Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Sweet Dreams for a Shattered Peace

Aryeh Ehrlich

When Shimon Peres bowed out after the curtain fell on his recently concluded seven-year presidential term, many Israelis bid him a fond farewell, while his harsher critics said good riddance to a man whose 60-year political career was marked by great accomplishments, yet studded with complexity and contradiction.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Peres was both the father of Israel’s nuclear program and the godfather of the Oslo agreements. The 1950s saw him secretly negotiating with France to provide what Israel required to bring its Dimona nuclear plant to fruition. Yet by the 1990s, Peres had morphed into the spiritual leader of Israel’s peace camp, and to this day remains one of its most unrepentant members. Peres carries that same unapologetic tune when recalling his pivotal role in obtaining exemptions from the draft for yeshivah students in the early days of statehood. He still believes that was the right thing to do at the time, is proud of his contribution toward rebuilding the might of the yeshivos decimated in the Holocaust, and insists that coercion is not the way to solve disagreements between Israel’s secular and religious citizens. Peres takes both his complexity and his contradictions with him into political retirement, and both are areas that Mishpacha’s Aryeh Ehrlich probed while posing questions to Peres with skill and perspicacity, in the first full “exit interview” Peres granted to the news media after leaving office. It was vintage Peres on display. He answered some questions in depth, dismissed others with a sharp rejoinder, yet no matter how he answered, he was always sure of himself. 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you