Last week Israeli President Shimon Peres angered officials from the Prime minister's office by publicly reacting to the situation in Iran. While the media has been reporting about Netanyahu's government potentially preparing for a strike on Iran's nuclear facility, the president was quoted saying in an interview to Israeli television that no military action will be taken in Iran before the November U.S. presidential elections. And these statements came as quite a shock to the current Israeli government.
According to the Israeli governmental system, the president holds an apolitical figurehead role, while the prime minister holds executive power on decision-making. Therefore, having President Peres insert commentary or make suggestions as to Israel's strategic defense plans upset the government, seeing as he was perceived as overstepping his position.
Like Peres, many wonder whether Israel should unilaterally strike Iran's nuclear program. And discussions related to this matter are taking place in Israel as well as around the world. However, while Israeli and international citizens, politicians, and activists have the right to speak their mind, it is generally expected by most Israelis that the president, and especially this one, will maintain silence. Israel's fifth president Yitzhak Navon was quoted supporting Peres's remarks, noting that in some situations, one must say what he believes, even if he is the president of the state. Additionally, the White House praised Peres' as well for speaking out against an attack on Iran.
Sivan Raviv, JN1, Israel.