ambassador to the UN, Gabriella Shalev, “Security Council discussions are irrelevant and
pointless. The real things are taking place two floors below us in a bilateral
meeting between Abbas and (Israeli president) Shimon
Spokeswoman for the
President's office, Ayelet Frisch, confirmed that substantial meetings between
the two leaders have been taking place, including details concerning the "peace
process," apparently with the approval of the Prime and Foreign ministers.
There's only one problem:
such negotiations are clearly not within the designated powers of Israeli
presidents. Elected by the Knesset, not the public and limited mainly to
ceremonial functions, Israeli presidents are supposed to be above politics –
certainly not identified with any single group. Rarely have past presidents
engaged in politics; a notable exception was Ezer Weitzman's support of the
"Oslo peace process," and other controversial issues.
Peres's pursuit of his own personal agenda, therefore violates terms of
office. Although not illegal, negotiating on behalf of an unpopular minority
government undermines the concept of impartiality upon which the President's
office is founded.
Presidential powers include choosing Knesset members to form governments.
Designating Tzippy Livni, previously Foreign Minister and currently head of
Kadima – his own party, btw -- following Ehud Olmert's resignation, as
acting Prime Minister and allowing an extended period in which to form a
coalition – despite overwhelming popular support for general elections, suggests
blatant political motives.
Hoping to stave off what all polls confirm – a sweeping victory for the
opposition, led by Binyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, Shimon Peres has turned the
Presidency into a political tool.
highest moral, intellectual, and spiritual values as a country and society, the
president also has the power to pardon criminals and commute
All other presidents have used the Jewish New Year as an opportunity to
express the most cherished of Jewish values, mercy. The President's signature is
required on the release of Arab terrorists and criminals held by
Israel. A few
weeks ago, Sami Kuntar, one of the most notorious murderers, was released to
hundred other criminals, including killers were also freed.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands more are slated to be freed.
Asked if President Peres will be pardoning or commuting the sentences of
any Jewish prisoners – especially those who were given harsh sentences
for political reasons – none of
whom were convicted of violent crimes – the President's spokeswoman said
tersely, "No.The President has no plans at this time."
Asked why, she added, "No comment."