth in her
arms. His eyes were staring at her. She was keening and weeping and
crying, over and over: "My father, my father." If she is still alive –
and there was to be another Qana massacre in the years to come, this
time from the Israeli air force – I doubt if the word "peacemaker" will
be crossing her lips.

There was a UN enquiry which stated in its bland way that it did not
believe the slaughter was an accident. The UN report was accused of
being anti-Semitic. Much later, a brave Israeli magazine published an
interview with the artillery soldiers who fired at Qana. An officer had
referred to the villagers as "just a bunch of Arabs" (‘arabushim’ in
Hebrew). "A few Arabushim die, there is no harm in that," he was quoted
as saying. Peres’s chief of staff was almost equally carefree: "I don’t
know any other rules of the game, either for the [Israeli] army or for
civilians…"

Peres called his Lebanese invasion "Operation Grapes of Wrath", which –
if it wasn’t inspired by John Steinbeck – must have come from the Book
of Deuteronomy. "The sword without and terror within," it says in
Chapter 32, "shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the
suckling also with the man of grey hairs." Could there be a better
description of those 17 minutes at Qana?

Yes, of course, Peres changed in later years. They claimed that Ariel
Sharon – whose soldiers watched the massacre at Sabra and Chatila camps
in 1982 by their Lebanese Christian allies – was also a "peacemaker"
when he died. At least he didn’t receive the Nobel Prize.

Peres later became an advocate of a "two state solution", even as the
Jewish colonies on Palestinian land – which he once so fervently
supported – continued to grow.

Now we must call him a "peacemaker". And count, if you can, how often
the word "peace" is used in the Peres obituaries over the next few days.
Then count how many times the word Qana appears.

Robert Fisk writes for the Independent, where this column originally
appeared.

(2) Shimon Peres, father of Israel's Bomb, promoted Settlements in Galilee
Ilan Pappe

The Electronic Intifada

28 September 2016

https://electronicintifada.net/content/shimon-peres-perspective-his-victims/18096

Officials and mourners surround coffins covered with Lebanese flags
during a mass funeral in the southern Lebanese town of Tyre, 30 April
1996. The victims were killed in an Israeli artillery attack on a UN
base in Qana, in southern Lebanon, on 18 April as part of an operation
ordered by then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

The obituaries for Shimon Peres have already appeared, no doubt prepared
in advance as the news of his hospitalization reached the media.

The verdict on his life is very clear and was already
pronounced<https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/09/27/statement-president-death-former-israeli-president-shimon-peres-0>
  by US President Barack Obama: Peres was a man who changed the course
of human history in his relentless search for peace in the Middle East.

My guess is that very few of the obituaries will examine Peres' life and
activities from the perspective of the victims of Zionism and Israel.

He occupied many positions in politics that had immense impact on the
Palestinians wherever they are. He was director general of the Israeli
defense ministry, minister of defense, minister for development of the
Galilee and the Negev (Naqab), prime minister and president.

In all these roles, the decisions he took and the policies he pursued
contributed to the destruction of the Palestinian people and did nothing
to advance the cause of peace and reconciliation between Palestinians
and Israelis.

Born Szymon Perski in 1923, in a town that was then part of Poland,
Peres immigrated to Palestine in 1934. As a teenager in an agricultural
school, he became active in politics within the Labor Zionist movement
that led Zionism and later the young State of Israel.

As a leading figure in the movement's youth cadres, Peres attracted the
attention of the high command of the Jewish paramilitary force in
British-ruled Palestine, the Haganah
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/haganah>.

Nuclear bomb

In 1947, Peres was fully recruited to the organization and sent abroad
by its leader David Ben-Gurion to purchase arms which were later used in
the 1948 Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and against the
Arab contingents that entered Palestine that year.

After a few years abroad, mainly in the United States, where he was busy
purchasing arms and building the infrastructure for the Israeli military
industry, he returned to become director general of the defense ministry.

Peres was active in forging Israel's collusion with the UK and France to
invade Egypt in 1956, for which Israel was rewarded by France with the
needed capacity to build nuclear weapons.

Indeed it was Peres himself who largely oversaw Israel's clandestine
nuclear weapons program
<https://www.nytimes.com/books/first/c/cohen-israel.html>.

No less important was the zeal Peres showed under Ben-Gurion's guidance
and inspiration to Judaize the Galilee. Despite the 1948 ethnic
cleansing, that part of Israel was still very much Palestinian
countryside and landscape.

Peres was behind the idea of confiscating Palestinian land for the
purpose of building exclusive Jewish towns such as Karmiel and Upper
Nazareth and basing the military in the region so as to disrupt
territorial contiguity between Palestinian villages and towns.

This ruination of the Palestinian countryside led to the disappearance
of the traditional Palestinian villages and the transformation of the
farmers into an underemployed and deprived urban working class. This
dismal reality is still with us today.

Settlers' champion

Peres disappeared for a while from the political scene when his master
Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding prime minister, was pushed aside in 1963
by a new generation of leaders.

He came back after the 1967 War and the first portfolio he held was as
minister responsible for the occupied territories. In this role, he
legitimized, quite often retroactively, the settlement drive in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip.

As so many of us realize today, by the time the pro-settlement Likud
party came to power in 1977, the Jewish settlement infrastructure, in
particular in the West Bank, had already rendered a two-state solution
an impossible vision.

In 1974, Peres' political career became intimately connected to that of
his nemesis, Yitzhak Rabin. The two politicians who could not stand each
other, had to work in tandem for the sake of political survival.

However, on Israel's strategy toward the Palestinians, they shared the
Zionist settler-colonial perspective, coveting as much of Palestine's
land as possible with as few Palestinians on it as possible.

They worked well together in quelling brutally
<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/force-might-and-beatings-indelible-images-first-intifada>
the Palestinian uprising that began in 1987.

Peres' first role in this difficult partnership was as defense minister
in the 1974 Rabin government. The first real crisis Peres faced was a
major expansion of the messianic settler movement Gush Emunim's
colonization effort in and around the West Bank city of Nablus.

Rabin opposed the new settlements, but Peres stood with the settlers and
those colonies that now strangulate Nablus are there thanks to his efforts.

In 1976, Peres led government policy on the occupied territories,
convinced that a deal could be struck with Jordan, by which the West
Bank would be within Jordanian jurisdiction but under effective Israeli
rule.

He initiated municipal elections in the West Bank but to his great
surprise and disappointment, the candidates identified with the
Palestine Liberation Organization were elected and not the ones loyal to
Jordan's Hashemite monarchy.

But Peres remained faithful to what he named the "Jordanian option" as
an opposition leader after 1977 and when he returned to power in
coalition with the Likud in 1984-1988. He pushed forward the
negotiations on the basis of this concept until King Hussein's decision
to cede any political connection between Jordan and the West Bank in 1988.

Israel's international face

The 1990s exposed to the world to a more mature and coherent Peres. He
was Israel's international face, whether in government or outside it. He
played this role even after the Likud ascended as the main political
force in the land.

In power, in Rabin's government in the early 1990s, as prime minister
after Rabin's 1995 assassination, and then as a minister in the cabinet
of Ehud Barak from 1999 to 2001, Peres pushed a new concept for what he
called "peace."

Instead of sharing rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with Jordan or
Egypt, he now wished to do it with the Palestine Liberation
Organization. The idea was accepted by PLO leader Yasser Arafat, who may
have hoped to build on this a new project for the liberation of Palestine.

As enshrined in the 1993 Oslo accords, this concept was enthusiastically
endorsed by Israel's international allies.

Peres was the leading ambassador of this peace process charade that
provided an international umbrella for Israel to establish facts on the
ground that would create a greater apartheid Israel with small
Palestinian bantustans <http://www.sahistory.org.za/article/homelands>
scattered within it.

The fact that he won a Nobel Peace Prize for a process that advanced the
ruination of Palestine and its people is yet another testimony to world
governments' misunderstanding, cynicism and apathy toward their suffering.

We are fortunate to live in an era in which international civil society
has exposed this charade and offers, through the boycott, divestment and
sanctions movement and the growing support for the one-state solution, a
more hopeful and genuine path forward.

Qana

As prime minister, Peres had one additional "contribution" to make to
the history of Palestinian and Lebanese suffering.

In response to the endless skirmishes between Hizballah and the Israeli
army in southern Lebanon, where Hizballah and other groups resisted the
Israeli occupation that began in 1982 until they drove it out in 2000,
Peres ordered the bombing of the whole area in April 1996.

During what Israel dubbed Operation Grapes of Wrath, Israeli shelling
killed more than 100 people - civilians fleeing bombardment and UN
peacekeepers from Fiji - near the village of Qana.

Despite a United Nations
investigation<https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/naftali-bennett-and-qana-massacre>
that found Israel's explanation that the shelling had been an accident
to be "unlikely," the massacre did nothing to dent Peres' international
reputation as a "peacemaker."

In this century, Peres was more a symbolic figurehead than an active
politician. He founded the Peres Center for Peace, built on confiscated
Palestinian refugee property in
Jaffa<https://electronicintifada.net/content/jaffa-eminence-ethnic-cleansing/8088>,
which continues to sell the idea of a Palestinian "state" with little
land, real independence or sovereignty as the best possible solution.

That will never work, but if the world continues to be committed to this
Peres legacy, there will be no end to the suffering of the Palestinians.

Shimon Peres symbolized the beautification of Zionism, but the facts on
the ground lay bare his role in perpetrating so much suffering and
conflict. Knowing the truth, at least, helps us understand how to move
forward and undo so much of the injustice Peres helped create.

The author of numerous books, Ilan Pappe is professor of history and
director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University
of Exeter.

(3) Arab world sheds no tears for Peres, brands him a "war criminal"
http://www.france24.com/en/20160930-arab-world-sheds-no-tears-israel-peres

Arab world sheds no tears for Peres

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-09-30

Mourned internationally as a peacemaker, Israeli ex-president Shimon
Peres's death has met with official silence in most Arab countries,
where public opinion vilified the Nobel laureate as a "war criminal".

Of the 21 Arab states, only two -- Egypt and Jordan -- have full
diplomatic relations with Israel.

Even in those countries, the legacy of their destructive wars with
Israel and its policies towards Palestinians continue to influence
public opinion.

Peres, who died at 93 on Wednesday, was widely viewed in Arab countries
as one of Israel's founding fathers and closely associated with its
policies towards Palestinians.

He is remembered internationally as the man who won the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1994 along with then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

But Arab media coverage has focused on his role in Israeli military action.

"Peres, the engineer of the Qana massacre, dies," said a front page
headline in Al-Ahram, Egypt's flagship state newspaper.

Peres was the prime minister in 1996, having taken over after the
assassination of Rabin by a Jewish extremist for signing the peace
treaty with the Palestinians.

During a 16-day war with the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that
year, Israel shelled a United Nations compound where Lebanese fleeing
the conflict had taken refuge.

One hundred and six civilians were killed. Israel said the shelling of
the compound near the village of Qana was accidental.

'A thousand damnations'

"Peres dies: the 'butcher' of Qana," read a headline on the website of
the Lebanese daily Al-Safir.

"A thousand damnations on his soul, although he's in hell," said
Lebanese Public Health Minister Wael Abou Faour.

"I had wished for him a death that suited his crimes against Arabs and
Palestinians. The only thing we mourn is that the devil is overjoyed
because his counterpart has joined him."

Most other Arab officials remained silent, with the exceptions of
Palestinian president Abbas, who said Peres was "brave", and Bahrain's
foreign minister.

"Rest in Peace President Shimon Peres, a Man of War and a Man of the
still elusive Peace in the Middle East," the minister, Khaled ben Ahmed
al-Khalifa, wrote on Twitter.

There was no official comment in Jordan and Egypt, which in 1979 became
the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

Public opinion in both countries remains hostile to Israel. [...]

(4) Shimon Peres obituary: Peacemaker or war criminal? - Jonathan Cook

http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2016-09-28/obituary-israels-elder-statesman-shimon-peres/

Shimon Peres obituary: Peacemaker or war criminal?

The last significant figure of Israel’s founding generation – and the
father of its nuclear bomb – dies after suffering stroke

Al-Jazeera – 28 September 2016

The death of Shimon Peres at the age of 93 marks the departure of the
last major figure in Israel’s founding generation.

He died in a hospital on Wednesday after his condition worsened
following a major stroke two weeks ago.

Peres – one of the disciples of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime
minister – spent his long political career in the public spotlight. But
his greatest successes were engineered in the shadows, noted Yaron
Ezrahi, a politics professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Peres’ most important task, to which he was entrusted by Ben Gurion, was
developing in secret – and over US opposition – Israel’s nuclear weapons
programme through the 1950s and ’60s. To that end, he recruited the
assistance of France, Britain and Norway.

Peres, like his mentor, believed an Israeli bomb was the key to
guaranteeing Israel’s status – both in Washington and among the Arab
states – as an unassailable Middle East power.

The testing of the first warhead in the late 1960s was probably at least
as responsible for ensuring rock-solid US patronage in subsequent
decades as Israel’s rapid victory against neighbouring Arab states in
the Six-Day War.

Peres’ later diplomatic skills in negotiating peace agreements with
Jordan and the Palestinians were exercised largely out of view, too,
though he was keen to take the credit afterwards.

His pivotal role in realising the Oslo Accords through a back channel in
the early 1990s earned him – after frantic lobbying on his own behalf –
the Nobel peace prize in 1994, alongside Israel’s prime minister of the
time, Yitzhak Rabin, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

These agreements, as well as his vision of economic and technological
cooperation between Israel and Arab states in a "New Middle East", made
him a beloved figure in western capitals, where he was feted as Israel’s
peacemaker-in-chief.

At home, among both Israelis and Palestinians, he was viewed far less
favourably.

Colonial alliances

Born Syzmon Perski, Peres immigrated to Palestine from Poland with his
family in 1934, aged 11. Raised on a kibbutz and inculcated in the
values of Labour Zionism espoused by Israel’s East European elite, he
was quickly identified as a rising star by Ben Gurion, a fellow Pole.

During the 1948 war, Ben Gurion kept Peres in a backroom job, far from
the fighting, where he was responsible for acquiring weapons, often
illicitly, for the new Israeli army.

His diplomatic skills were relied on throughout the state’s tricky early
years in the defence ministry. Despite his lack of an army background,
he was instrumental in developing Israel’s large state-run military
industries.

In the same role, he also developed alliances with key western states,
especially France and Britain, that would eventually help Israel
establish the Dimona nuclear reactor and build a bomb.

In return, Peres plotted with these two fading colonial powers an attack
on Egypt in 1956 that triggered the Suez Crisis. Israel invaded Sinai to
create the pretext for an Anglo-French "intervention" and seizure of the
Suez Canal. All three soon had to withdraw under pressure from the US
and Soviet Union.

Peres was elected to the Israeli parliament in 1959, the start of a
48-year career as an MP, the longest in Israel’s history. There were few
senior ministerial posts he did not hold at some point.

But popularity eluded him. He led Ben Gurion’s Labour party to its
first-ever defeat in the 1977 election against Menachem Begin. It would
be the first of many electoral disappointments. [...]

With Rabin’s victory in 1992, Peres was appointed number two and
returned to what he did best: backroom deals, in this case a peace track
in Norway that led to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.

When Rabin was assassinated two years later, it was assumed that Peres
would romp home in the general election a short time later, riding a
wave of sympathy over Rabin’s death.

With the election looming, Peres approved a 16-day campaign of attacks
on Lebanon viewed by many as an effort to bolster his chances of
winning. The operation further blackened Peres’ reputation in the Arab
world for the Qana massacre, when Israeli shelling killed more than 100
civilians sheltering in a UN base in south Lebanon.

In the end, Peres lost to Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu, who profited from
the right’s campaign to discredit the peace process and its architects
as "Oslo criminals". [...]

Over the next seven years, Peres gradually came to be viewed as a
national treasure.

Champion of the settlers

Among Palestinians, it was harder to rehabilitate his image. He is best
remembered as part of a Labour Zionist elite responsible for the
creation of a Jewish state in 1948 on the ruins of the Palestinian homeland.

Despite his later reputation, Peres held hawkish positions for much of
his political career, noted Asad Ghanem, a politics professor at Haifa
University.

Following the 1967 war, he championed the cause of the settlers, and
used his role as defence minister in the 1970s to establish the first
settlements in the northern West Bank. His slogan was: "Settlements
everywhere."

With the Oslo process, Peres helped engineer Israel’s recognition of
Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation as the representative of the
Palestinian people.

But in every other way, said Ghanem, the accords soon proved disastrous
for the Palestinians, helping the settlements expand as the newly
created Palestinian Authority looked on, confined to small enclaves of
the occupied territories. [...]

(5) Obama: 'Peres ... showed us that justice and hope are at the heart
of the zionist idea'

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/09/israelis-world-leaders-gather-peres-funeral-160930063814074.html

Shimon Peres funeral: Obama, Abbas in attendance

Shimon Peres, the Israeli elder statesman, has been laid to rest in
Jerusalem in a ceremony that brough together several world leaders.

US President Barack Obama, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, French
President Francois Hollande, German President Joachim Gauck and other
world leaders were among those who attended the funeral on Friday.

Speaking at the ceremony, Obama said: "I could not be more honoured to
be in Jerusalem to say farewell to my friend Shimon Peres, who showed us
that justice and hope are at the heart of the zionist idea."

The US leader, who wore the traditional Jewish kippah cap, said that the
attendance of Abbas was a gesture "and reminder of the unfinished
business of peace". [...]

(6) Peres: Jerusalem must remain united ie under Jewish rule

Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2005 13:50:39 +0100 From: "Kristoffer Larsson"
<kristoffer.larsson@sobernet.nu>

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3185691,00.html

Peres: Jerusalem must remain united

Jerusalem must remain united but the city must be open and accessible to
all, Knesset member Shimon Peres said Friday after meeting with Indian
reporters.

"If Hamas negotiates with rifles and explosives, there will be only fire
and fighting in the region, the problem is not the Palestinian nation,
it's terror," he said. (Ronny Sofer)

(12.17.05, 12:21)

(7) Peres supported invasion of Iraq

Subject: Peres Is Looking Forward to WW III Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003
23:03:53 -0800 From: Jeffrey Blankfort <jab@tucradio.org>

"In the course of his September 12 dialogue with Rabbi William Berkowitz
at the Center for Jewish History..... Berkowitz asked Peres what he
thought of President Bush and America's response to Iraq, the foreign
minister said: 'Why speak about an attack when you are defending freedom
as you did in World War I, World War II and now in [World War]
III?.....I don't think this is a campaign against Iraq, neither their
people nor the land, but against a terrible killer, a dictator who
already initiated two aggressive wars -- one against Muslim Iran for
seven years at a cost of 1 million [lives] and against an Arab Kuwait,
which lost 300,000*..... Who saved Kuwait?  The Arab League?  You gave
Japan an improved Japan, and you gave Germany a better Germany and the
Marshall Plan.  I believe the strength of freedom is equal to the
strength of the United States. [Emphasis added]  I don't see anybody
doing the job.  So I justify the American position fully.  The president
speaks loud and clear."                 From MASHA LEON's column, the
Forward, October 4, 2002

*The number of Kuwaitis killed by Iraq was 240.  It's a number you never
hear or read about.

Jeff Blankfort
(8) Peres Praises Murder of Hamas Leader

Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 23:17:06 -0700 From: Jeff Blankfort
<jblankfort@earthlink.net>

Peres, a man with years of blood on his hands, speaks:

"Whereas on the right-wing people are congratulating themselves on the
death of the Hamas leader, Abdel Aziz Rantissi, on the left people are
rather divided. Shimon Peres, the leader of the labor party, has
nonetheless given his support to Tsahal asserting that ''whoever takes a
part in murder pays the price and the responsibility for it''.
(Guysen.Israƫl.News)


No comments:

Post a Comment