Peacenik and war-criminal: The many sides of Shimon Peres

Peacenik and war-criminal: The many sides of Shimon Peres
Blog: From dove to hawk, former Israeli President Shimon Peres has been a chameleon-like political character who won the respect of mainstream journalists but the ire of Palestinian activists.
3 min read
14 Sep, 2016
Peres was instrumental to Israel signing a peace deal with the PLO in 1993 [Getty]
While doctors treat former Israeli President Shimon Peres in a Tel Aviv hospital following his stroke on Tuesday, figures from media, politics and the arts are already reflecting on his legacy.

Peres is one of Israel's most recognisable figures, and during his six decades in politics held some of the country's leading posts.

He served as president between 2007 and 2014, prime minister twice, minister of defence, and filled 12 cabinet posts.

Peres has been viewed as a "dove" by much of the international media, in part due to the lead role he took in getting Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yassir Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to sign the Oslo Accords in 1993.

Throughout his career, he has been a politician who could elicit strong feelings from both Israel's left and right.

While many of his countrymen saw him as "soft", Palestinians and Lebanese will never forget his role in heading the Israeli war machine, and the Qana Massacre in southern Lebanon.

Yet the overarching consensus among media figures is that his finest moment has been in helping orchestrate the famous handshake between Arafat and Rabin on the White House lawn.

Even in recent months, Peres has been able to hit the headlines.

But as long as two years ago, he appeared to be preparing for his declining health.