Shimon Peres’s birthday freak show

Israeli President Shimon Peres’s 90th birthday bash has turned into a real freak show.

The theme of the party, held on 18 June, might as well have been warmongering and death merchandizing.

As we previously reported, among the 3,000 guests were, as you might expect, former British Prime Minister and war crimes suspect Tony Blair.

But that’s not all.

According to +972 magazine, the top 10 funders of Peres’s 11-million-shekel (nearly 3.5 million US dollars) extravaganza included the following:

1. Aaron Frankel – Honorary chair of the conference.

2. Marcos Katz – Arms dealer residing in Mexico. Brokered sales to dictatorships, among other things.

3. Michael Federmann – Major shareholder in Elbit (weapons manufacturer, Haggai Matar).

4. Alfred Akirov – Shareholder in Leumi Bank, one of the most prominent men in Israeli real estate.

5. Ronald Cohen – Founder of Apax Partners. If you don’t know them, they’re behind Tnuva’s cottage cheese prices (one of the symbols of the #J14 social justice protests, H.M.)

6. Marc Rich – In the years 1983-2001, he was wanted in the US after fleeing the country following an indictment for dealing with Iran during a time of sanctions and a 48-million-dollar tax evasion scheme. At the Presidential Conference, he’ll meet Bill Clinton, who on his last day of office pardoned Rich at the request of Ehud Barak.

7. David Weisman – Owner of the Alon Group, which includes the Ribua Kakhol and AM:PM supermarket chains.

8. Raya Strauss – One of the owners of the Strauss-Elite group (one of the biggest food producers in Israel, Hagai Matar).

9. Hapoalim Bank (the largest bank in Israel).

In keeping with the general theme of the party, Blair took the opportunity to do a bit of warmongering. On 19 June, the day after the birthday bash, at the so-called “Presidential Conference” – the one boycotted by scientist Stephen Hawkin – he said:

No-one wants military action, but a nuclear armed Iran is the worst choice, and we must not make it.

We have to be prepared to be strong in defence of our values, that is why Iran is a threat, and we must be determined to confront it.

Whose values Blair had in mind, one wonders? Certainly not Israel’s. Mention of the occupation or of Israel’s habitual contempt for international law was, of course, strictly off limits.

As for the Jews-only state’s own substantial nuclear weapons arsenal, well, that wasn’t a suitable subject to bring up on such a joyous occasion.

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