Olmert backs Peres for PresidentPDFPrintE-mail
Written by Chris Perver  
Sunday, 27 May 2007 17:00
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given Vice Premier Shimon Peres Kadima's official backing in the presidential race. Peres had previously stated his intentions were not to run for Prime Minister, despite Olmert's disgrace over the Second Lebanese War, instead opting to focus his efforts on replacing Moshe Katsav who is facing charges of rape. Peres has made it his goal to work towards a peace agreement with the Palestinians in the remaining years of his life. He has significant political experience, having been Prime Minister on two occasions and served in various positions in the Israeli government. He also has experience of dealing with the Palestinians, having masterminded the failed Oslo peace agreement with the PLO. He originally intended to resign from politics, until he was invited by Ariel Sharon to join the Kadima party after the disengagement from Gaza.

Quote: "Peres himself is expected to announce his candidacy only Wednesday, due to his wife Sonia's ill health. "I have no doubt that Peres will restore the honor and prestige to the presidential position, which is what the people of Israel deserve," Olmert said. Olmert added that "if we were to make a profile of the attributes needed by a president, Peres' biography would fit the profile perfectly."

Peres has close contacts with the Vatican, and is reported to have at one time promised the Church of Rome special status in Jerusalem in any future peace agreements with the Palestinians. Rather than dividing the city of Jerusalem between East and West, Israel and the Palestinians would relinquish their claims and Jerusalem would become an "international city". Presumably the Roman Pontiff would be responsible for administering the holy sites for both Judaism and Islam. Whether or not this agreement still stands, I don't know. For the Catholic Church has since then sided with the Palestinians, favouring the division of the capital between Jews and Muslims. Which brings us once again to Shimon Peres' seemingly prophetic name, which means "hearkening to the division". Will Peres be instrumental in the disengagement from Judea and Samaria? Whatever happens, we can be sure prophecy will be fulfilled, and the city and land will be divided, just like the Bible says.

Joel 3:2 
I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

Source Haaretz