President Shimon Peres in Iraqi shuk 311 .
(photo credit: Moshe Milner)
Two lone soldiers from the United States, Lior Suissa and Eytam Meyersdorf, who are in Israel without their families and serving in combat units, have been given leave for the Seder and will join President Shimon Peres and his family at Beit Hanassi.
Although the soldiers eat reasonably well in the army, Peres asked his housekeeper, Matana Marian, to prepare a particularly mouthwatering menu for the two young men, who made aliya in order to serve in the IDF. Peres said that it was both his duty and his privilege to pamper the soldiers, to engage them in conversation and to make them feel welcome when they are contributing their best years to the security of the state and are so far away from their parents.
On Wednesday Peres will launch the centenary celebrations of the Kibbutz movement at the mother kibbutz, Deganya Alef, where there will be a special ceremony for kibbutzniks aged 100 and more. There will also be a display of kibbutz achievements in the period of a century, and some of the most senior members will share reminiscences of the early years of the Kibbutz movement.
From Deganya Alef Peres will continue on to Kibbutz Ein Gev, where he will open the annual Ein Gev Community Singing Festival. Peres makes a point of attending the festival each year.
On Friday of last week, Peres attended the 60th birthday party of former deputy defense minister Dalia Rabin-Pelossof at the Savyon home of PR agents Ran and Hila Rahav, and said that the Netanyahu administration has disrupted the status quo with regard to construction in Jerusalem with the decision to build Jewish residential complexes in areas populated by Arabs. Peres has said several times in recent weeks that the construction policy in Jerusalem under all prime ministers of Israel was no Jewish construction in Arab areas and no Arab construction in Jewish areas. In the president’s opinion this is a policy that should continue.
Peres attributed much of the crisis with America to the change in the status quo and nostalgically recalled the warm relations between prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and president Bill Clinton, who were so close that Clinton famously helped Rabin to fix his bow tie. It was heartbreaking to see the contrast in the way Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was received in Washington, said Peres.
Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are hosting a family Seder at the
Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, but this year they have
reportedly not invited lone soldiers to join them.
keeping it a family affair, including their two sons, Yair and Avner,
and their respective fathers, Benzion Netanyahu, who recently turned
100, and Shmuel Ben-Artzi, who is 95.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.