World leaders and dignitaries from 70 countries attended the funeral of Shimon Peres today in Jerusalem. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin delivered the first eulogy, followed by PM Netanyahu, who thanks the world leaders for attending and said, “Shimon lived a life of purpose, he soared to many heights…he was a great man of Israel he was a great man of the world. We find hope in his legacy, as does the world.”
Former US President Bill Clinton then paid tribute to Peres, calling him a “dear friend who inspired awe by refusing to lose hope in the dream of peace and coexistence.” He added, “I always was in awe of his endless capacity to look beyond even the most crushing setbacks in order to seize the opportunities of each new day.”
Peres’s children spoke next, followed by author Amos Oz. The final eulogy was delivered by US President Obama.
Obama said, “I could not be more honored to be in Jerusalem to say farewell to my friend, to Shimon Peres, who showed us that justice and hope are at the heart of the Zionist idea. A free life in homeland regained, a secure life of a nation that can defend itself by itself, a full life of a friendship with nations who can be counted on as allies, always…. this was Shimon Peres’s life. This is the state of Israel. This is the story of the Jewish people.
Obama praised Peres for his efforts in trying to make peace with the Palestinians, saying, “Even in the face of terrorist attacks, repeated disappointments at the negotiating table, he insisted that Palestinians must be seen as equal in dignity to Jews and therefore equal in self-determination. He believed that Israel would be best protected when Palestinians had a state of their own.”
Obama concluded with the hebrew words, “Toda raba, chaver yakar” — thank you dear friend.
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Palestinian Authority President Abbas and PM Netanyahu shook hands at the funeral of Shimon Peres today. Abbas remarked, “We haven’t met for a long time” to the PM and Sarah Netanyahu after the handshake. The PM replied, “I very much appreciate that you came to the funeral.”
Abbas was given a front-row seat, at the request of the Peres family, between European Council President Donald Tusk and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. President Obama briefly greeted the Palestinian leader with a kiss on each cheek before walking down the line to stand next to Netanyahu.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan and the Foreign Minister of Egypt also attended the funeral.
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The Israeli government has launched a new initiative called “the prevention of violence and crime on the internet” to protect children and young people from internet based crimes and cyber bullying. The initiative will include the participation of 131 policemen and civilians, dedicated police units and a 24/7 emergency center. It will be allocated an annual budget of NIS 50 million and will be managed by the Internal Defense Ministry.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan praised initiative, saying it would constitute a digital “iron dome” which will protect children in Israel on the internet.
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