He didn’t go to South Africa in 2013 for the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela, but ninth president Shimon Peres will be going to South Africa at the end of this month for a fleeting visit to boost the fund-raising efforts of the Israel United Appeal and United Communal Fund.
Peres will be in Johannesburg for one night only on February 28. His visit is being promoted as that of the “Man of Peace,” and there’s a dove on the flyer to add credence to that description.
Peres, 92, was hospitalized twice last month, the first time following a heart attack, and the second time following mild chest pains.
However, doctors pronounced him fit following a procedure that he underwent after the attack, and again following observations in relation to the chest pains.
Peres is arguably the most traveled public figure in the country, and even during his presidency went abroad on average every 6-8 weeks.
There is a lot of BDS activity and anti-Israel feeling in South Africa at the moment so it is especially important to the Jewish community to have an Israeli of Peres’s status to come and address them.
Fortunately, South Africa is in the same time zone as Israel, so Peres, a frequent flier who doesn’t tire easily, is unlikely to feel the effects of the journey.