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Shimon Peres

Sol Kanee

Sid Halpern

Remembering Shimon Peres's Connection to Winnipeg: Sol Kanee Helped Peres Procure Arms For the Fledgling State

by Rhonda Spivak, December 4, 2016



When Shimon Peres, the beloved President of Israel, passed away recently , Sid Halpern remembered that Peres  had a Winnipeg connection.



As Halpern told the Winnipeg Jewish Review , it was a Winnipegger Sol Kanee, who passed away in 2007, "who had helped  a young Shimon Peres, procure arms from the Canadian government for the newly born State of Israel." 



 As Allan Levine details  in  his book, Coming of Age, Peres was 28 years old and had been sent to North America to buy arms for Israel's Ministy of Defence. Peres had  made a tentative deal with the Canadian government to buy two dozen artillery pieces, but was short of funds. He had asked Sam Bronfman to help him. Bronfman , who did not know a lot about military weaponry, summoned Sol Kanee to  Montreal for a meeting with Peres, since he figured Kanee, a former Artillery Battallion Commander in the  Canadian Army  would be of much assistance in his  discussion with  Peres. (At the outbreak of the Second World War Kanee had enlisted in an officer's training program, was promoted to Captain in 1942, and promoted to Major in 1943 )



As Halpern notes," Sol Kanee was a very close confident of Sam Bronfman, and once he was summoned by Bronfman Kanee flew to Montreal to meet with Bronfman and Peres."



In the meeting, Peres explained that the Canadian government wanted two million dollars, which Kanee thought  was too much. In addition to his military expertise, Kanee had extensive ties to the Liberal government  under then Prime Minister Louis St Laurent. Kanee  called  Ottawa and made a meeting with his friend C.D. Howe, the federal cabinet minister responsible for arms sales. Kanee and Bronfman met Howe for lunch and  Kanee managed to convince Howe to cut the price for the weapons in

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.