He became Kadima’s nominee for president in 2007, winning that election on the second ballot.
Even in that largely ceremonial office, he was unwilling to let the chance for a peace deal slip away so he acted. He negotiated secretly again, this time with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, and reached a broad consensus.
The agreement, Mr. Peres later told Israeli television, was arrived at in four secret meetings in Jordan. It called for mutual recognition of “a Palestinian state” and “a Jewish state,” the latter being a priority of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The size of the Palestinian state was agreed on though the precise borders remained to be negotiated. There even was agreement on how to resolve the vexing refugee issue.
Yeah, 'twas a real "puzzlement."Mr. Netanyahu, however, stopped the deal at the last minute. Mr. Peres said he was perplexed as to why Mr. Netanyahu did this.
Here's the letter I wrote by way of explanation:
One hesitates to speak ill of the dead, but if the late Shimon Peres had one flaw, it was his willingness to put his faith in Yasser Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas. Thus, while Patrick Martin may hail Peres's part in negotiating a secret "peace" deal with the Palestinian leader, and deride Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's part in scotching, it, the truth is that there's an excellent reason why nothing ever came of those negotiations. It is because, at the same time that Abbas was supposedly dealing in good faith with the egregiously naïve Mr. Peres, he was also making plans to join forces with his political rival, Hamas.
Since Hamas's raison d'etre is Israel's destruction, wiser heads than Peres' prevailed, and his "peace" deal--like all of Peres's peace efforts, included the benighted Oslo Accords--went nowhere.