Riz Khan with Shimon Peres, the Israeli president
Life for Shimon Perski began in 1923 in a part of Poland that is now Belarus.

He led a relatively simple life, influenced heavily by his rabbi grandfather, who was responsible for much of his education, making him far more religious than his parents.

In 1934 the Peres family moved to Palestine, where they lived on a kibbutz for several years.

It was in 1947 that he joined the predecessor to the Israeli Defence Forces, being given responsibility by Ben Gurion for personnel and arms.

At the age of 29, Shimon Peres became the youngest-ever head of the ministry of defence in 1953.

His election to the Knesset in 1959 began a political career which spanned more than six decades.

His efforts to bring about peace between the Israelis and Palestinians led to him winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, along with Yitzak Rabin and Yasser Arafat and he continues to push for a solution.

He says farming on a Kibbutz was his only ambition as a young man but he went on to become prime minister, finance minister, foreign minister, defence minister and in June 2007, president of his country.

This week on One on One, meet leading Israeli politician and peace advocate Shimon Peres.

The epsiode of One on One aired Saturday December 01, 2007.

Watch part one of this episode of One on One here:

Watch part two of this episode of One on One here:


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