To the West, Shimon Peres is the ‘Nobel laureate’ and the ‘tireless dove’ who has been widely respected for his ‘achievements’ regarding the peace in the Middle East. However, behind this image Peres -who died on Wednesday- represents the real face of the bloody and colonial policies adopted by the Zionist regime.
Over seven decades, Peres served as prime minister (twice) and president. He was a member of 12 cabinets and had stints as defense, foreign and finance minister.
He is perhaps best known in the West for his role in the negotiations that led to the 1993 Oslo Accords which won him, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, the Nobel Peace Prize.
Born in Poland in 1923, Peres moved along with his family to Palestine in the 1930s. As a young man, he joined the Haganah, the militia primarily responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages during the Nakba in 1947-49.
Despite the violent displacement of the Palestinians being a matter of historical record, Peres has always insisted that Zionist forces “upheld the purity of arms” during the establishment of the Zionist entity, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) reported. He even claimed that before ‘Israel’ existed, “there was nothing here”.
Nuclear Weapons and Qana Massacre
He was also seen as a driving force in the development of Israel’s undeclared nuclear program. Peres has been described as “an architect of Israel’s nuclear weapons program which, to this day, “remains outside the scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In 1975, as secret minutes have since revealed, Peres met with South African Defense Minister PW Botha and “offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime.” In 1986, Peres authorized the Mossad operation that saw nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu kidnapped in Rome.
Peres then had a key role in the military regime imposed on Palestinian citizens until 1966, under which authorities carried out mass land theft and displacement.
He has been also known for supporting illegal settlements in the West Bank.
As prime minister in 1996, Peres ordered and oversaw “Operation Grapes of Wrath” when Israeli armed forces killed some 154 civilians in Lebanon and injured another 351. The operation, widely believed to have been a pre-election show of strength, saw Lebanese civilians intentionally targeted.
The campaign’s most notorious attack was the Qana massacre, when Israel shelled a United Nations compound and killed 106 sheltering civilians.
Defending Blockade, Wars on Gaza
Perese also defended the collective punishment and military brutality against the besieged Gaza strip.
In January 2009, Peres urged “national solidarity” behind the ‘Operation Cast Lead’, describing the campaign as “Israel’s finest hour.”
During “Operation Pillar of Defense” in November 2012, Peres “took on the job of helping the Israeli public relations effort, communicating the Israeli narrative to world leaders,” in the words of Ynetnews.
In 2014, during an unprecedented bombardment of Gaza, Peres stepped up once again to whitewash war crimes. After Israeli forces killed four small children playing on a beach, Peres knew who to blame – the Palestinians: “It was an area that we warned would be bombed,” he said. “And unfortunately they didn’t take out the children.”