IN ALL his long political life, Peres never won an election. So he decided to give up party politics and run for president. His victory was assured, certainly against a nondescript Likud functionary like Moshe Katzav. The outcome was again a crowning insult: little Katzav won against the great Peres. (Causing some people to say: "If an election cannot be lost, Peres will lose it anyway!")
But this time the Gods seem to have decided that enough was enough. Katzav was accused of raping his secretaries, the way was clear for Peres. He was elected.
Since then he has been celebrating. The remorseful Gods shower him with favors. The public, which detested him for decades, enveloped him with their love. International celebrities anointed him as one of the world's great.
He could not get enough of it. Hungry for love all his life, he swallowed flattery like a barrel without a bottom. He talked endlessly about "Peace" and the "New Middle East" while doing absolutely nothing to further it. Even TV announcers smiled when they repeated his edifying phrases. In reality he served as a fig leaf for Netanyahu's endless exercises in expansion and sabotaging peace.
The culmination came this Tuesday. Sitting alongside Netanyahu, Peres celebrated his 90th birthday (two months before the real date), surrounded by a plethora of national and international celebrities, basking in their glamour like a teenager. It cost a lot -- Bill Clinton alone got half a million dollars for attending.
After all the cruelties they had inflicted on him all his life, the Gods laughed benignly.