A tribute to Shimon Peres

28 September 2016

It will be with undoubted sadness that Liberal Jews will learn of the death overnight of Shimon Peres, who died in the early hours of this morning, surrounded by his family. Peres suffered a stroke two weeks ago and, despite significant improvement, his condition rapidly deteriorated yesterday.

A founding father of Israel, Peres twice served as its Prime Minister and was its ninth President, retiring from office in 2014. An architect of the Oslo Accords, Peres shared the Nobel Peace prize with Yitzach Rabin and Yassar Arafat in 1994.

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Liberal Judaism’s Director of Strategy and Partnerships said, “Shimon Peres worked tirelessly for unity between Israel and Palestine, and said himself that ‘the duty of leaders is to pursue freedom ceaselessly, even in the face of hostility’, this life-long message should serve not just as an inspiration for us, but as an incentive to keep his legacy of peace alive.”

Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi and Chief Executive for Liberal Judaism added, “Shimon Peres was a man of vision for the whole of the Middle East region – an Israeli patriot who understood that an accommodation with the Palestinians was in the long term interest of Israelis.”

His family and the citizens of Israel are in our prayers and thoughts. Let us hope that this generation will fulfil his historic legacy, and his hope for lasting peace.

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