A number of world leaders are flying to Israel to pay their tributes to one of Israel’s fathers, Shimon Peres. The statesman died on September 28. He was 93 years old. Security was bolstered for the ceremony and along the route of the funeral procession. The consequent “preventative arrests” netted a number of people.
The list of guests includes Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader. It will be the first time after 2010 that Abbas will visit Israel. The Palestinian leader requested the visit.
There were mixed reactions in the world media after Peres’ death. Both praise and gloating were on abundance. Many news sources payed tribute and portrayed him as one of the “founding fathers” of Israel. Others, however, described him as a kind of controversial figure.
Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Elli Wohlgelerter eulogized Peres by writing that the history of Israel as a country mirrors the life of the statesman. Gil Hoffman of the same paper said that Peres was a pivotal figure in Israeli history and notes that the high point of his career as a statesman was the signing of the Oslo peace process in 1993. It, according to the author, was also the most controversial.
Americans newspapers had a more circumspect view. The Washington Post reminded its readers that Peres has left a “complex” legacy. It is a fact that many Israelis were unhappy with the Oslo Accord and rejected it in all but name. Another US newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, pointed out that the statesman was more respected outside Israel than inside it. He seemingly torpedoed his career via aloofness, scheming, vanity and timidity.
Middle East views
The Middle East media expectedly painted Shimon Peres in an extremely negative light. Al-Jazeera TV, the Quar headquartered television channel, said that the Israeli participated in wars against Arabs. The social media was much more poisonous and the certain Arabic hashtag gathered 23,000 tweets within a space of few hours. A few Arabs declared him as “war criminal”. Basem Naim, the former Health Minister of Palestine, tweeted that Peres’ death is good news for many Palestinian families. He alleged that Israeli state terrorism has massacred a large number of Palestinians. Another Palestinian with the name of Waled Shami warned through Twitter that people should not be allow the media to change history as the Israeli was not a man of peace and many died for his criminal activities.