In response to:

The Chances of Shimon Peres from the May 9, 1996 issue

To the editors:

In his review article on Shimon Peres’s memoir, Battling For Peace, in your May 9 issue, Professor Avishai Margalit writes as follows: “During Israel’s general elections of 1984, Peres was head of the Labour Party, Shamir the head of the Likud…. Peres had everything going for him, and he was the clear favorite in all the polls. But a day before the elections were to take place, an Arab terrorist murdered a young Jewish woman, along with her children, on the road from Jericho to Jerusalem. Peres’s lead vanished. The elections resulted in a tie between Likud and Labour….”

Professor Margalit is right. Peres was the clear favorite in all the polls in 1984. The result of the elections was indeed tie between Likud and Labour. He is wrong, however, in placing the terrorist attack on the Jewish woman and her children in the days preceding the 1984 elections. The attack was perpetrated prior to the 1988 elections, and not before the 1984 elections. Some analysts tend to believe that the terrorist incident adversely affected Labour’s chances in 1988. The results of the 1984 elections were indeed a big surprise to most commentators in Israel. But no terrorist attack was to blame for them.

Dr. Yoav J. Tenembaum
Tel Aviv, Israel

Avishai Margalit replies:

I thank Dr. Tenembaum for his correction. I should have referred to 1988, not 1984. I would add that the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was concluded in March 1918 and not in 1917 as it appears in the text.

This Issue

July 11, 1996