The State Memorial honouring Shimon Peres

September 15, 2017 Agencies
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The official State Memorial in honor of the late Ninth President Shimon Peres took place at the Great Leaders of the Nation plot on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger, Yoni Peres                    Photo: Yosef Av Yair Engel

 

The event was attended by the President of the State of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, former US Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, and the Peres Family. They were joined by heads of state, leaders from global companies, and honored friends and guests of the family and of the Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation from Israel and around the world.

Chemi Peres, Chairman of the Board of the Peres Center and son of the late President Peres said“My father struggled all of his life with his tremendous love for the State of Israel. While he fought to build the nuclear bomb in Dimona, he also fought against mountains and demons to make the impossible possible. It took courage to dream, and even more courage to achieve the dream and to see it become reality.

Shimon Peres

His biggest dream – peace – my father did not get to see realised. My father knew that this dream would not bring recognition and acclaim. I ask you today to look at the future that he lays out in his autobiography. Here he explains that the battle for peace requires courage, even more so than the sacrifice of war. I ask, in the spirit of my father, that you don’t stop dreaming and daring, because it’s the best thing that could happen to our beloved country.”

President Rivlin added: “We have not yet achieved peace and tranquility – we must act with determination to reduce the social gaps and to share with all citizens of Israel the right and responsibility to be part of this home – the home of all of us. You have left us much more to do, but the path you paved, the dream you spoke of, and most of all, your determination and faith, will be with this people for generations to come, and you will continue to be an advocate of all of us. May your memory be a blessing.”

Tony Blair commented: “The country he wanted to create was to be a gift to the world. It drew upon the best of the Jewish character developed over the ages, sustained through pogroms, persecution and holocaust, often battered but never subdued. This spirit is the spirit of striving: to make oneself better, to make the world better, to increase the sum of knowledge and understanding; to examine the variegated flotsam of human existence and the contradictions of the human condition and see not a cause for despair but a path to progress.

This was what animated Shimon Peres.  He never gave up on peace with the Palestinians or on his belief that peace was best secured by an independent State of Palestine alongside a recognised State of Israel. One of our last conversations was on how to change the plight of the people of Gaza.

Despite all the frustrations of the peace process, in his last years he could see the Middle East changing and the possibility opening up in the region, with its new leadership, of a future partnership between Arab nations and Israel.

He grasped completely the extraordinary potential there would be if Israel and the region were working together, not simply on security, but on economic advance, technological breakthrough and cultural reconciliation”.

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