Not everyone in the Israeli political establishment was wishing former President Shimon Peres well on Wednesday, as he recovered from a stroke he suffered the night before. United Arab List MK Basel Ghattas launched a diatribe against Peres on social media, accusing him of “wallowing in Arab blood.”
“Is this the final chapter for Peres? It’s impossible to know,” Ghattas wrote in a social media post. “He has been around for a long time, he seems to have seven souls. Peres was one of the pioneers of the Zionist enterprise – especially of its colonialist settlement policies. He was one of the cruelest to the Palestinians, and one of the most damaging.
“Despite all this, Peres was able to portray himself as a ‘dove of peace,’” Ghattas continued. “He even won a Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, without assistance from us Arab MKs he would not have succeeded. Upon his death we will remember him for his tyrannical war crimes. He is covered in blood from head to toe. We will not rush to participate in the festival of sorrow and collective sadness,” he added.
Reaction was not long in coming, as a large number of MKs condemned Ghattas for his comments. Typical was that of MK Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Camp), who called Ghattas “a small and pathetic man whose entire contribution to Israeli politics has been sowing hatred between peoples, supporting terrorism, and advancing his own public relations. He is not worthy to even mention the name Peres. Even if he were to remain in politics for 300 years he could not do even a fraction of what Peres has done for the Arabs.”
On Wednesday morning, Peres’s doctors said that the former President’s life was still in danger, but there were slight signs of improvement in his condition overnight. Peres “had a peaceful night, and his condition is serious, but stable,” said Professor Yitzchak Kreis, chairman of Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv. “We are keeping him under observation and will release further details about his condition later in the afternoon.”
Speaking Wednesday afternoon at the Sheba Hospital, Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman said that things might be looking up for Peres. “It’s possible at this point to have a modicum of optimism, based on the events of last night. We continue to daven for the health of Shimon Peres. I was in the ward with his doctors and he is getting excellent care at an excellent hospital. I am not a doctor nor am I a medical expert, but I can say that he is getting the best of care. Together we all hope that he will return to full health,” he added.