48 Facts About Shimon Peres

1. Shimon Peres believed the new party was the best chance for lasting peace with the Palestinians.

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2. Shimon Peres was assigned several posts including military intelligence, arms procurement and even the fledgling Israeli Navy.

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3. In 1945, Shimon Peres married Sonia Gellman whom he met at Ben Shermen.

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4. Shimon Peres was elected the Prime Minister of Israel under its National Unity Government in 1984.

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5. Shimon Peres assumed the responsibilities of prime minister when Rabin was assassinated in 1995.

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6. Shimon Peres was particularly proud of Operation Moses, a secret airlift of Jews out of Ethiopia between late 1984 and early 1985.

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7. Shimon Peres made changes in the economy to increase jobs and lower inflation, and began peace negotiations with Jordan.

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8. Shimon Peres served as prime minister for the first twenty-five months of the new government before handing over the reigns to Likud Party leader Yitzhak Shamir.

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9. Shimon Peres viewed nuclear weapons as essential for Israel because the country lacked natural resources and was surrounded by hostile nations.

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10. In 1946, at age twenty-three, Shimon Peres became a delegate to the Zionist Congress in Switzerland.

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11. On May 1, 1945, Shimon Peres married Sonia Gelman, whom he had met at the youth village as a teen.

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12. Shimon Peres committed himself to the survival of an independent Israel at a young age.

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13. Shimon Peres was first elected to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in 1959.

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14. Shimon Peres assumed the role of prime minister, vowing to continue the peace negotiations.

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15. In 1992 Shimon Peres lost party leadership to Rabin, but was appointed foreign minister in the new Labor cabinet.

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16. Shimon Peres simultaneously rose in the Mapai Party's ranks as one of the "young guard, " which included such other distinguished figures as Moshe Dayan, Abba Eban, and Yigal Allon.

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17. Shimon Peres became actively involved in politics as a young member of Mapai, the dominant labor party.

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18. Shimon Peres began his studies at Tel-Aviv's Balfour School and continued at the Ben-Shemen agricultural school and youth village.

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19. Shimon Peres was born to Yitzhak and Sara Persky in 1923 in Volozhin, Poland.

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20. Shimon Peres was a cousin of actress Lauren Bacall, although the two only discovered this in the 1950s.

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21. Shimon Peres studied agricultural science and joined the party of the Zionist leader David Ben Gurion.

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22. Shimon Peres was inspired to write, including during cabinet meetings.

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23. In May 1945, Shimon Peres married Sonya Gelman, whom he had met in the Ben Shemen Youth Village, where her father served as a carpentry teacher.

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24. Shimon Peres announced in April 2013 that he would not seek to extend his tenure beyond 2014.

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25. Shimon Peres met secretly with Hussein in London in 1987 and reached a framework agreement with him, but this was rejected by Israel's then Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir.

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26. Shimon Peres was a protege of Ben-Gurion and Dayan and an early supporter of the West Bank settlers during the 1970s.

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27. Shimon Peres felt that Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel was a means to a progressive end in which the State of Israel both inspire the world and survive in a region of the world where it was unwelcome.

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28. Shimon Peres described himself as a "Ben-Gurionist", after his mentor Ben-Gurion.

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29. Shimon Peres resigned from his role as a Member of the Knesset the same day, having been a member since November 1959, the longest serving in Israeli political history.

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30. On 13 June 2007, Shimon Peres was elected President of the State of Israel by the Knesset.

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31. Shimon Peres lost the chairmanship of the Labor Party in November 2005, in advance of the 2006 elections.

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32. Shimon Peres led the party into a coalition with Sharon once more at the end of 2004 when the latter's support of "disengagement" from Gaza presented a diplomatic program Labor could support.

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33. Shimon Peres left office only when Labor resigned from the government in advance of the 2003 elections.

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34. Shimon Peres led Labor into a national unity government with Sharon's Likud and secured the post of Foreign Minister.

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35. Shimon Peres agreed to renew the coalition with the Likud, this time conceding the premiership to Shamir for the entire term.

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36. Shimon Peres led the Alignment to its first ever electoral defeat, when Likud under Menachem Begin won sufficient seats to form a coalition that excluded the left.

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37. In 1969, Shimon Peres was appointed Minister of Immigrant Absorption and in 1970 he became Minister of Transportation and Communications.

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38. Shimon Peres held negotiations with John F Kennedy, which concluded with the sale of Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Israel, the first sale of US military equipment to Israel.

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39. Shimon Peres was given the role of Deputy Defense Minister, which he filled until 1965.

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40. Shimon Peres was first elected to the Knesset in the 1959 elections, as a member of the Mapai party.

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41. In November 1954, Shimon Peres visited Paris, where he was received by the French Defense Minister Marie-Pierre Kœnig, who told him that France would sell Israel any weapons it wanted to buy.

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42. Shimon Peres was instrumental in negotiating the Franco-Israeli agreement for a military offensive.

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43. Shimon Peres was sent by David Ben-Gurion to Paris, where he held secret meetings with the French government.

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44. Shimon Peres was involved in arms purchases and establishing strategic alliances that were important for the State of Israel.

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45. Shimon Peres was director of the Defense Ministry's delegation in the United States in the early 1950s.

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46. In 1947, Shimon Peres joined the Haganah, the predecessor of the Israel Defense Forces.

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47. Shimon Peres began his political career in the late 1940s, holding several diplomatic and military positions during and directly after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

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48. Shimon Peres was elected to the Knesset in November 1959 and except for a three-month-long hiatus in early 2006, was in office continuously until he was elected President in 2007.

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