In a video clip produced by his granddaughter, former president Shimon Peres may be trying to look for a new job at minimum wage, such as pumping gas – but in real life Peres has found a much better offer. He recently agreed to a contract with Bank Hapoalim, which will pay him $30,000 a month for helping promote the bank’s affairs.
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“[Peres’] contract with the bank is based only on promoting the bank’s businesses overseas and Peres does not intend to deal with any matter related to the bank in Israel – [not] legislation or lobbying,” said an adviser to Peres.
Sources close to the former president, now a private citizen, said that unlike the case with other former high officials, all of Peres’ income and profits are directed to social and philanthropic projects. Peres does not work in Israel at all, but only overseas, said the sources. All his work goes toward promoting peace, dialogue between nations, and Israel as the “startup nation,” they said.
Peres declined to comment on the matter or say what services he is providing Bank Hapoalim, as did the bank. Peres will be the guest of honor at an event Bank Hapoalim is holding in New York at the end of May to celebrate 40 years of operations in the United States. Estimates are that Hapoalim is investing millions of shekels in the event, which will be held at one of the city’s most prestigious locations, the Museum of Natural History. In addition to Peres, the bank will be hosting former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani at the event.
The events to mark the 40th anniversary of Bank Hapoalim in America come at the same time that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an investigation against the bank on suspicions it aided U.S. citizens to evade taxes. Bank Leumi settled a similar case with the Justice Department last year and paid a $400 million penalty.