There are those who believe that Israeli President Shimon Peres is motivated by securing his lofty place in the annals of history, and by most accounts he has done an admirable job. Peres is revered by world leaders and is among a handful of people who can pick up a phone and speak with heads of state in many countries.
Peres’ modus operandi may be what compelled him to bestow Israel’s Presidential Medal on former US Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, who was no friend of Israel and no friend of Soviet Jews, but he is a Jew, one who married a non-Jewish woman.
The elderly retired senior US statesmen traveled to Israel to receive the award as he and Peres, both Nobel Prize laureates took advantage of the photo op which is now world news. Peres referred to Dr. Kissinger as “a brother” speaking of the “the tremendous effort you made to help us on every occasion as a great statesman and as a great Jew.”
For Mr. Peres, rewriting history is a daily event, a man who still boasts the successes of his failed Oslo Agreement, an event that has resulted in unprecedented Arab terror and bloodshed in Eretz Yisrael, an event that yielded Peres international fame and glory, not to mention a Nobel Prize and megabucks for the Peres Peace Center.
Like Mr. Peres, Kissinger learned in his political career the value of using the magic “peace” word, a word that earned them both international fame and prestige despite the failures of many of their efforts.
Serving as secretary of state under US President Richard Nixon, Kissinger in 1973 opposed pressuring the former Soviet Union to release the Jews held behind the Iron Curtain as part of the détente process the Russians so badly yearned for.
In conversation with Nixon shortly after a meeting with Golda Meir on March 1, 1973, Kissinger stated, “The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy, and if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”
In the 1973 Yom Kippur War it was the same Secretary Kissinger, Peres’ “brother” who delayed telling President Nixon about the start of the war to keep him from interfering. On October 6, 1973, the Israelis informed Kissinger about the attack at 6:00am. Kissinger waited about 3 and a half hours passed before he informed Nixon.
When America conducted the largest military airlift in history to assist Israel on October 12, 1973, Nixon made that decision over the objections of Kissinger, Peres’ “brother”.
So once again, the world’s senior statesman, President Shimon Peres makes the news, bestowing a presidential medal on a colleague shortly after he received America’s Freedom Medal from President Barak Obama. When asked to link his willingness to receive the prestigious American medal to the release of Jonathan Pollard Mr. Peres declined. Perhaps it really is all about kovod.
Baruch Oberman is a proud Jew who made Aliya 5 years ago and now resides in Jerusalem.
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.