Wednesday, June 13, 2007

President Kramer?

JERUSALEM, June 13 -- Shimon Peres -- the octogenarian former prime minister, Nobel laureate, and perennial loser of elections -- handily won Israel's presidency Wednesday, in his second bid for what will likely be his last job in public life.

"Israel has been waiting hopefully for the election of Peres as president." - PM Ehud Olmert

Finally, a Mazal Tov!

Shimon Peres, the oldest of Israel's surviving founders, has been elected for the first time. The man who has been Israel's Prime Minister three times without ever winning an election has finally done it at 84. So finally, a Mazal Tov!

Peres became prime minister first for a month in 1977 following Rabin's sudden resignation, only to lose the upcoming elections; then during the power sharing governments of the 80's when he managed a draw (yes, draw) in 1984 then a loss in 1988; and finally taking over the premiership after Rabin's assassination in 1995 losing months after to the new boy on the block, Bibi.

Peres can finally shed the nickname he earned on Israel's political scene: 'Loser'. The phrase was coined after his 1996 election defeat when he posed the question to his party faithful, "so what am i , a loser?!' only to find out that they didn't take it rhetorically and simply answered "yes". Ironically, even today, his victory in the second round came after the resignation of the two other contestants following Peres' impressive showing in the first round. Technically, Peres has yet to defeat a candidate in an election.

The blow commited to Peres 7 years ago, when he was betrayed by 'allies' on ballot day for the last presdiential election, has been rectified today as he replaces the disgraced president as Israel's First Citizen and earns the title of being the Western World's eldest statesman in recent history. Its good to count Peres amongst the winners. Its good to see a man get his just deserts.

For more on Shimon Peres and his contribution to the economic, military and diplomatic development of the State of Israel see:

Note: the presidential election in Israel is done by 120 members of the knesset, themselves democratically elected by the people.