Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Authors Interview With Israeli President Shimon Peres:

On February 8th, 2010, the authors of Confidential interviewed Israeli President Shimon Peres on the life of legendary Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. The President confirmed in generalities Mr. Milchan's substantial contributions to the defense of Israel in a covert capacity, and that he [Peres] had "recruited him" back during the days when he served in the Ministry of Defense in the 1960's. When we asked whether he believed Mr. Milchan worthy of the Israel Defense Prize, he stated that as President he could not make any individual recommendation but that he certainly felt that he [Milchan] is worthy; "and that that, in fact, is almost a recommendation". He also stated within the context of our discussions about Mr. Milchan and the nuclear program, that "we went for Dimona [Israel's nuclear rector] in order to reach for peace", i.e. peace through strength. A direct acknowledgement of Israel's nuclear program and its defense-related implications. The cordial interview was conducted in Hebrew at the Presidents Residence in Jerusalem. The President was calm, courteous, measured, professional, generous with his time, and straightforward. We asked to tape the interview but his assistant who was also present requested that we take notes instead. The President however, did tape the interview. We are thankful to him for extending us this journalistic opportunity.

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