Israeli leaders commemorate Shimon Peres’ 5th Yahrzeit

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President Isaac and Michal Herzog at the grave of former Israeli President Shimon Peres on October 4, 2021

JERUSALEM (SDJW) – Israel’s political leaders gathered at Mount Herzl on Monday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the death of Shimon Peres, who served twice as Prime Minister and once President of Israel. They were joined by members of Peres’ family, who also paid tributes.

The current President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, commented: “So many people only look at the present, especially in the realm of politics. The here and now attracts us and all our resources. As the ninth President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres has been able to look to the future, look into the distance and take flight. The feeling was always that he was some kind of chess player, and in his eyes the chessboard was the story of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Always three, five, 10 steps ahead. Anticipate challenges, and more than that – and more important than that – identify opportunities. Human, economic, scientific and technological capital. Human development and its direction. Shimon Peres brought these three qualities – versatility, perseverance and vision – to the institution of the Presidency, and took this important institution to new heights. It has succeeded in connecting its deep roots, between intellectual greatness and phenomenal historical and cultural knowledge, with technological advancement and a connection with the future generation of our country. He succeeded in leading the State of Israel to its impressive place within the family of nations, with great intelligence, exceptional political acumen and uncompromising determination. I remember from my childhood how my mother, may she live a long life, related with affection and humor that, already in the 1950s, she was reading in the palm of Shimon – as we all called her at home – that ‘he was going to be Prime Minister. I mention this story not only as a nice anecdote, but because for me, Shimon has been a great mentor all of my adult life.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “In a speech he gave on the occasion of his 90e birthday, Shimon Peres uttered, among other things, the following sentence. Try to imagine it in his voice: “Today I understand that real power is the power of goodwill. I chose to open my remarks precisely with this saying, because I think that today everyone understands how true it is, how great the power of goodwill is. Goodwill between people, sometimes with different opinions and ideas, but with the power of goodwill to bridge divisions and differences and to strengthen the common denominator of all of us, of this good country, of this good people . The goodwill that allows us to put aside personal desires and hurtful past wounds and unify in an important purpose, goodwill, that which puts the good of the country above all else, while being ready to bear a personal price on its behalf of. The past few months have shown us all how much strength can be hidden in goodwill.

Other political leaders in attendance included Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut and Katy Perry, Head of the Prison Service Israeli.

Peres’ daughter, Tzvia Walden, an education teacher, spoke as if she was addressing her late father directly: “Beyond the thanks, I also want to do some soul-searching. In the past five years, the technological revolution has broadened and deepened. Borders between peoples and countries have been crossed. As you liked to say: “Science has no barriers or partitions and does not need a passport. We must make the most of the new era, seek innovative methods and strengthen here a peace of truth, a real peace – hot or cold. The Abrahamic Accords were born and grew as an initiative in which you were a partner. We have to be careful that they don’t use them like a fig leaf, but they will be a boost for a new Middle East. After all, you’ve always said we should give up land for the sake of human life. And you wrote: “The future of the Zionist project depends on the adoption of the two-state solution. You said about yourself: “As a leader, I nurtured the hope that Israel would be a flourishing country, a just country, a country of peace and ethics, a light to the nations. Your words are our to-do list – we will continue to remember you as a man of vision and action, and we will do our best with all our might to live up to your legacy, not give up on it. ‘initiative or abandon hope. We will seek peace and pursue it.

Shimon Peres (left) with his son Chemi at the Peres Peace Center in 2016

Chemi Peres, son of the ninth president of Israel and president of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, told the audience: “Since he left, the country has been turbulent and does not know how to be silent. We live alongside the raging corona virus and in the shadow of threats of war and terror. And all this as the divisions that have torn apart Israeli society are bleeding. This nation needs leadership that will serve it. Leadership that will work on its behalf – not one that tries to control it. Leadership that will not be discouraged for a better future, for us and for generations to come. We need renewal, optimism, faith in our ability to create a better future. Because those who live on a small island need to live together, to find the good in diversity, to live in fraternity, in mutual respect, and striving for coexistence. My father believed in each of us citizens of Israel. As a nation and as individuals. He wished for the moment when the stormy winds would subside and the lines would merge. For the day when we will pursue the desired peace together without fear or terror, until we reach it. Just like that, together, out of service for a common goal beyond us all, a day will come when we will spread our wings and fly to new horizons, when we are freed from the shackles of the past. Me too, like your father, I think. Even if it is late, it will come. Many ask us, and themselves: what would Shimon Peres say about what is happening now, and more importantly – what would Peres do? How would he manage the crown and what would he say about Abraham’s accords? In his life, Peres knew how to give the things of the daily agenda an original, clear and crisp depth, and to mark new horizons and opportunities, which led us all not only to listen, but also to think. We cannot provide the answers to these questions on his behalf. They are found in everything he has done and said during his life.

As part of the commemoration, the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation is releasing a transcript of Peres’ last public speech before his death. Some parts read: “People ask me: what is your greatest achievement in life? I say I wish I could have done more. What’s your biggest mistake in life? I say: my dreams were too small. I recommend dreaming big! Do not be afraid, do not hesitate, leave the past to historians. … People may think that in the future we will have a robot as sophisticated as human beings. A robot has a certain importance, a good use. It doesn’t cost money, it doesn’t tire. But there is another problem. You cannot instill in a robot the tendency to dream or to imagine, to innovate, and if the robot does not have the capacity to have a dream or a vision, you will not have the capacity to make it happen. feel alive. He will not have the capacity to innovate and if he does not innovate, he can hardly fall in love. And if he can’t fall in love, I don’t see any robots getting pregnant for a while. … There are still societies that discriminate against women. If you discriminate against women, you cannot save your people. There is no way that 50 percent of the nation can save 100 percent. If the women are not educated, there is no chance that the children will be educated. It’s a simple proposition. … Democracy is based on the idea that everyone has the right to be equal, supposed to have the right to be equal. Are you equal? People have the same hands, but no one has the same fingerprints as someone else. We are so individualistic, and at the same time we are so similar to each other. “

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Previous provided by the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation via N10S Israel


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