The former President of Israel, Shimon Peres died earlier today at the age of 93 after suffering a stroke two weeks prior. His son, Chemi paid tribute saying his Father had been, “one of the founding fathers of the State of Israel”.
World figures have been invited to the funeral which takes place this Friday, the guest list includes Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Ban Ki-moon, Prince Charles, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and others. According to CNN, they describe Peres as both a friend and an inspiration.
Shimon Peres had the longest political career in Israeli history. Polish born, he arrived in Palestine aged 11 in 1934, and became a member of the Israeli parliament in 1959. His later career included some of the most important offices in government including: Minister of Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister and finally President.
Though some will likeley remember Peres as a peace maker following the Oslo accord of 1993 and the subsequent Nobel Prize in 1994, others equally regard him as a war criminal. Further to ordering the Qana massacre in Southern Lebanon in 1996 where 106 people died, he had been Prime Minister when Israeli air force jets bombed the Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters in Hammam-Chott, near Tunis, in 1985. The operation resulted in the killing of several dozen Palestinians and Tunisian citizens. At the time, he was quoted saying “It was an act of self-defense. Period.”
Ultimately, Peres will likely be remembered as a man who tried to make peace at a difficult time. Dean of the University of Manouba, Habib Kazdaghli, who specializes in the study of Tunisian Jewish history, told Tunisia Live that both former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres are now dead and peace may seem further away than ever. “They both tried to make peace and they’re both dead now. I really hope peace comes one day.” He added that the two-state solution is not presently an option, as there is no independent Palestinian state. However, Kazdaghli remains optimistic that a peaceful solution will be found one day. “As long as there are men with good will I think hope should remain strong.”
Prior to working as a journalist, Inel worked as a computer programmer. Inel is fluent in English, French, and Arabic. He writes mainly about freedoms, liberties, and minorities' rights in post revolution Tunisia. He currently blogs about films in French and writes metal reviews.