President Obama to Visit Israel, Attend Funeral of Shimon Peres

President Obama to Visit Israel, Attend Funeral of Shimon Peres
President Obama to Visit Israel, Attend Funeral of Shimon Peres

07 October, 2016

Israel is mourning the death of former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

Peres died in hospital yesterday morning, aged 93, prompting an outpouring of reactions from around the world.

Peres' deteriorating condition after he suffered a stroke two weeks ago led to his unfortunate death Tuesday night.

These acts have already flared a wave rage among the Palestinian people, since several genocides took place during Peres's presidency, where hundreds of civilians were slaughtered and displaced, in addition to the fact that systematic Israeli oppression, settlement expansion, and occupation are all still ongoing since the start of Israel in 1948. He served as prime minister twice. At noon, the burial ceremony will be held. He was in and out of the government, mostly in, for the better part of 40 years and served in the Knesset from 1959 to 1997.

He was born as Szymon Perski in 1923 in a Polish town now known as Vishnyeva in Belarus. And as defense minister oversaw the 1976 Israeli rescue of hijacked Israelis at Entebbe airport in Uganda. He did so much to protect our people.

Obama is among a high-powered group of world leaders, including Bill Clinton and French President Francois Hollande, attending what is expected to be the largest such gathering in Israel since the funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by a Jewish ultranationalist in 1995.

In 1993, prompted by his Deputy Minister Yossi Beilin, Peres helped nurture the evolving initiative to form a peace agreement with the Palestinians, ultimately ratified as the Oslo Accords and signed at the White House in Washington on September 13, 1993.

Current and former world leaders, including former President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, were invited to services for the former Prime Minister, President and Nobel laureate. As US reform Jewish leader Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie recalled yesterday: "He told Diaspora Jews - and all who would listen - that Arabs were human beings and that moderates existed in Palestinian ranks".

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Obama was among those who called Peres a friend.

Obama said in a statement that Peres had changed the course of human history by expanding the "moral imagination" and forcing people to expect more from themselves.

Dozens of world leaders were invitied to attend t he funeral on Friday, which will will be attended by United States president Barack Obama according to the White House. "World leaders wanted to be in his proximity and respected him", Mr Netanyahu said after holding a minute's silence at a specially convened Cabinet meeting.

Rafi Walden, Shimon Peres' son-in-law and a physician, said the Israeli leader's final contribution was to donate his corneas for transplant.

Peres' great hopes for peace may remain unfulfilled, but he refused to submit to pessimism. "He saw ways that peace could come".

"I felt that Israel must become strong enough so she will be able to make peace", he said.

Relegated to the political wilderness, he created his non-governmental Peres Center for Peace that raised funds for cooperation and development projects involving Israel, the Palestinians and Arab nations. It develops economic, educational and cultural projects with the Palestinians, Egypt and Jordan. He adhered to that position even as his dream of a lasting peace in a new Middle East proved to be elusive.

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