A piece of unmitigated schmaltz on the late Shimon Peres, Peres' wisdom: 'Peace is not perfect', by Age political editor Michael Gordon, appeared in yesterday's Fairfax papers - in addition to a New York Times obituary!
So why the overkill? Well, frankly, how could our political editor possibly refuse? After all:
"'Relax! Sit down,' Israel's most beloved public figure commanded, gesturing with his hands for his guests to resume their seats and a long conversation about life and hopes and dreams. 'If your dreams exceed the number of your achievements, you're young,' said Shimon Peres, then 93, with the optimism and wide-eyed wonder of a child. It was July 27 and I was among a group of Australian journalists on the final stop of a week-long study tour."
Strictly rhetorical question: Did any of these rambammed Australian journalists mutter to themselves: 'Dreams? Achievements? Your dreams are the stuff of nightmares, and your only achievements are massacres, settlements, nukes and bullshit by the bucketload'?
Some more gems from Peres' wisdom:
"'Peace is not perfect,' he quipped. 'It's perfect when you compare it to war'."
As if the likes of Peres ever had a problem with war. Fact: peace is only perfect when it comes with justice.
"Obama was one of the first to pay tribute, saying: 'There are few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history... because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves. My friend Shimon was one of those people'."
Moral imagination? Obama? Don't make me laugh!
"Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council chairman Mark Leibler and executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein said in a joint statement: 'He was a true visionary, a giant of Israeli politics, the quintessential statesman on the world stage'."
Visionary? The only visionaries Zionism has ever produced are of the tunnel variety.
"The key to his longevity, said [he]... was to stay... focused on the future. 'The past doesn't have a future and the future doesn't need a past,' was how he expressed it."
That's funny, wasn't Peres a protege of David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding PM, who told the 1937 Peel Commission in Palestine that "The Bible is our Mandate"?
"If he was deeply dismayed there was very little evidence of [a better world] happening on either side of the Israel-Palestine conflict, it did not show."
Deeply dismayed? You're kidding me! Of course he's not dismayed. Why would he be? With every square inch of Palestine under occupation.
"One of the final questions was how he liked to be remembered. He paused, repeated the question, and said: 'If I have saved the life of one child, that would be the greatest thing."
One Israeli Jewish child, that is.
Whatever happened to the cynical hard-bitten journalist of yore? Seems it's all just stenography these days.