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Israeli Labor Party leader shaves iconic 47-year-old mustache so that people could ‘read his lips’

Israeli Labor Party leader shaves iconic 47-year-old mustache so that people could  ‘read his lips’
Labor leader Amir Peretz has shocked Israelis after appearing on television without his signature walrus mustache, marking the first time in 47 years that the veteran politician has been seen clean-shaven.

In an interview with Channel 12 – artfully hyped as “Amir Peretz as you’ve never seen him before” – Peretz said that he decided to shear his ‘stache so that deaf Israelis watching him on television would be able to read his lips better.

“For 47 years, I’ve gone everywhere with my mustache,” Peretz began in the television interview. “In 2002, the Association of the Deaf in Israel contacted me, and that was the first time I trimmed it, because they couldn’t read my lips and understand me.”

He said that he wanted to make sure that there was no misunderstanding about his firm denial that Labor would join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition after the September elections.

“I won’t sit with Bibi,” said Peretz, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. He described the prime minister as a “capitalist pig” and vowed that he would remain mustache-free until after the election.

Peretz, who has played a prominent role in Israeli politics for decades, has held a number of top government posts, including minister of defense and minister of environmental protection – all while sporting his famous facial hair. He suggested during the Channel 12 interview that his fresh look could “bring back hope to the State of Israel” – but it’s clear from social media reactions that many people are deeply disappointed by his new grooming decision.

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