Unlike the US, the position of President in Israel is largely an apolitical ceremonial figurehead role, with the actual executive power remaining in the hands of the Prime Minister. His position is to be apolitical. To ensure the apolitical nature of the role, the president may “neither intervene politically nor express personal views on issues that divide the public.”
Did you get that? The president may “neither intervene politically nor express personal views on issues that divide the public.” So, this week’s incidents begs the question: Why did President Peres, in a series of interviews last week, challenge and question Israel’s Iran policy?
Peres warned, in two separate television interviews on Israel’s two major commercial television channels, that Israel “cannot go it alone” in striking Iran. he agreed that while a nuclear Iran would amount to an existential threat to Israel, he stated that Israel must not act unless it first secures U.S. support for the move.
Really? Is the U.S. Israel’s Nanny? With all due respect to the figurehead: Who died and made him King? The last King of Israel was Zedekiah. Mr. Peres’ position is ceremonial. Period. So what is he trying to accomplish?
I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was just pulling a Joe Biden … but that would be too disparaging to the Peres. Then was it for political expediency? Is he trying to place himself in position to run for PM? If, yes to the latter, shame on him.
This is too critical a time to play political games. Israel is at a crossroads. Either launch a pre-emptive strike against an enemy that is as determined as a pit bull to destroy you, or count their days of possible survival after Iran goes nuclear. Not exactly a choice.
Coming into the Football season, I couldn’t help but see Peres’ actions as an Unsportsmanlike Conduct Call … but THIS is a game of life or death. What should be his penalty? I don’t know, but perhaps the Knesset has found another use for duct tape: To do, as they say in the South, “Well, shut my mouth!”
Shalom through strength…
Image: English football (soccer) referee Chris Foy; courtesy of Wonker.