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SHIMON PERES (/ʃɪˈmoʊn ˈpɛrɛz/ ; Hebrew : שמעון פרס‎‎, listen (help ·info ); born SZYMON PERSKI; August 2, 1923 – September 28, 2016) was an Israeli politician who served both as ninth President of Israel
President of Israel
, (2007 to 2014) and Prime Minister of Israel
Israel
, as well as Interim Prime Minister . He was a member of twelve cabinets in a political career spanning 70 years. Peres was elected to the Knesset in November 1959 and, except for a three-month-long hiatus in early 2006, was in office continuously until 2007, when he became President, being in that role for another seven years. At the time of his retirement in 2014, he was the world's oldest head of state. He was considered the last link to Israel's founding generation.

From a young age, he was renowned for his oratorical brilliance, and was chosen as a protégé by David Ben Gurion
David Ben Gurion
, Israel's founding father. He began his political career in the late 1940s, holding several diplomatic and military positions during and directly after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War
1948 Arab–Israeli War
. His first high-level government position was as Deputy Director-General of Defense in 1952 which he attained at the age of 28, and Director-General from 1953 until 1959. In 1956, he took part in the historic negotiations on the Protocol of Sèvres described by British Prime Minister Anthony Eden
Anthony Eden
as the "highest form of statesmanship".

In 1963, he held negotiations with U.S. President John F. Kennedy , which resulted in the sale of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Israel, the first sale of U.S. military equipment to Israel. On October 26, 1994, Jordan
Jordan
and Israel
Israel
signed the Israel–Jordan peace treaty , which had been initiated by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. Peres won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
for the peace talks that he participated in as Israeli Foreign Minister , producing the Oslo Accords . During his career, he represented five political parties in the Knesset: Mapai , Rafi , the Alignment , Labor and Kadima
Kadima
, and led Alignment and Labor. In 1996, he founded the Peres Center for Peace , which has the aim of "promot lasting peace and advancement in the Middle East by fostering tolerance, economic and technological development, cooperation and well-being." In July 2016, he founded the ' Israel
Israel
innovation center' in the Arab neighbourhood of Ajami, Jaffa , aiming to encourage young people from around the world to be inspired by technology.

Peres was polyglot, speaking Polish, French, English, Russian, Yiddish and Hebrew, although he never lost his Polish accent when speaking in Hebrew. In his private life, he was a poet and songwriter, writing stanzas during cabinet meetings, with some of his poems later being recorded as songs in albums. As a result of his deep literary interests, he could quote from Hebrew prophets , French literature , and Chinese philosophy with equal ease.

After suffering a stroke, Peres died on September 28, 2016 near Tel Aviv .

CONTENTS

* 1 Early life

* 2 Ministry of Defense

* 2.1 1956 Suez Crisis

* 3 Political career

* 3.1 Entebbe rescue operation, 1976 * 3.2 Peres as Prime Minister, 1977 * 3.3 Oslo Accords, Peace with Jordan, and Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
* 3.4 Support for Sharon and joining Kadima
Kadima

* 4 Presidency: 2007–2014

* 5 Political views

* 5.1 Technology

* 6 Post-presidency

* 6.1 Death

* 6.1.1 Tributes * 6.1.2 Funeral

* 7 Personal life and family

* 7.1 Poetry and song-writing * 7.2 Use of social-media

* 8 Places named after Peres * 9 Published works * 10 Awards and recognition * 11 See also * 12 References * 13 External links

EARLY LIFE

Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
was born Szymon Perski, on August 2, 1923, in Wiszniew, Poland (now Vishnyeva , Belarus), to Yitzhak (1896–1962) and Sara (1905–1969 née Meltzer) Perski. The family spoke Hebrew , Yiddish and Russian at home, and Peres learned Polish at school. He then learned to speak English and French. His father was a wealthy timber merchant, later branching out into other commodities; his mother was a librarian. Peres had a younger brother, Gershon, and was a relative of American film star Lauren Bacall (born Betty Joan Perske).

Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
(standing, third from right) with his family, ca. 1930

Peres told Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson that he had been born as a result of a blessing his parents had received from a chassidic rebbe and that he was proud of it. Peres' grandfather, Rabbi Zvi Meltzer, a grandson of Rabbi Chaim Volozhin , had a great impact on his life. In an interview, Peres said: "As a child, I grew up in my grandfather's home. … I was educated by him. … My grandfather taught me Talmud
Talmud
. It was not as easy as it sounds. My home was not an observant one. My parents were not Orthodox but I was Haredi . At one point, I heard my parents listening to the radio on the Sabbath and I smashed it." When he was a child, Peres was taken by his father to Radun\' to receive a blessing from Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (known as "the Chofetz Chaim"). As a child, Peres would later say, "I did not dream of becoming president of Israel. My dream as a boy was to be a shepherd or a poet of stars." He inherited his love of French literature from his maternal grandfather.

“ Israeli children should be taught to look to the future, not live in the past. I would rather teach them to imagine than to remember. ”

— Shimon Peres, 2000

In 1932, Peres' father immigrated to Mandatory Palestine and settled in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
. The family followed him in 1934. He attended Balfour Elementary School and High School, and Geula Gymnasium (High School for Commerce) in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
. At 15, he transferred to Ben Shemen agricultural school and lived on Kibbutz
Kibbutz
Geva for several years. Peres was one of the founders of Kibbutz
Kibbutz
Alumot .

In 1941 he was elected Secretary of HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed , a Labor Zionist youth movement, and in 1944 returned to Alumot, where he had an agricultural training and worked as a farmer and a shepherd. A picture of 13-year-old Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
taken in 1936.

At age 20, he was elected to the HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed national secretariat, where he was only one of two Mapai party supporters, out of the 12 members. Three years later, he took over the movement and won a majority. The head of Mapai, David Ben-Gurion , and Berl Katznelson began to take an interest in him, and appointed him to Mapai's secretariat.

In 1944, Peres led an illicit expedition into the Negev
Negev
, then a closed military zone requiring a permit to enter. The expedition, consisting of a group of teenagers, along with a Palmach
Palmach
scout, a zoologist, and an archaeologist, had been funded by Ben-Gurion and planned by Palmach
Palmach
head Yitzhak Sadeh , as part of a plan for future Jewish settlement of the area so as to include it in the Jewish state. The group was arrested by a Bedouin
Bedouin
camel patrol led by a British officer, taken to Beersheba
Beersheba
(then a small Arab town) and incarcerated in the local jail. All of the participants were sentenced to two weeks in prison, and as the leader, Peres was also heavily fined.

All of Peres' relatives who remained in Wiszniew in 1941 were murdered during the Holocaust , many of them (including Rabbi Meltzer) burned alive in the town's synagogue.

In 1945, Peres married Sonya Gelman, who preferred to remain outside the public eye. They had three children.

In 1946, Peres and Moshe Dayan were chosen as the two youth delegates in the Mapai delegation to the Zionist Congress in Basel
Basel
.

In 1947, Peres joined the Haganah , the predecessor of the Israel Defense Forces . David Ben-Gurion made him responsible for personnel and arms purchases; he was appointed to head the naval service when Israel
Israel
received independence in 1948.

Peres was director of the Defense Ministry's delegation in the United States in the early 1950s. While in the U.S. he studied English , economics , and philosophy at The New School and New York University , and advanced management at Harvard University .

MINISTRY OF DEFENSE

In 1952, he was appointed Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Defense , and the following year, he became Director-General. At age 29, he was the youngest person to hold this position. He was involved in arms purchases and establishing strategic alliances that were important for the State of Israel. He was instrumental in establishing close relations with France, securing massive amounts of quality arms that, in turn, helped to tip the balance of power in the region.

Owing to Peres' mediation, Israel
Israel
acquired the advanced Dassault Mirage III French jet fighter, established the Dimona nuclear reactor and entered into a tri-national agreement with France and the United Kingdom, positioning Israel
Israel
in what would become the 1956 Suez Crisis . Peres continued as a primary intermediary in the close French-Israeli alliance from the mid-1950s, although from 1958, he was often involved in tense negotiations with Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
over the Dimona project.

1956 SUEZ CRISIS

Main article: Suez Crisis

From 1954, as Director-General of the Ministry of Defense, Peres was involved in the planning of the 1956 Suez War , in partnership with France and Britain. Peres was sent by David Ben-Gurion to Paris, where he held secret meetings with the French government. Peres was instrumental in negotiating the Franco-Israeli agreement for a military offensive. In November 1954, Peres visited Paris, where he was received by the French Defense Minister Marie-Pierre Kœnig , who told him that France would sell Israel
Israel
any weapons it wanted to buy. By early 1955, France was shipping large amounts of weapons to Israel. In April 1956, following another visit to Paris by Peres, France agreed to disregard the Tripartite Declaration , and supply more weapons to Israel. During the same visit, Peres informed the French that Israel
Israel
had decided upon war with Egypt in 1956. Throughout the 1950s, an extraordinarily close relationship existed between France and Israel, characterised by unprecedented cooperation in the fields of defense and diplomacy. For his work as the architect of this relationship, Peres was awarded the highest order of the French, the Legion of Honor
Legion of Honor
, as Commander. Peres (center) with Ezer Weizman and King Mahendra of Nepal in 1958

At Sèvres
Sèvres
, Peres took part in planning alongside Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury , Christian Pineau and Chief of Staff of the French Armed Forces General Maurice Challe
Maurice Challe
, and British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd and his assistant Sir Patrick Dean . Britain and France enlisted Israeli support for an alliance against Egypt. The parties agreed that Israel
Israel
would invade the Sinai. Britain and France would then intervene, purportedly to separate the warring Israeli and Egyptian forces, instructing both to withdraw to a distance of 16 kilometres from either side of the canal. The British and French would then argue, according to the plan, that Egypt's control of such an important route was too tenuous, and that it needed be placed under Anglo-French management. The agreement at Sèvres
Sèvres
was initially described by British Prime Minister Anthony Eden
Anthony Eden
as the "highest form of statesmanship". The three allies, especially Israel, were mainly successful in attaining their immediate military objectives. However, the extremely hostile reaction to the Suez Crisis from both the United States and the USSR
USSR
forced them to withdraw, resulting in a failure of Britain and France's political and strategic aims of controlling the Suez Canal.

POLITICAL CAREER

Prime Minister Peres delivers a speech in front of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants, October 2, 1985

Peres was first elected to the Knesset in the 1959 elections , as a member of the Mapai party. He was given the role of Deputy Defense Minister, which he filled until 1965. Peres and Moshe Dayan left Mapai with David Ben-Gurion to form a new party, Rafi , which reconciled with Mapai and joined the Alignment (a left-wing alliance) in 1968. He held negotiations with John F. Kennedy , which concluded with the sale of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Israel, the first sale of US military equipment to Israel.

In 1969, Peres was appointed Minister of Immigrant Absorption and in 1970 he became Minister of Transportation and Communications. In 1974, after a period as Information Minister , he was appointed Minister of Defense in the Yitzhak Rabin government, having been Rabin's chief rival for the post of Prime Minister after Golda Meir resigned in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
. During this time, Peres continued to challenge Rabin for the chairmanship of the party, but in 1977, he again lost to Rabin in the party elections.

ENTEBBE RESCUE OPERATION, 1976

“ hat we are considering really is not just a calculated risk in the military sense, but a comparative risk, which exists between surrender to terror and daring rescue stemming from independence. ”

— Shimon Peres, 1976

On June 27, 1976, Peres, as Minister of Defense, along with Rabin, had to deal with a coordinated act of terrorism when 248 Paris-bound travelers on an Air France plane were taken hostage by pro-Palestinian hijackers and flown to Uganda
Uganda
, Africa, 2,000 miles away.

Peres and Rabin were responsible for approving what became known as the Entebbe rescue operation , which took place on July 4, 1976. The rescue boosted the Rabin government's approval rating with the public. The only Israeli soldier that was killed during the successful rescue operation was its commander, 30-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Netanyahu , older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
.

In the few days leading up to the operation, Peres and Rabin leaned toward different solutions. Rabin took steps to initiate negotiations, seeing no other option. Peres, however, felt that negotiating with terrorists, who were demanding the release of prisoners, would in effect be surrender, and thought a rescue operation should be planned.

Peres was then made a member of a secret Israel
Israel
Crisis Committee organized to come up with a rescue plan. When a plan had been made, he met with commander Netanyahu a number of times. During one of their final private meetings, they both examined maps and went over precise details. Peres later said of Netanyahu's explanation, "My impression was one of exactitude and imagination," saying that Netanyahu seemed confident the operation would succeed with almost no losses. Netanyahu left the meeting understanding that Peres would do everything in his power to see that the operation went smoothly.

Peres then went unannounced to Moshe Dayan , the former Minister of Defense, interrupting his dinner with friends in a restaurant, to show him the latest plan to get his opinion. Peres told Dayan of the objections that had been raised by Rabin and Chief of Staff, Mordechai Gur . Dayan dismissed the objections after reviewing the written details: "Shimon," he said, "this is a plan that I support not one hundred percent but one hundred and fifty percent! There has to be a military operation."

Peres later got the approval from Gur, who became fully supportive. Peres then took the plan to Rabin, who had been lukewarm and still didn't like the risks, but he reluctantly approved the plan after Peres answered a number of key questions and Rabin learned that the cabinet had also endorsed it.

PERES AS PRIME MINISTER, 1977

Peres succeeded Rabin as party leader prior to the 1977 elections when Rabin stepped down in the wake of a foreign currency scandal involving his wife. As Rabin could not legally resign from the transition government, he officially remained Prime Minister, while Peres became the unofficial acting Prime Minister. Peres led the Alignment to its first ever electoral defeat, when Likud under Menachem Begin won sufficient seats to form a coalition that excluded the left. After only a month on top, Peres assumed the role of opposition leader. After turning back a comeback bid by Rabin in 1980, Peres led his party to another, narrower, loss in the 1981 elections . In the 1984 elections , the Alignment won more seats than any other party but failed to muster the majority of 61 mandates needed to form a left-wing coalition. Alignment and Likud agreed to an unusual "rotation" arrangement, or unity government , in which Peres would serve as Prime Minister and the Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir would be Foreign Minister, swapping positions midway through the term. A highlight of this time in office was a trip to Morocco
Morocco
to confer with King Hassan II , as well as a long-range Israeli airstrike against the PLO
PLO
headquarters in Tunis.

“ Peace is not the pursuit of war by other means. Peace consists of putting an end to the red ink of past history and starting anew in a different color. ”

— Shimon Peres, 1996

As part of the deal, after two years Peres and Shamir traded places, and in 1986 Peres became foreign minister. In 1988 the Alignment, led by Peres, suffered another narrow defeat . He agreed to renew the coalition with the Likud, this time conceding the premiership to Shamir for the entire term. In the national unity government of 1988–90, Peres served as Vice Premier and Minister of Finance . He and the Alignment finally left the government in 1990, after "the dirty trick " – a failed bid to form a narrow government based on a coalition of the Alignment, small leftist factions and ultra-orthodox parties.

OSLO ACCORDS, PEACE WITH JORDAN, AND NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
(left) with Yitzhak Rabin (center) and King Hussein of Jordan
Jordan
(right), prior to signing the Israel–Jordan peace treaty . Yitzhak Rabin , Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
and Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
receiving the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
following the Oslo Accords .

From 1990 Peres led the opposition in the Knesset until, in early 1992, he was defeated in the first primary elections of the new Israeli Labor Party
Israeli Labor Party
(which had been formed by the consolidation of the Alignment into a single unitary party) by Yitzhak Rabin, whom he had replaced fifteen years earlier. Peres remained active in politics, however, serving as Rabin's foreign minister from 1992.

Secret negotiations with Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
's PLO
PLO
organization led to the Oslo Accords , which won Peres, Rabin and Arafat the Nobel Peace Prize . But in 2002, members of the Norwegian committee that awards the annual Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
stated they regretted that Mr Peres' prize could not be recalled. Because he had not acted to prevent Israel's re-occupation of Palestinian territory, he had not lived up to the ideals he expressed when he accepted the prize, and he was involved in human rights abuses.

After Rabin's assassination in 1995, Peres served as Acting Prime Minister and Acting Defense Minister for seven months until the 1996 elections , during which he attempted to maintain the momentum of the peace process.

On October 26, 1994, Jordan
Jordan
and Israel
Israel
signed the Israel–Jordan peace treaty , which had been initiated by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. The ceremony was held in the Arava valley of Israel, north of Eilat
Eilat
and near the Jordanian border. Prime Minister Rabin and Prime Minister Abdelsalam al-Majali signed the treaty and the President of Israel
President of Israel
Ezer Weizman
Ezer Weizman
shook hands with King Hussein . US President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
observed, accompanied by US Secretary of State Warren Christopher . The treaty brought an end to 46 years of official war between Israel
Israel
and Jordan
Jordan
.

“ Peace is very much like love. It is a romantic process—you have to be living it, you have to invest in it, you have to trust it. As you cannot impose love, so you cannot impose peace. ”

— Shimon Peres, 1997

On April 11, 1996, Prime Minister Peres initiated Operation Grapes of Wrath , which was triggered by Hezbollah Katyusha rockets fired into Israel
Israel
in response to the killing of two Lebanese by an IDF missile. Israel
Israel
conducted massive air raids and extensive shelling in southern Lebanon. 106 Lebanese civilians died in the shelling of Qana , when a UN compound was hit in an Israeli shelling.

In 1996, he founded the Peres Center for Peace , which has the aim of "promot lasting peace and advancement in the Middle East by fostering tolerance, economic and technological development, cooperation and well-being." Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
with U.S. President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
at the White House, April 1996.

During his term, Peres promoted the use of the Internet in Israel
Israel
and created the first website of an Israeli prime minister. However, he was narrowly defeated by Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
in the first direct elections for Prime Minister in 1996. In 1997, he did not seek re-election as Labor Party leader and was replaced by Ehud Barak . Barak rebuffed Peres's attempt to secure the position of party president and upon forming a government in 1999 appointed Peres to the minor post of Minister of Regional Co-operation .

In 2000, Peres ran for a seven-year term as Israel's President , a ceremonial head of state position which usually authorizes the selection of Prime Minister. However, he lost to Likud candidate Moshe Katsav . Katsav's victory was attributed in part to evidence that Peres planned to use the position to support the increasingly unpopular peace processes of the government of Ehud Barak .

Following Ehud Barak's defeat by Ariel Sharon in the 2001 direct election for Prime Minister , Peres made yet another comeback. He led Labor into a national unity government with Sharon's Likud and secured the post of Foreign Minister. The formal leadership of the party passed to Binyamin Ben-Eliezer , and in 2002 to Haifa
Haifa
mayor Amram Mitzna . Peres was much criticized on the left for clinging to his position as Foreign Minister in a government that was not seen as advancing the peace process, despite his own dovish stance. He left office only when Labor resigned from the government in advance of the 2003 elections. After the party under the leadership of Mitzna suffered a crushing defeat, Peres again emerged as interim leader. He led the party into a coalition with Sharon once more at the end of 2004 when the latter's support of "disengagement" from Gaza presented a diplomatic program Labor could support. Peres in 2005

Peres lost the chairmanship of the Labor Party in November 2005, in advance of the 2006 elections . As party leader, he favored pushing off the elections for as long as possible. He claimed that an early election would jeopardize both the September 2005 Gaza withdrawal plan and the standing of the party in a national unity government with Sharon. However, the majority pushed for an earlier date, as younger members of the party, among them Amir Peretz , Ophir Pines-Paz and Isaac Herzog , overtook established leaders such as Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Haim Ramon in the party ballot to divide up government portfolios. Peres lost the leadership election with 40% to Peretz's 42.4%.

SUPPORT FOR SHARON AND JOINING KADIMA

“ Optimists and pessimists die the same way. They just live differently. I prefer to live as an optimist. ”

— Shimon Peres, 2005

On November 30, 2005 Peres announced that he was leaving the Labor Party to support Ariel Sharon and his new Kadima
Kadima
party. In the immediate aftermath of Sharon\'s debilitating stroke , there was speculation that Peres might take over as leader of the party; most senior Kadima
Kadima
leaders, however, were former members of Likud and indicated their support for Ehud Olmert as Sharon's successor.

Labor reportedly tried to woo Peres back to the fold. However, he announced that he supported Olmert and would remain with Kadima. Peres had previously announced his intention not to run in the March elections . Following Kadima's win in the election, Peres was given the role of Vice Prime Minister and Minister for the Development of the Negev, Galilee and Regional Economy .

PRESIDENCY: 2007–2014

Main article: Presidency of Shimon Peres Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
in December 2007 (audio) Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East (2009) Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
in the Oval Office
Oval Office
, May 5, 2009. Shimon Peres and the Foreign Minister of Brazil
Brazil
, Celso Amorim , meet in Brasília
Brasília
, November 11, 2009 Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
addressing a gathering of the World Jewish Congress in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(2010)

On June 13, 2007 Peres was elected President of the State of Israel by the Knesset. 58 of 120 members of the Knesset voted for him in the first round (whereas 38 voted for Reuven Rivlin , and 21 for Colette Avital ). His opponents then backed Peres in the second round and 86 members of the Knesset voted in his favor, while 23 objected. He resigned from his role as a Member of the Knesset the same day, having been a member since November 1959 (except for a three-month period in early 2006), the longest serving in Israeli political history. Peres was sworn in as President on July 15, 2007.

Israel
Israel
must not only be an asset but a value. A moral, cultural and scientific call for the promotion of man, every man. It must be a good and warm home for Jews who are not Israelis, as well as for Israelis who are not Jews. And it must create equal opportunities for all, without discriminating between religion, nationality, community or sex... I have seen Israel
Israel
in its most difficult hours and also in moments of achievement and spiritual uplifting. My years place me at an observation point from which can be viewed the scene of our reviving nation, spread out in all its glory... Permit me to remain an optimist. Permit me to be a dreamer of his people. If sometimes the atmosphere is autumnal, and also if today, the day seems suddenly grey, the president Israel
Israel
has chosen will never tire of encouraging, awakening and reminding - because spring is waiting for us. The spring will definitely come. — Shimon Peres, President's inaugural address, July 2007

On November 20, 2008, Peres received an honorary knighthood, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George from Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
in Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
in London
London
.

In June 2011, he was awarded the honorary title of sheikh by Bedouin dignitaries in Hura for his efforts to achieve Middle East peace. Peres thanks his hosts by saying "This visit has been a pleasure. I am deeply impressed by Hura. You have done more for yourselves than anyone else could have". He told the Mayor of Hura, Dr. Muhammad Al-Nabari , and members of Hura's governing council, that they were "part of the Negev. It cannot be developed without developing the Bedouin
Bedouin
community, so that it may keep its traditions while joining the modern world."

POLITICAL VIEWS

Peres described himself as a "Ben-Gurionist", after his mentor Ben-Gurion. He felt that Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel
Israel
was a means to a progressive end in which the State of Israel
Israel
both inspire the world and survive in a region of the world where it was unwelcome.

As a younger man, Peres was once considered a "hawk ". He was a protégé of Ben-Gurion and Dayan and an early supporter of the West Bank settlers during the 1970s. However, after becoming the leader of his party his stance evolved. Subsequently, he was seen as a dove, and a strong supporter of peace through economic cooperation. While still opposed, like all mainstream Israeli leaders in the 1970s and early 1980s, to talks with the PLO
PLO
, he distanced himself from settlers and spoke of the need for "territorial compromise" over the West Bank and Gaza. For a time he hoped that King Hussein of Jordan could be Israel's Arab negotiating partner rather than Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
. Peres met secretly with Hussein in London
London
in 1987 and reached a framework agreement with him, but this was rejected by Israel's then Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir . Shortly afterward the First Intifada erupted, and whatever plausibility King Hussein had as a potential Israeli partner in resolving the fate of the West Bank evaporated. Subsequently, Peres gradually moved closer to support for talks with the PLO, although he avoided making an outright commitment to this policy until 1993.

Peres was perhaps more closely associated with the Oslo Accords than any other Israeli politician (Rabin included) with the possible exception of his own protégé, Yossi Beilin
Yossi Beilin
. He remained an adamant supporter of the Oslo Accords and the Palestinian Authority since their inception despite the First Intifada and the al-Aqsa Intifada (Second Intifada) . However, Peres supported Ariel Sharon 's military policy of operating the Israeli Defense Forces to thwart suicide bombings .

Peres' foreign policy outlook was markedly realist. To placate Turkey, Peres allegedly downplayed the Armenian genocide
Armenian genocide
. Peres stated: "We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through but not a genocide." Although Peres himself did not retract the statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry later issued a cable to its missions which stated that "The minister absolutely did not say, as the Turkish news agency alleged, 'What the Armenians underwent was a tragedy, not a genocide.'" However, according to Armenian news agencies, the statement released by the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles did not include any mention that Peres had not said that the events were not genocide.

On the issue of the nuclear program of Iran and the supposed existential threat this poses for Israel, Peres stated, "I am not in favor of a military attack on Iran, but we must quickly and decisively establish a strong, aggressive coalition of nations that will impose painful economic sanctions on Iran ", adding "Iran's efforts to achieve nuclear weapons should keep the entire world from sleeping soundly." In the same speech, Peres compared Iranian President
Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his call to "wipe Israel
Israel
off the map" to the genocidal threats to European Jewry made by Adolf Hitler in the years prior to the Holocaust . In an interview with Army Radio on May 8, 2006 he remarked that "the president of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map." However, after his death it was revealed that Peres had said that he prevented a military strike on Iran's nuclear program that had been ordered by Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
and Ehud Barak in 2010.

Peres was a proponent of Middle East economic integration .

TECHNOLOGY

Peres is regarded as one of the founders of Israel's technology sector. Through personal meetings with the French government, he established collaboration treaties with France's nuclear industry in 1954. In 1958, he founded the re-organized RAFAEL Armament Development Authority , under the MOD's jurisdiction. From his desk he would control all aspects of Israel's nuclear program (first as Director-General and after 1959 as Deputy-Minister. In the 1980s, he is credited with having laid the economic foundations for Israel's start-up economy. In later years, he developed an obsessive fascination with nanotechnology and brain research . He believed that brain research would be the key to a better and more peaceful future. He launched his own nanotechnology investment fund in 2003, raising $5 million in the first week. In 2016, he founded the ' Israel
Israel
innovation center' in the Arab neighbourhood of Ajami, Jaffa . The center aims to encourage young people from around the world to be inspired by technology. Laying its foundation stone on July 21, 2016, Peres said: “We will prove that innovation has no limits and no barriers. Innovation enables dialogue between nations and between people. It will enable all young people – Jews, Muslims and Christians — to engage in science and technology equally."

POST-PRESIDENCY

Peres announced in April 2013 that he would not seek to extend his tenure beyond 2014. His successor, Reuven Rivlin , was elected on June 10, 2014 and took office on July 24, 2014.

DEATH

On September 13, 2016, Peres, aged 93, suffered a "massive stroke " and was hospitalized at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel. He died two weeks later.

Tributes

“ Sometimes people ask me, 'What is the greatest achievement you have reached in your lifetime?' So I reply that there was a great painter named Mordecai Ardon, who was asked which picture was the most beautiful he had ever painted. Ardon replied, 'The picture I will paint tomorrow.' That is also my answer. ”

— Shimon Peres, 2011

On hearing of his death, tributes came from leaders across the world. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
said: "I was extremely lucky to have met this extraordinary man many times. And every time I admired his courage, patriotism, wisdom, vision and ability." The President of China, Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping
said: "His death is the loss of an old friend for China." And the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee
Pranab Mukherjee
said: "Peres would be remembered as a steadfast friend of India." The President of the United States, Barack Obama
Barack Obama
said: "I will always be grateful that I was able to call Shimon my friend."

Peres was described by The New York Times as having done "more than anyone to build up his country’s formidable military might, then worked as hard to establish a lasting peace with Israel’s Arab neighbors."

Funeral

The Great Leaders of the Nation section of Mount Herzl

The funeral was held at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
on September 30, 2016, with his burial place in the Great Leaders of the Nation section between former Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Yitzhak Shamir .

About 4,000 mourners and world leaders from 75 countries attended the funeral, with President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
among those who gave a eulogy. Since the funeral for Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
, this was only the second time Obama traveled overseas for the funeral of a foreign leader. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
also spoke. Among the other delegates in attendance and speaking were former President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
. Other delegates included PA President Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
, President Francois Hollande of France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
of Canada, German President Joachim Gauck
Joachim Gauck
, President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico and King Felipe VI of Spain . The UK delegation included Prince Charles , Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson , former Prime Ministers David Cameron , Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
, and Tony Blair , and Britain's chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis .

PERSONAL LIFE AND FAMILY

In May 1945 Peres married Sonya Gelman, whom he had met in the Ben Shemen Youth Village , where her father served as a carpentry teacher. The couple married after Sonya finished her military service as a truck driver in the British Army
British Army
during World War II. Through the years Sonya chose to stay away from the media and keep her privacy and the privacy of her family, despite her husband's extensive political career. Sonya Peres was unable to attend Shimon's 2007 presidential inauguration ceremony because of ill health. With the election of Peres for president, Sonya Peres, who had not wanted her husband to accept the position, announced that she would stay in the couple's apartment in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
and not join her husband in Jerusalem. The couple thereafter lived separately. She died on January 20, 2011, aged 87, from heart failure at her apartment in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
.

Shimon and Sonya Peres had three children:

“ Every woman is civilization itself. ”

— Shimon Peres, December 2015

* A daughter, Dr. Tsvia ("Tsiki") Walden , a linguist and professor at Beit Berl Academic College; * An elder son, Yoni, director of Village Veterinary Center, a veterinary hospital on the campus of Kfar Hayarok Agricultural School near Tel Aviv. He specializes in the treatment of guide dogs ; * A younger son, Nehemia ("Chemi"), co-founder and Managing General Partner of Pitango Venture Capital , one of Israel's largest venture capital funds. Chemi Peres is a former helicopter pilot in the IAF.

Peres was a cousin of actress Lauren Bacall (born Betty Joan Persky), although the two only discovered this in the 1950s. He said: "In 1952 or 1953 I came to New York... Lauren Bacall called me, said that she wanted to meet, and we did. We sat and talked about where our families came from, and discovered that we were from the same family".

POETRY AND SONG-WRITING

Peres was a lifelong writer of poetry and songs. As a child in Vishnyeva , Poland he learned to play the mandolin . He wrote his first song when he was 8. He was inspired to write, including during cabinet meetings. Many of his poems were turned into songs, with the proceedings of the albums going to charity. His songs have been performed by artists including Andrea Bocelli and Liel Kolet . The most recent of his songs was "Chinese Melody" (recorded in Mandarin with Chinese and Israeli musicians), released in February 2016, which he wrote to celebrate the Year of the Monkey (Music Video of \'Chinese Melody\' on YouTube ).

USE OF SOCIAL-MEDIA

During his presidency (2007-2014), Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
was noted for his embrace of social media to communicate with the public, being described as 'Israel's first social media president' which included producing comedic videos on his YouTube channel such as 'Be my Friend for Peace' and 'Former Israeli President Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Goes Job Hunting'. After retirement, he led a viral campaign to encourage children to study mathematics. In one video, he sends his answer to the teacher by throwing a paper plane (Video: Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
throws a paper airplane in the name of education on YouTube). According to the Wall Street Journal, his presence on platforms such as Snapchat , allowed him to "pack more punch—and humor—into the causes he championed, especially peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians."

PLACES NAMED AFTER PERES

Following his death, it was announced that Israel's Negev
Negev
nuclear reactor and atomic research center, that had been constructed in 1958, would be named after Peres. Netanyahu stated: " Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
worked hard to establish this important facility, a facility which has been very important for Israel's security for generations.."

PUBLISHED WORKS

Peres at the 65th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ceremony with Polish president Lech Kaczyński , 2008

Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
is the author of 11 books, including:

* The Next Step (1965) * David's Sling (1970) (ISBN 0-297-00083-7 ) * And Now Tomorrow (1978) * From These Men: seven founders of the State of Israel
Israel
(1979) (ISBN 0-671-61016-3 ) * Entebbe Diary (1991) (ISBN 965-248-111-4 ) * The New Middle East (1993) (ISBN 0-8050-3323-8 ) * Battling for Peace: A Memoir (1995) (ISBN 0-679-43617-0 ) * For the Future of Israel
Israel
(1998) (ISBN 0-8018-5928-X ) * The Imaginary Voyage: With Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
in Israel
Israel
(1999) (ISBN 1-55970-468-3 ) * Ben Gurion: A Political Life (2011) (ISBN 978-0-8052-4282-9 )

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

* 1957: Commander of the Legion of Honour . * 1994, December 10: Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
. * 2008, November 18: Honorary doctorate of Law from King's College London. * 2008, November 20: Honorarily appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George . * 2012, June 13: Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
. * 2014, 19 May: The United States House of Representatives voted on H.R. 2939, a bill to award Peres the Congressional Gold Medal . The bill said that "Congress proclaims its unbreakable bond with Israel." * 2015, 31 May: The Solomon Bublick Award of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
, in recognition of his contributions to the State of Israel, the pursuit of peace, higher education, and science and technology.

SEE ALSO

* Israel
Israel
portal * Biography portal * Politics portal

* List of Israeli Nobel laureates * List of Jewish Nobel laureates

REFERENCES

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Shimon Peres
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Israel
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Israel
tech, spark dreams BY SHOSHANNA SOLOMON July 21, 2016, Times of Israel * ^ A B C Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
obituary by Lawrence Joffe, Wednesday September 28, 2016 * ^ A B C Poems turn to song as ex-leader turns 86 AP, updated Aug 17, 2009 7:55:07 PM ET * ^ Levine, Daniel S. (September 27, 2016). " Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
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Shimon Peres
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Shimon Peres
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Shimon Peres
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Israel
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Shimon Peres
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Uganda
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Israel
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Israel
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Springer Publishing
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Israel
January 5, 2015. * ^ "Beloved abroad, polarizing at home, Peres was the peace-making face of Israel", The Times of Israel, September 28, 2016 * ^ East, Roger; Thomas, Richard (2003). "Israel". Profiles of People in Power: The World\'s Government Leaders (1st ed.). Psychology Press . pp. 247–251. ISBN 9781857431261 . * ^ " Israel
Israel
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Kadima
would win 42 seats; under Olmert – 40". Haaretz. Archived from the original on January 13, 2006. Retrieved July 21, 2007. * ^ Mazal Mualem; Yossi Verter & Nir Hasson (January 9, 2006). " Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
calls on his supporters to vote Kadima". Haaretz. Archived from the original on January 13, 2006. Retrieved July 21, 2007. * ^ "Peres elected Israel\'s president". BBC News. June 13, 2007. Retrieved June 13, 2007. * ^ Jim Teeple, " Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Sworn In as Israel\'s President", VOA News, July 15, 2007. * ^ "Shimon Peres: State president, Nobel laureate and now – knight". Haaretz . November 23, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2009. * ^ "Peres becomes Sheikh". June 14, 2011. * ^ "Secrets of Ben-Gurion\'s Leadership". Forward. Retrieved June 12, 2014. * ^ Goldberg, Jeffrey. "The Unbearable Smallness of Benjamin Netanyahu." The Atlantic. September 29, 2016. September 30, 2016. * ^ "Shimon Peres: From Hawk to Dove". Vision.org. Winter 2000. Retrieved June 13, 2007. * ^ "Israel\'s denials of the Armenian Genocide are hard to swallow", Middle East Eye, April 23, 2015 * ^ A B C Yair, Auron (2003). "Chapter 5 – The Armenian Genocide's Recognition by States: The Israeli Aspect". The Banality of Denial: Israel
Israel
and the Armenian Genocide (1st ed.). New Brunswick (U.S.A.): Transaction Publishers. p. 127. ISBN 0-7658-0191-4 . * ^ Robert Fisk . "Peres stands accused over denial of \'meaningless\' Armenian Holocaust". Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. * ^ "Protest Israeli foreign minister\'s remarks dismissing Armenian genocide
Armenian genocide
as "meaningless"". Anca.org. Retrieved June 12, 2014. * ^ Ravid, Barak (August 26, 2007). "Peres to Turks: "Our stance on Armenian issue hasn\'t changed"". Haaretz. Retrieved June 12, 2014. * ^ Pfeffer, Anshel. "Peres: \'Fight terror – reduce global dependence on oil\'", Haaretz . May 5, 2008. * ^ "Peres says that Iran \'can also be wiped off the map\'" Archived July 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine ., Dominican Today. May 8, 2006 * ^ Peres bombshell: I stopped an Israeli strike on Iran Jerusalem Post, September 30, 2016 * ^ Speech by Peres at Waterloo University, Canada Archived March 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ "President Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
- Seventy years of public service". Retrieved September 29, 2016. * ^ The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain with the Bomb, By Avner Cohen (Columbia University Press, 2013), page 173 * ^ How Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
laid the foundation for Start-up Nation By NIV ELIS, Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Post, Sep 29, 2016 * ^ My Word: Memories of reporting on the life and times of Shimon Peres. By LIAT COLLINS, Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Post, Sep 15, 2016 * ^ Better brain research will make a better world: Israeli President Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Canadian Press, By Diana Mehta, September 5, 2012 * ^ Peres\' Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Fund Starts Off With $5 Million Oded Hermon July 6, 2003, Haaretz * ^ New Peres center to showcase Israel
Israel
tech, spark dreams Times of Israel, July 21, 2016 * ^ Baker, Peter (September 13, 2016). "Shimon Peres, Former Prime Minister of Israel, Suffers a Stroke". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved September 28, 2016. * ^ Wohlgelernter, Elli (September 28, 2016). "Shimon Peres, former president and veteran Israeli statesman, dies at 93". The Jerusalem Post . Retrieved September 28, 2016. * ^ "Shimon Peres\'s Reflections on War, Peace and Life". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2016. * ^ Condolences on the death of Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
September 28, 2016 10:55 * ^ Chinese President Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping
expressed condolences to Israeli President following the death of Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
French.xinhuanet.com, Posted on 2016-09-28 * ^ Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
was a steadfast friend of India thestatesman.com/Agencies, New Delhi, September 28, 2016 * ^ "World leaders to attend funeral for Israel\'s Shimon Peres". BBC News. September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016. * ^ Peter Beaumont (September 30, 2016). " Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
funeral: Obama evokes ‘unfinished business’ of peace talks". The Guardian. Retrieved October 1, 2016. * ^ Obama speaks at Shimon Peres\' funeral, Euronews, Sept. 30, 2016 * ^ Statement by the President on the Death of Former Israeli President Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
September 27, 2016 * ^ A B Baker, Peter. "World Leaders Gather to Mourn Shimon Peres, and Possibly His Dream", New York Times, Sept. 30, 2016 * ^ "Netanyahu gives speech at funeral of Shimon Peres", Times of Israel, Sept. 30, 2016 * ^ " Abbas\'s farewell to Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
stirs controversy among Palestinians", Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Post, Oct. 4,2016 * ^ "Thousands join world leaders for Peres funeral", Fox News, Sept. 30, 2016 * ^ " Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
Speech at Farewell Ceremony for Former Israeli President Shimon Peres", Channel 90, Sept. 30, 2016 * ^ " David Cameron
David Cameron
and Tony Blair wear kippahs as they sit shoulder to shoulder at Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
funeral along with 70 past and present world leaders to pay respects to historic Israeli President", Daily Mail, Sept. 30, 2016 * ^ A B Fay, Greer (January 20, 2011). " Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Post article on Sonya Gelman". The Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Post. Retrieved June 12, 2014. * ^ Cebedo, Earl (January 20, 2011). "Wife of Israeli President Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
dies". All Voices. Retrieved June 26, 2013. * ^ Peres: \'Every woman is civilisation itself\' Saloona, September 28, 2016 * ^ "Not like other murderers", Haaretz, November 5, 2007 * ^ Anderman, Nirit (August 13, 2014). " Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
remembers \'very strong, very beautiful\' relative Lauren Bacall". Haaretz . Tel Aviv . * ^ Raphael Ahren (2016-09-28). "Larger than life: Shimon Peres, a legacy in pictures". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2017-05-29. * ^ A ray of hope Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Post, October 28, 2008 * ^ Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Writes a Song to Celebrate Chinese New Year Reuters, Haaretz, February 8, 2016 * ^ A B C Shimon Peres: Israel’s first social media president by Esther D. Kustanowitz, Jewish Journal, September 28, 2016 * ^ WATCH: Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
throws a paper airplane in the name of education By SHARON UDASIN, 08/30/2015, Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Post * ^ In his 90s, Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Became Social Media Star By RORY JONES September 28, 2016, Wall Street Journal * ^ PM to name Dimona reactor after Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Moran Azulay, Published: 09.10.16 * ^