President Peres served in Israel’s military during the country's war of independence and went on to become minister of defense and prime minister (twice). In addition, as Israel’s minister of foreign affairs, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the 1993 Oslo Accords that established a framework for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
He has maintained a relatively low profile as president, largely a ceremonial office in Israel, but in August spoke out against an Israeli strike on Iran as counterproductive.
"It's clear to us that we can't do it alone," said Peres, who has reportedly opposed the idea for years. "We can only delay [Iran's progress]. Thus it's clear to us that we need to go together with America. There are questions of cooperation and of timetables, but as severe as the danger is, at least this time we're not alone."
After he spoke out, Netanyahu aides chastised Peres for forgetting his place as president and said it was a good thing that former Prime Minister Menachem Begin hadn’t heeded Peres’s opposition to Israel’s 1981 strike on the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq.