All of Israel prepared for a spectacular funeral with the attendance of international leaders, and to reiterate that peace is so positive. From the hill of Jerusalem where Shimon Peres will be buried, the weapons massacring Syrians to hundreds of thousands cannot be heard — and many weapons were sent by the “pacifist” leaders who will attend the funeral — and the concert of whining and words in favor of the peace will be directed by the baton of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The latter Wednesday moved many with a brilliant funeral oration in memory of Peres, praising in particular the efforts of the deceased in favor of that peace, so little coveted by the current government.
The dead Shimon Peres is not the Shimon Peres that the majority of Israelis hated, defamed and slandered; Netanyahu, who today is his greatest admirer, was among the many who saw in Peres a hateful enemy. In the electoral confrontation between Begin and Peres in 1981, tomatoes flew; his own accent, that revealed his European origins, made him even more hideous in the eyes of the Oriental Jews; and his past as hawk did not help him either.
Peres was Ben Gurion’s stalwart supporter in the early years of the State of Israel; he was the architect of the pact with France that led to the Suez War in 1956 and the construction of the Israeli nuclear power. He negotiated with Begin to try to unseat Prime Minister Eshkol before the 1967 war, to bring back Ben Gurion. He remained faithful to the “old man,” although many years later he seemed to side with the school of the great opponent of Ben Gurion, Sharet, who explored the roads towards peace.