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Top 10 Facts About Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres: Statesman, idealist, military hawk, dove, poet, dreamer. These are some of the faces of Israel’s longest-serving politician. This video takes the viewer through the highlights of Peres’s career and life, detailing his policies, visions and values.

Watch the video and use the prompts below to get to know this important figure whose work spanned Israel’s entire history.

  • Review
  • Discussion
  • Reflection
  • Further Reading
  1. True or false? Shimon Peres was born in Israel.
  2. Which of the following positions did Peres not hold?
    • Prime Minister
    • President
    • Minister of Defense
    • Minister of Justice
  3. Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in:
    • The Oslo Accords
    • The Camp David Accords
    • The Beirut Summit
    • The “Road Map” for Peace
  4. Name two people who eulogized Peres at his funeral.
  5. Which adjective would NOT accurately describe Peres?
    • Optimist
    • Pessimist
    • Dreamer
    • Visionary
  1. Peres had the longest-running political career in Israel’s history. What do you think made him such a successful and popular politician?
  2. Some claim that it was Peres’s naive optimism that led to the signing of the Oslo Accords. Is it possible to be overly optimistic? How does one find balance between optimism/dreaming and pragmatism?
  3. World leaders flew to Israel to attend Peres’s funeral, including U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, French president Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German President Joachim Gauck, and even Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. What did the international community see in Peres that made him a dear friend to many?
  4. Read a few Peres quotes here. What insights did you gain about him, Israel, or life in general?
  5. Break up into five groups and engage in a jigsaw activity. Compare and contrast these leaders of Israel: Menachem Begin, David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, and Moshe Dayan. What made them similar to one another? How are they different from each other?
  1. What quality of Peres’s do you most admire? Explain.
  2. If you had the opportunity to speak to Peres, what would you like to ask him?
  3. Peres once said, “Every day I wake up and I count my achievements. And then I count the dreams I have in my head. As long as I have more dreams in my head than achievements, I am young.” What did he mean by this? To you, what does it mean to be a dreamer?
  4. After viewing this video and the video about Operation Thunderbolt, whose leadership style do you identify with more, Rabin’s or Peres’s?
  5. Peres was also a poet, known to pen lines during slow meetings. In his spirit, write a poem about Israel on a topic dear to you.
  6. When thinking of these leaders of Israel: Menachem Begin, David Ben-Gurion, Yitzchak Rabin, Golda Meir, and Moshe Dayan, do you think we’ve moved past the era of Israel’s heroic leaders? Read this article, watch our videos, and reflect on your perspective on this issue.
  1. Shimon Peres, No Room for Small Dreams
  2. https://unpacked.education/video/operation-thunderbolt-who-gets-the-credit/
  3. Raphael Ahren, “Beloved Abroad, Polarizing at Home, Peres was the Peace-Making Face of Israel” https://www.timesofisrael.com/beloved-abroad-polarizing-at-home-peres-was-the-peace-making-face-of-israel/
  4. Dov Seidman, “Shimon Peres’ Seven Lessons For An Eight-Year-Old Boy” https://www.forbes.com/sites/dovseidman/2017/09/14/shimon-peres-7-lessons-for-an-8-year-old-boy/#4ded80fc25df
  5. Shimon Shiffer “Still No Peace Between Peres and Rabin” https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4862152,00.html
  6. https://www.peres-center.org/en/shimon-peres/about/
  7. Daniel White, “Read President Obama’s Moving Eulogy for Shimon Peres” https://time.com/4514543/obama-transcript-shimon-peres-memorial/

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