Yesterday I discussed Arianna Huffington’s love affair with Israel. Her latest post is even worse, a rose-coloured view of a country she clearly imagines exists but does not. Care to travel down the road to the occupation, Arianna?
It’s hard to spend any time with Israeli President Shimon Peres and remain pessimistic about the possibility of peace.
“I’m 86,” he told me, “and at a moment in my life when I have no personal agenda. I’m not interested in money. I’m not jealous of anyone. My only agenda is my country. I feel freer than I’ve ever felt before — and with this freedom I can be most effective. At my age I don’t want a suntan. I like being in the shadows.”
But from the shadows he can influence all the players in the sun. “I meet regularly with Netanyahu and talk to him all the time,” said Peres. “He asked me to meet with President Obama before he did and prepare the ground. I talk with Abbas and Fayad a lot too. We’ve never had better leaders to deal with. Fayad is an economist; he understands the importance of producing real results for his people.”
I met with Peres at Beit HaNassi, the official presidential residence in Jerusalem (which is being given a green makeover). I had brought him my book on fearlessness, so our meeting began by talking about fear and the role it plays in undermining peace efforts.