Sir, – President Shimon Peres conferred the Presidential Medal on Bill Clinton
last week – as kids we called this the “Mutual Admiration Society” (“Peres
confers Presidential Medal of Distinction on Bill Clinton,” June 20).
adults, we called it “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Peres hailed
Clinton as “a servant of humanity.” With the whopping speaking fee of $500,000,
I guess Clinton believes that “humanity begins at home.”
Sir, – We, the Israelis, are proud of Shimon Peres, a president in
perfect condition on his special 90th birthday, both mentally without an
impediment and physically good because he can walk without a cane for support
(“Paying tribute: Peres holds start-studded gala celebrating 90th birthday,”
The photograph on page one of The Jerusalem Post must be the
best of the many taken of him last night. It is excellent as it shows the most
important four people smiling at the celebration.
Not only was Peres a
politician from the time of former prime minister David-Ben Gurion, he is also a
statesman known abroad as a wise man and a credit to Israel, giving us a good
Whether it was in the Jerusalem International Convention Center or
on television, it was a night to remember!
I thoroughly enjoyed the TV broadcast celebrating the 90th birthday of Shimon
The jury is still out when examining his overall record, but there
is no doubt that he is an amazing man – physically, mentally and spiritually. He
is also one of the world’s most loved and revered statesmen, as witnessed by the
accolades and adulation pouring in not only by world leaders and celebrities,
but by the common man as well.
However, this tribute was marred and
cheapened by the many advertising breaks. Surely our Shimon deserves
Why could this celebration not have been broadcast on Channel 1,
where it would not have been interrupted by this crass commercialism? I. SRUL
Sir, – Certainly Shimon Peres’s birthday celebration was a
bit over the top, but for a 90-yearold statesman who is still going strong, I
won’t begrudge him a little partying. I only wonder, when he actually turns 90
on his birthday in August, how he will manage to top this? PRAYA VEINER
Sir, – President Shimon Peres’s conference is certainly noteworthy
(“Presidential Conference kicks off with party for president’s 90th birthday,”
However, what is the point of having so many foreigners
participate in matters that concern Israel particularly? It is Israel, and
Israel uniquely alone, which has to determine its own priorities and its
Words and ideas thrown around hastily by people who are going to
leave Israel immediately after the conference can cause great damage. It would
be much more relevant to seeing and understanding Israel for the conference
guests to devote two days to intensive touring. They would benefit from knowing
how Israel has to cope with the problems from North to South and eastwards from
the Mediterranean Sea.
Let them be able to also see what is being done at
our major universities in research and development, advancing the reading and
writing skills of our elementary school students and how we are developing new
The time has come for less talk and more on the
ground practical knowledge. At his next conference, let Peres give an Israeli a
prize for research that has made a difference! Meanwhile, happy birthday to
President Peres! To live to age 90 with all faculties gung-ho is quite an
achievement. I am glad that he received the blessing from his rebbe for long
Sir, – Shimon Peres is a “friend of
superstars such as Barbra Streisand, Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Madonna,”
as enumerated by the June 19 editorial (“President Peres,” Comment and
What kind of friends? Do they swap acting tips? Does he fly
over for bowling night? An article in The Jerusalem Post on the same day about
Peres’s Facing Tomorrow Presidential Conference provides one telling detail:
“Peres reminded De Niro that they had first met in a private home. Later, Peres
had seen him again in Paris, ‘but you didn’t recognize me,’ said the
So these seem to be basically friends for rhetorical
purposes, who hope to lend one another popularity by chumming briefly on the
rostrum. I think Peres gets the better of the deal, at least. On the streets of
Israel you’ll see a hundred Madonna T-shirts and a few De Niros and Sharon
Stones before you’ll see anyone in a Peres T-shirt.MARK L. LEVINSON
Sir, – The accolades for Shimon Peres emphasize his view of and belief
in the future. Both your editorial (June 19) and Uri Savir’s column “Peres’s
tomorrow” (June 14) make this very clear.
However, we are now 20 years
after the Oslo Accords and have a chance to review Peres’s dreams of a new
There is no mention of how he met unlawfully with the PLO,
no mention of his comments to protesters “go back where you came from” nor “guns
do not kill people, people kill people.”
There is no mention of his
conflicts with his “old friend” Yitzhak Rabin, nor of his undermining as foreign
minister, the foreign policy of prime minister Yitzhak Shamir.
comments that Peres can “not be burdened by past history, prejudices or
nostalgia...He is bored by the past.”
Well, the Jewish outlook on
life is based on “zachor,” remembering our past. Jewish prayer books count six
(some count 10), ideas or events that we must remember. And, of course, in the
modern era we must remember the Holocaust.
Thousands of Israelis were
either murdered or seriously injured as the result of the Oslo Accords. With the
unfortunate benefit of 20 years of hindsight as opposed to foresight, Peres
should return the Nobel Peace Prize and the money he received. He brought no
Yes, he is well received and loved by international statesmen and
luminaries. Yes, he is optimistic about peace with the Arabs. But at what cost?
We all want peace. We pray for peace three times a day in our
But we must live in the real world, not a dream
Mr. Peres, happy birthday.
Live and be well, as we say, “ad
me’a v’esrim,” until age 120.AVRAHAM FRIEDMAN
According to Uri Savir “Peres is bored by the past” (“Peres’s tomorrow,” Savir’s
Corner, Observations, June 14).
If there is any one phrase which would
describe the total philosophical viewpoint of the 90-year-old president of
Israel, that is it.
To be honest, one is moved by Shimon Peres’s
idealistic optimism in the face of a cruel world which never ceases to exhibit
evil and the death of innocents. His words of hope and light are a constant
source of amazement not only to warweary Israelis but to the entire world. But
his record of self promotion and irresponsible, naive, thoughtless, activities
in putting Israelis’ lives in danger must be recognized and
Poetry and pie in the sky dreams of “peace in our time” is not
a motto with which we can identify.
The Oslo debacle was Peres’s
Waterloo, and all the hoopla over his sagacity and wisdom will not change what
Israel has suffered because of it. Our 90- year-young president may be bored by
history and look only to the future. But one must be aghast at a self-absorbed
nonelected politician who refuses to acknowledge his role in Israel’s current
diplomatic and security disaster.YITZCHAK BEN-SHMUEL
'The Jerusalem Post' in its Friday print and electronic editions erroneously reported that one of the parties to the ongoing investigation of the chief rabbi is connected to ATZUM – Justice Works. That individual has absolutely no connection to ATZUM. We sincerely regret the error.