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Shimon Peres real instigator of nuclear arms race in ME

London, (IRNA): An Israeli professor of King’s College London says while the West is accusing Iran of trying to access nuclear weapons, Israeli President Shimon Peres was the ‘real instigator’ of nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Professor Moshe Machover also said the honorary doctorate offered by King’s College London to Peres should be revoked because of his records in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Machover was delivering a speech in a conference in King’s College London on Friday night, explaining the appalling records of Peres to urge the university officials to revoke honorary degree offered to him last year.

Referring to historical evidence and Middle East developments in the 1950s, Professor Machover said Peres conspired with France to set up a nuclear reactor in Dimona and start the arms race in the Middle East. “In a meeting with the then French prime minister and defense minister, Peres asked them to establish nuclear facilities in Dimona,” he said.

Professor Machover added that Peres was elected as the acting prime minister of Israel following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 — when he launched massive strikes on the southern parts of Lebanon. “Peres was approaching general elections in Israel so he violated a truce with Hezbollah in a politically-motivated move and ordered the Israeli army to invade Lebanese civilian areas,” he said, referring to the analogy between the 1996 Massacre of Gana and the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza in the run-up to the elections.

According to historical facts, the Israeli Army, under the direct order of Peres, launched ‘Operation Grapes of Wrath’ in April 1996 in southern Lebanon, killing 102 civilians, mainly women, children and the elderly who had taken refuge in the UN shelter in Qana.

Professor Machover said Israel used the same tactic early this year to strike Gaza in a period leading up to general elections in Israel. In a controversial move weeks before the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza, King’s College London offered an honorary degree to Shimon Peres because of his alleged ‘peace efforts’. The move was strongly opposed with the students who occupied one of the lecture theatres of the university for almost two weeks in protest at the honorary degree and the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

King’s College London students have also signed a petition, calling on the university officials to revoke Peres’s degree. “We strongly protest against King’s College London awarding Shimon Peres an honorary doctorate on the 18th of November 2008. It is highly irresponsible for a college of such standing to honor an individual of such contentious repute without prior consultation with the students of the university, who make up the major body of the college community,” parts of the petition read. “It is astonishing that an individual who is in breach of international law, indeed a war criminal, should be given this doctorate, especially in so-called ‘recognition of the efforts of Peres to find a peaceful solution to conflicts in the Middle East’ which is clearly not the case.”

Huda Hamid, a King’s College student and organiser of anti-Peres events, told IRNA at the sidelines of the conference that ‘our efforts to sympathize with the people of Gaza were fruitful as the university officials have agreed to address most of our demands’. Hamid said that the King’s College, a supporter of Israel, has agreed to provide five fully-funded scholarships to Palestinian students, facilitate a cross-campus fundraising day to raise money for the crisis in Gaza and establish links with universities and other educational institutions affected by the crisis in Gaza, in solidarity with their plight. “King’s College London should present us with a transparent list of investments in the arms trade. It should divest immediately from the arms trade.

Also, any old books, computers or other unwanted teaching and administrative resources should be donated to universities or schools in the Gaza,” she said.

Huda Hamid added that the university has avoided revoking the honorary degree it offered to Peres and issuing a formal statement condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza. She said that the students will continue their efforts to force the university to address their remaining demands.

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