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Rare ALS of Israel’s Nobel Prize-Winning Prime Minister

Item: 21777
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PERES, SHIMON. (1923-2016). Ninth president and former prime minister of Israel; co-recipient of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. ALS. (“Sh P”?). 1p. 8vo. N.p., December 18, 1979. On his personal stationery to Zionist and law professor BENJAMIN AKZIN (1904-1985). In Hebrew with translation.

“The Honorable Professor Akzin –

Thank you for your letter of 13.12.79.

As you probably already know, I have provided a detailed response to Member of the Knesset Katz’s proposal since then –

both regarding…, which is not acceptable to us, and regarding… – which was unnecessary to us.

Thanks again for the letter. Sincerely…”

Born in Poland, Peres immigrated with his family to Israel in 1934. As a youth, he was active in the kibbutz and Zionist movements, before joining the paramilitary Haganah. At 29, he became Israel’s youngest deputy director-general of the Ministry of Defense and, while working at the ministry, he obtained substantial military aid from both France and the United Kingdom. His political career continued with his 1959 election to the Knesset. Peres went on to serve as minister of foreign affairs, defense and transportation, and three terms as prime minister. He was the first Israeli prime minister to be elected to the office of president and won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for the Oslo Accords peace agreement.

Born in Riga, Latvia, Akzin earned doctorates in law and political science in Paris and Vienna and became an adherent of Revisionist Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, holding leadership positions in Jabotinsky’s New Zionist Organization. In 1940, Akzin lobbied Washington on the organization’s behalf for the recognition of Jewish statehood and, in 1944, served on President Roosevelt’s War Refugee Board, in which position he advocated for U.S. air strikes on Auschwitz. The board had already rejected proposals from Jewish leaders asking for the bombing of the railroad lines which were deporting Jews from Poland and Hungary when Akzin submitted an official proposal for bombing. “Akzin went beyond the idea of hitting the railroad lines and argued that the Allies should bomb Auschwitz itself. Destroying the camp, he wrote, would ‘slow down the systematic slaughter, at least temporarily,’ since ‘it would require some time’ for the Germans to rebuild the murder-machinery, and ‘with German manpower and material resources gravely depleted,’ the Germans might not even be able to ‘equip new large-scale extermination centers’ at all,” (“Benjamin Akzin,” Encyclopedia of America’s Response to the Holocaust, In 1949, Akzin emigrated to Israel, and joined the faculty of Hebrew University where he taught constitutional law and political science, served several terms as dean and founded the department of political science, which he also chaired. In 1963, he was instrumental in the founding of the University of Haifa of which he was the first rector.

Avraham Katz (1931-1986), before he became a teacher fought with the Palmach during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. From 968-1969, Katz ran the Ministry of Education. He was elected to the Knesset in 1969 aligned with Gahal and served until 1981, as a member of the Likud party. He later led the World Zionist Organization’s Youth and Hechalutz Department.

Folded and creased with normal wear and in very good condition. Scarce in ALS.

Rare ALS of Israel’s Nobel Prize-Winning Prime Minister

$150 • item #21777

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