The expected death of Shimon Peres this September 28, at the respectable age of 93, obviously raises a unanimous chorus of praise to the "peacemaker". Unfortunately, we must break this unanimity. Szymon Perski was from his youth a dog of war, but a cunning dog, a real fox, who was always a master of the art of dressing up as lamb and turning defeats into victories.
This eternal immigrant who all throughout his life retained his Yiddish accent was part of the younger generation of the "founding fathers" of the Zionist state (he was 37 years younger than David Grün, aka Ben-Gurion, and 25 years younger than Golda Mabovich, aka Meir). Born in Poland and arrived in Palestine at the age of 11, in 1934, Szymon engaged in Haganah, the clandestine armed group obeying to the Jewish Agency, considered as terrorist by some and as a liberation group by others (the Zionists), which would be the mainstay of the official army of Israel.
Within Haganah, Szymon was responsible for the purchase of weapons. He managed to buy them in Czechoslovakia. These weapons would be smuggled into Palestine via Corsica, thanks to the complicity of a prefect named Maurice Papon (yes indeed, the same Maurice Papon responsible for the Jewish deportations at Bordeaux five years earlier). Papon would receive as his thanks a gold submachine gun, which would later adorn his police commissioner's office in Paris, at the time of the Algerian massacre of 17 October 1961.
After the proclamation of the State of Israel, Szymon found himself at the Ministry of Defence, pursuing his specialty: the purchase of weapons. Between 1953 and 1958, he flew to Paris like others take the subway. The radical-socialist Maurice Bourgès-Manoury, the defence minister for Guy Mollet before becoming himself President of the Council (Prime Minister), gave Shimon Peres altogether an office at the Quai d'Orsay, to allow him to carry out his tasks in the greatest possible comfort. And these tasks were not small ones: he formed part, with Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan, of the signatories of the Sèvres protocols, a secret agreement signed in October 1956 between France, Britain and Israel which defined the Musketeer operation launched on October 29 to respond to the nationalisation of the Suez Canal by Nasser and the support provided by the Rais to Algerian independence fighters. On December 22, this operation would end in fiasco for the three attackers. Israel would have to wait until 1967 to occupy Egyptian Sinai and Gaza.
But those years were leveraged by Shimon Peres to implement the other two points of the Sèvres protocols: Dimona and Mirages. He therefore organised the Dimona operation, consisting of equipping Israel with nuclear weapons, by secretly transferring all French nuclear technology necessary to a plant built in the Negev desert, under cover as a textile factory. Work would continue without de Gaulle being aware of it, once he came to power in May 1958. The General suffered an historical fit of rage upon learning of this project and ended all cooperation with Israel in 1961. But it was too late: Israel was already equipped with nuclear bombs and must have at least 200 to date. As for the Mirage III, these Dassault fighter jets excited Peres and his chums from 1959. They nicknamed it Shahak (Thunderbolt). 79 aircraft, ordered in 1960, were delivered between 1962 and 1968. The French embargo on arms sales to Israel, imposed after the war of Six Days in 1967 and extended after the Israeli attack against Beirut airport in January 1969, blocked the delivery of 50 Mirage 5s ordered by Israel. No problem: with the discrete help of Daddy Dassault, the Israelis launched their own pirate version of Mirage, the Nesher (Eagle), the first units of which were delivered in 1971. The Nesher was followed by the Kfir (Lion cub). April 19, 1971, Alfred Frauenknecht, Swiss engineer, employee of the Swiss company Sulzer manufacturer of the Dassault Mirage IIIS, confessed to having sold the secret plans of this unit to Israel for the amount of $200,000.
That's it for the pedigree of the "peacemaker", topped off with the Qana massacre. Shimon Peres was both prime minister and defence minister -he succeeded his friend Yitzhak Rabin after having miraculously escaped the bullets of Yigal Amir in November 1995 - when launching the operation Grapes of Wrath against Lebanon in April 1996. On April 18, Israeli warplanes bombarded a UN Blue Helmets' camp in Qana, in southern Lebanon, killing 106 unarmed Lebanese civilians who had taken refuge there. The scandal triggered by the massacre would put an end to the military operation and cause the electoral defeat of Peres in favour of Netanyahu several weeks later. "Criminal of war in a time of peace," Peres would nevertheless rebound year after year and still preserve his image of a "man of peace", thanks to his relational abilities and with the imperturbable support of the Socialist International.
Politically, Szymon Perski was viscerally -genetically- a radical socialist [in the sense of French Fourth Republic], ie the archetypal opportunist. He went through, in his long career, five political parties, allying with previous opponents and fighting the allies of yesterday and stopping at nothing to maintain or regain power. He was Minister TWENTY time in forty years and ended in limbo as president of the Zionist entity, and presenting an image of the Wise Old Man. In short, the little brother of another great Machiavellian politician, François Mitterrand, his elder by seven years. And like him, destined to burn eternally in the hell of the enemies of mankind.