The Complicated Legacy of Shimon Peres

by Evelyn Anne Crunden – Shimon Peres, the ninth president of Israel, died on Wednesday in Tel Aviv at the age of 93, following a massive stroke. The passing of the Polish-born Peres, who also served as prime minister twice, has been met with mixed emotions around the world. Throughout his career, Peres worked for two seemingly opposite goals: growing Israel’s defense operations, while also playing an active part in peace-building efforts like the Oslo Accords, for which he shared the Nobel Peace Prize. The left-leaning Israeli publication Haaretz offered perhaps the best analysis of Peres, acknowledging his dueling roles: as military man and peace advocate, as settlement proponent and settlement naysayer, as an aging senior statesman but as a mistrusted opportunist. To say that these contradictions are not all true of Peres is to offer an unfinished account of his legacy. Acknowledging these discrepancies, however, is proving hard for American...

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