Vice Premier Shimon Peres, who up to now has had one of the longest and disappointing carriers in Israeli political history finally came out on the long end by his election to the presidency today by a final majority of 86 parliamentary votes. His two rivals, Likud MK Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin and Labor MK Colette Avital conceded in favor of the 83 year old Peres who will take up his new post as President of the State of Israel on July 15.
Peres lost out to Moshe Katsav for the post in June, 2000, and since then has been involved in a number of political ventures including being part of the governments of both former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and present Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The largely ceremonial presidency is a 7 year post which includes officiating at important state functions such as Memorial and Independence Day celebrations, Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations, and officially receiving new ambassadors and other high ranking foreign dignitaries; duties which Mr. Peres is more than qualified to undertake.
Following the scandalous end to the presidential term of Moshe Katsav, who has been accused of numerous crimes of sexual misconduct, including rape, Mr. Peres should bring an air of dignity and respectability back to the Presidency which is sorely needed in Israel today.
Peres will perform his duties well, and be remembered afterwards in a similar favorable light as former presidents such as Haim Herzog and Yitzhak Navon.
We wish him well and our best wishes in his new endeavor.