Peres's son mulling entering politics

Ya'alon: I won't be Lapid's number two.

November 13, 2016 21:30
2 minute read.
Chemi Peres

Chemi Peres (L) standing next to his father, former President Shimon Peres in 2008. (photo credit: JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Late president Shimon Peres’s son, Chemi, is considering following in his father’s footsteps and entering politics, Chemi Peres said over the weekend.

Shimon Peres, who died on September 28 at the age of 93, was first elected to the Knesset in 1959.

Chemi, 58, whose given name is actually Nehemia, is the cofounder and managing general partner of Pitango Venture Capital, the largest venture-capital fund in the country.

He told Yediot Aharonot over the weekend that he never considered entering politics as long as his father was active in public life and representing Israel, but he always wanted to serve the people of Israel.

He hinted that following his father’s death, he was seriously considering running for the next Knesset.

“I have had a political bug for a long time,” Chemi Peres admitted. “I have been carrying the virus, but I have not yet developed the disease. I will only go to politics if I feel I could make real changes, only when it is stronger than me and I will be able to accept the price I would have to pay.”

Asked whether he felt an obligation to the Labor Party, which his father headed, he said his only obligation was the people of Israel and not any particular party. But he made clear that joining a right-wing party was not an option for him.

“The central question for me is how we guarantee our future as a Jewish, democratic state and avoid becoming a binational state,” he said.

“Many on the Left and on the Right understand that there will be two states for two peoples.

But the question is how and when will it happen and how much more blood will be shed first as opportunities are lost along the way.”

Peres is likely to be wooed by the Zionist Union as well as by Yesh Atid.

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid confirmed on Saturday that he had met recently with former Likud defense minister Moshe Ya’alon. But he said he meets with political figures all the time and asked not to read too much into it.

Ya’alon went further on his official Facebook page, writing that he and Lapid had different worldviews.

“I meet with all relevant political figures, but unlike what has been published, I do not intend to be No. 2 in Yair Lapid’s party,” Ya’alon wrote.

In an interview with Maariv over the weekend, former Labor minister Moshe Shahal said the party should be wooing former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz to head the party. He revealed he was writing a book that would be critical of Shimon Peres and former Labor chairman Ehud Barak.

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