(photo credit: MARK NEYMAN / GPO)
The late president Shimon Peres’s family expressed outrage Sunday at the settler movement drafting his image for its new campaign calling for the annexation of the Jerusalem suburban settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.
The campaign began over the weekend with ads posted on a building overlooking the Menachem Begin Highway in Jerusalem. The ads call for continuing the path of Peres, who helped found Ma’aleh Adumim and was quoted saying that developing it is essential to guarantee the defense of Jerusalem.
In the next stage of the campaign Monday, a caravan of trucks and buses bearing the ads will drive from Ma’aleh Adumim to the Knesset, where a rally will be held with ministers and MKs who support the passage of an annexation bill in the parliament’s winter session, which begins on Monday.
Peres’s son-in-law, Dr. Rafi Walden, said the campaign is dishonest and the quote attributed to the former president came from 38 years ago.
“I see this campaign as a disgusting prank by a criminal advertiser,” Walden told Army Radio. “They are deceptively presenting themselves as carrying on his legacy.”
Walden said that when Peres thought the country’s existence was in danger he focused on its security, and when conditions ripened for peace, he fought for it.
“There is no limit to the cynicism of the advertisers, who know that Peres vigorously opposed the occupation,” Walden said. “It is especially outrageous that those who called him ‘a criminal of Oslo’ now are using his great image to wrongly present themselves as following in his footsteps in an ugly twist of his legacy over the past decades.”
Ma’aleh Adumim mayor Benny Kashriel responded by telling The Jerusalem Post that annexing his city is a matter of consensus. He called upon the Peres family to visit Ma’aleh Adumim.
“I am sorry that the Peres family talked about me that way,” Kashriel said.
“I always respected Peres. I never came out against Peres, even when we had different views. Peres was never against keeping Ma’aleh Adumim.”