The Hebrew word for hello, good bye and peace seems the appropriate notation for the death, at age 93, of Shimon Peres, former Israeli prime minister (often considered the best of Israel’s leaders in the technical sense of competent leadership, although he was rarely the most popular), as well as holding a number of cabinet positions, and late in his life, the figure-head president of the State of Israel. Mr. Peres was a prime mover for most of the modern peace initiatives that formed the seemingly never-ending “Israeli Palestinian Peace Process [TM],” but, as the last of the founding generation of the Jewish State, let’s just say he believed that Israel’s long-term best interests included a long term resolution of its fraught relationship with its Palestinian house-guests (and those located in refugee camps in neighboring Arab states).
In an era of obnoxiously arrogant show-boaters (the likes of Bibi, Dubya, and, God help us, Trump, come to mind), Peres was kind of a bland technocrat– passionate, to be sure, but never quite making the emotional connection to be really popular, despite, at least in my opinion, being an old-school really effective politician and leader, in a world where fear-mongering, show-boating and playing to the lizard-brain are all, quite sadly, more important it seems.
And now the world will have to go on without him; perhaps events in the Middle East, which is now reeling with outright shooting wars in Syria and Yemen, and extreme tension in Libya, Bahrain, Iraq and elsewhere, have de-emphasized the importance of “Israel-Palestine” in the great geo-strategic sense… but in the minds of many (particularly American Jews… not to mention supporters of Palestinian rights as well)… it’s still significant.
Mr. Peres had obviously slowed down with age, but as a moral force… he loomed large. Shalom, Mr. Peres.