During his active role in the political life of the knesset and government,I never was a fan of Shimon Peres.Of course over the years I met him many times,and thought him to be a typical left-winger and anti-religious as well.
I read his autobiography and whether you like him or not,agree with him or not,he is one of the heroes of the creation of the modern State of Israel.
When he was selected as President, I felt that whereas other Presidents did not interfere in policy or public debate,Peres would be different.Despite his age,his intellect is sharp,and his committment to Eretz Yisrael without blemish.
Now that the Obama people are waging a multi-faceted campaign againt Bibi and the Govt.,in the hope of
a-showing Islam they are tough on Israel and
b- hoping the voter will turn against Bibi and bring in the Left,
the role of Peres has become critical.He is respected by the Left in the US,as well as Europe,and he is not a Likudnick.He speaks calmly of a 2 State solution,however notes that the PM is a man of peace.He was the person sent to Washington to see Obama before Netanyahu in the hope of softening the Bibi image.
Yesterday im meeting with Ambassador Mitchell, he sagely advised that they can the public talk on settlements,that will only lead to discord,and concentrate on more productive areas.Wise talk from a repescted senior statesman!
In his role, he serves the country well and though he may disagree with policies, helps put the best face forward.