Former Israeli President And Prime Minister Shimon Peres Passes Away At Age 93
Former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres passed away on Wednesday at the age of 93, after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. He was also a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who established the Peres Center for Peace, a foundation which works to establish peace in the Middle East.
“There are few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves. My friend Shimon was one of those people,” President Obama said in a statement. “Shimon was the essence of Israel itself—the courage of Israel’s fight for independence, the optimism he shared with his wife Sonya as they helped make the desert bloom, and the perseverance that led him to serve his nation in virtually every position in government across the entire life of the State of Israel.”
“We grieve today for the passing of our dear and beloved Shimon Peres,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement. “Shimon devoted his life to our nation and to the pursuit of peace…few people contributed as much to our people and to our state.”
To read more about his extensive resume and decades of public service, which is beyond the scope of this article, click here.
“Over the course of a political career that spanned more than six decades, a dozen cabinets, and ten American presidents, President Peres inspired generations with his profound commitment to his country,” National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a statement. “The unbreakable alliance between the United States and Israel stands as an enduring tribute to President Peres’ years of diplomacy and eloquent advocacy on Israel’s behalf.”
Shimon Peres was committed to establishing Israel’s strong defense and security branches. He also served as Director General of the Ministry of Defense under David Ben Gurion. Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) officials said in a statement that Peres “substantially contributed to the establishment of the Negev Nuclear Research Center and the foundation of Israel's nuclear policy as a significant contribution in ensuring the national strength of the State of Israel.”
He also worked closely with Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad.
“For many years, Shimon Peres worked with the Mossad on its operations and work for the security of the State of Israel, and was one of the country's most prominent leaders,” Mossad Director Yossi Cohen said in statement. “He was a symbol of peace and brotherhood and as such, contributed greatly to building up the security of the State of Israel. May his memory be blessed.”
Other condolences poured in from around the world. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter that Peres was “above all, a man of peace.”
Funeral services will be held on Friday in Jerusalem. Numerous world leaders will reportedly be in attendance.
“A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever,” Obama said.
“He will never depart from our hearts and from our memories. His name will be forever engraved in the story of the rebirth of the Jewish people as one of our great leaders, as one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said.