Peres taking seat 298.88.
(photo credit: GPO)
President Shimon Peres was caught unaware on Monday by a Ma'ariv report that his first home as a married man on Kibbutz Alumot, the kibbutz that he had helped found in the mid-1940s, is scheduled for destruction.
The 80-sq. meter hut that Peres and his wife, Sonia, shared at one stage with Shulamit Aloni, who in later life became an MK and a cabinet minister, is the last of a series of huts that were built at the time.
The small structure is in a bad state of neglect and was left standing only in deference to Peres. But now, according to the report, the kibbutz wants to tear it down.
Peres was somewhat surprised that Ma'ariv had not called him to get his reaction before publishing the story.
When The Jerusalem Post called to get his reaction, he was having lunch with his daughter Tzvia (Tziki) Walden, who had spent her earliest childhood there.
She too had not received any advance notification that the hut would soon be razed. Though both father and daughter were a little upset, neither intends to do anything to interfere with the plans of the kibbutz.
One of Peres's confidantes told the Post that Peres is particularly sensitive about doing anything to perpetuate his name for posterity, and that's the reason he's not going to do anything to try to preserve the hut.
When the Post asked whether it was possible to lift it from its foundations and bring it into the grounds of Beit Hanassi, the confidante said that this was the last thing that Peres would think of.
"Israel has a tendency to destroy anything historic, and then we are left without the evidence to support the history," said Prof. Michael Bar-Zohar, who is Peres's biographer and who also wrote the biography of Peres's mentor and Israel's founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion.
In Bar-Zohar's view, it is "a big mistake" to destroy the hut, which he characterized as "part of our historic legacy." His advice to the kibbutz was to leave it where it is so it will become a tourist attraction like Ben-Gurion's little house in Sde Boker.