Israel’s “worn-out whore” celebrates his 90th birthday

Israeli President Shimon Peres is set to hold the mother of all parties to celebrate his 90th birthday.

According to the Israeli news website Ynet, the veteran Labour Party leader’s birthday bash, which is due on 18 June, will be the hottest ticket in town. Among the 3,000 guests will be former US President Bill Clinton, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, former British Prime Minister and war crimes suspect Tony Blair, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Prince Albert of Monaco, Chicago Mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Israel Emanuel, singer Barbra Streisand, and actors Robert DeNiro and Sharon Stone.

Others will affirm their affection for Peres by video or through recorded messages. They include US President Barack Obama, Russian President Valdimir Putin, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U2 singer Bono, and actors Michael Douglas and Jason Alexander.

But what exactly has Pares – once described by Israeli peace campaigner and former Knesset member Uri Avnery as a “worn-out whore” – got to celebrate?

Ten years ago, in an article written on the occasion of Peres’s 80th birthday, Avnery summed up the Israeli president’s achievements thus:

In his long career, Peres has been everything. He has been an extreme hawk and a cooing dove. He is the father of Israel’s nuclear bomb and (after intense lobbying) a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. One of the main initiators of the 1956 war, in the company of two foul colonialist regimes (France and Britain, at the time), and a partner to the Oslo agreement. The father of the West Bank settlements and the creator of the Good Fence on the Lebanese border. The advocate of the Lebanon invasion and, just a few days later, the main speaker at the Peace Now demonstration against it.

He has supported everything. At one time he declared that Israel is not a Middle Eastern but a “Mediterranean” country. For years he has advocated the “Jordanian Option” that ignored the existence of the Palestinian people. Then he shook the hand of Arafat and invented the New Middle East. And through all these years he has never, never won an election.

What has he got to celebrate?

Shimon Peres bears a major part of the responsibility for the woeful state that Israel is now in, for the continuation of conflict with the Palestinians, for destroying the Israeli peace camp, for strengthening the Likud’s hold on power, for paving the way for Ariel Sharon…

Even in the declining years of the Roman empire, they did not celebrate a triumph for a defeated and humiliated general. Only in Israel. Because, in Israel, nothing succeeds like failure.

Alas, only the tainted, the tarnished, the unprincipled, the amoral, the mercenary, the shameless, would want to celebrate the life of Shimon Peres.

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