- - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Obama’s eulogy at the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, who died last week at the age of 93, was exceptionally moving, profound and visionary. It was probably one of the better speeches he has given during his presidency. It also demonstrated the positive impact Peres had on so many world leaders and personalities.

Shimon Peres dedicated his life to the Jewish homeland and was totally committed to the future of his people. For more than seven decades, he worked tirelessly to build Israel’s military into the powerhouse it is today and to enhance the country. One of the most daring and courageous acts of Israel, the rescue of the Jewish hostages at Entebbe in July 1976, is credited largely to Peres.

During his eulogy for Peres renowned Israeli novelist Amos Oz reminded the audience that Peres was mocked for his grand visions of peace and reconciliation, saying people called him “a dreamer.” Oz compared Peres to Joseph, who is called in Genesis the “master of dreams,” and whose dreams caused him to save Egypt from devastation.

But Peres, of blessed memory, made a mistake. His intentions may have been pure, his dreams grand, but the results were devastating. Peres truly dreamt, as he put it, “of a new Middle East,” and he took some serious risks to create that Middle East. But it backfired tragically. The Oslo accords and the Gaza withdrawal will go down as the most irrational decision of a modern-day government. It was based on delusional faith that someone who screams at every opportunity that he craves to murder all of your children will be transformed if you invite him into your bedroom. Joseph’s dreams brought life to the young family of Israel; the dream of Oslo created rivers of blood and tears.

BRIAN J. GOLDENFELD

Woodland Hills, Calif.

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