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Peres Birthday Bash Strikes Wrong Chord With Some Israelis

In the social context, while Israeli citizens struggle with economic cuts and the polarization of society, President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday celebrations seem out of line.   
Rwanda President Paul Kagame (2nd L) and his wife Jeannette (L), U.S. singer-actress Barbra Streisand (3rd L), former U.S. President Bill Clinton (4th L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R) and his wife Sarah (R) attend celebrations marking Israeli President Shimon Peres' (3rd R) 90th birthday in Jerusalem June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Hollander/Pool (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT) - RTX10SO1

President Shimon Peres has come a long way from being a denigrated politician, an "inveterate schemer" as the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called him, and a "loser" as he was dubbed by his own partisan members — until emerging into a popular and beloved Israeli icon.

For more than a decade, Peres has been the poster boy of the “beautiful and sane Israel” around the world, mainly during times of ostracizing and boycott. Even the "die-hard Likudniks" [Likud party members], who in the 1980s threw tomatoes at him during his election campaign when visiting the markets, have made an about-face to become his staunch admirers.

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