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Israelis mourn, extol legacies of late former leader Shimon Perez



Israeli’s mourn, extol legacies of late former leader Shimon Perez
The death of former leader Shimon Peres who passed on in a hospital after suffering a major stroke when his condition worsened following a stroke two weeks ago, has been met with mourning by Israeli’s while others chose to extol the legacies left behind by the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Among the many achievements of Peres was his strenuous efforts at repairing Israel’s damaged image abroad when he was at the helm and also nursing its strained strategic alliances, as Israel shifted ever further rightwards, were widely appreciated.
He is best remembered as part of Labour Zionist elite responsible for the creation of a Jewish state in 1948 on the ruins of the Palestinian homeland.
Despite his later reputation, Peres held hawkish positions for much of his political career, noted Asad Ghanem, a politics professor at Haifa University.
Following the 1967 war, he championed the cause of the settlers, and used his role as defence minister in the 1970s to establish the first settlements in the northern West Bank. His slogan was “Settlements everywhere”.
In 1993 he was one of the group of politicians including Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin who signed the Oslo Accords – Israel’s first peace deal with the Palestinians
One of the disciples of David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister – Peres spent his long political career in the public spotlight, but his greatest successes were engineered in the shadows, noted Yaron Ezrahi, a politics professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
The long career of Shimon Peres had an extraordinary final act – he was still in the largely ceremonial post of president when he passed his 90th birthday, making him at the time the oldest head of state in the world.

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