Suite à sa mort ce matin, de nombreux journaux reviennent sur la vie de Shimon Peres, figure incournable de la politique israélienne (et du conflit avec la Palestine) depuis plus de 50 ans. Mais peu reviennent sur son rôle important dans le rapprochement d'Israël avec le régime d'apartheid sud-africain dans les années 1970.
Voici ce qu'en disait un article de l'Institute for Middle-East Understanding (IMEU) publié en 2013:
- The state of Israel was created in 1948, the same year that the racist apartheid regime was implemented in South Africa. In the 1960s a political and military alliance developed between the two countries, deepening following Israel's occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, and the Syrian Golan Heights, in the June 1967 War.
- In the 1970s, Israel's government under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin forged close ties with South Africa's apartheid regime. One of the architects of this alliance was then-Defense Minister and current President Shimon Peres. While Peres frequently condemned apartheid publicly, behind the scenes he was instrumental in creating an alliance that helped keep the apartheid regime afloat while the rest of the world was increasingly turning against it in revulsion at its racist policies. In November 1974, following a secret visit to Pretoria, Pereswrote to South African officials praising the “vitally important” link he had helped establish between the two countries and highlighting that “this cooperation is based not only on common interests and on the determination to resist equally our enemies, but also on the unshakeable foundations of our common hatred of injustice and out refusal to submit to it.”