Shimon Peres Changed From Hawk to Dove 'Before My Eyes,' Says Author Amos Oz

'When I met Peres in the early seventies, he was a banal hawk, in my eyes – supporting settlers, a settler lover, a security man,' Amos Oz says.

Yanai Yechiel

Prominent Israeli author Amos Oz remarked how former prime minister and President Shimon Peres had "changed before my eyes."

Peres died on Wednesday at the age of 93, after suffering a brain hemorrhage two weeks earlier.

"When I met Peres in the early seventies, he was a banal hawk, in my eyes – supporting settlers, a settler lover, a security man; the more land the better; the more power the better," Oz said on Wednesday.

"He changed before my eyes ... into an enthusiastic and stubborn believer in Israeli-Palestinian peace and Israeli-Arab peace."

"The Last of the Mohicans has left us," said Peres' biographer and former political adviser Michael Bar Zohar on Wednesday.

"He was one of the founding fathers, or founding sons, and all his generation is gone. Shimon is the last who remained. "I was also very close to him when he was around [Israel's first prime minister David] Ben Gurion. I remember the entire group of younger people who were around the old man.

"Shimon was the last. They are all gone. It's a kind of feeling of losing your father. Because he was the father of modern Israel."

Public schools around the country began classes on Wednesday with a discussion on Peres and his legacy, at the instruction of Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

“I directed Israel's education system to dedicate tomorrow to the life and achievements of Shimon Peres," Bennett said, "and I call upon Jewish communities and schools to do the same, so the future generation for whom he fought will know who he was and be inspired by him."