Stand back and take it all in
Shimon Peres
Acrylic on canvas
1 x 1m (39.37 x 39.37 inch)

Shimon Peres

שמעון פרס

Shimon Peres was born in Byelorussia in 1923 and moved to Mandatory Palestine with his family at age 11. He grew up in Tel Aviv and spent several years after high school working on Kibbutzim, one of which he helped found. Peres served in the Haganah before 1948 and in the War of Independence. In 1952 he joined the Ministry of Defense, and became Director-General a year later. After being elected as a member of Knesset and appointed Deputy Defense Minister, he worked on forging strategic ties with France, who became crucial allies in the Sinai Campaign(1956) which he masterminded. Israel’s nuclear program was also his brainchild. In his role as Defense Minister after the Yom Kippur War, Peres rehabilitated a traumatised army, and ploughed his efforts into achieving peace with Egypt and Lebanon.

Peres briefly served as Acting Prime Minister following the resignation of Rabin (1977) but the Labor party lost its 30 year hold on power in the next elections. In 1984, Labor and Likud entered into a power-sharing agreement which saw Peres serve two years as Prime Minister. Then as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, he helped reduce runaway inflation from 400% down to 16%. In 1992, Labor returned to power

and Peres was made Minister of Foreign Affairs where he worked intensively to open negotiations with the Palestinians. This won him the Nobel Peace prize (together with Yasser Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin). When Rabin was asassinated (1995) Labor selected Peres as Prime Minister. Over the next 7 months, Israel was rocked by suicide bombings and Labor was defeated in the following elections. That year, he established the Peres Centre for Peace, promoting Arab-Israeli

cooperation. Peres also authored 14 books. He passed away in 2016.