Obama, Bill Clinton, other world leaders gather in Israel for funeral of Shimon Peres

On Friday, Israel buried former leader and elder statesman Shimon Peres at a funeral in Jerusalem attended by world leaders, including President Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Britain’s Prince Charles, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who sat in the front row at the service.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a hardliner, praised Peres, Israel’s most prominent dove, as “a great man of Israel. He was a great man of the world. Israel grieves for him. The world grieves for him.” He added, “I loved you. We all loved you. Farewell Shimon. Dear man. Great leader.” Clinton remembered Peres, a Nobel Peace laureate, as a “wide champion of our common humanity.”

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In his eulogy, Obama compared Peres to Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II, “leaders who’ve seen so much, whose lives span such momentous epochs, that they find no need to posture, or traffic in what’s popular in the moment, people who speak with depth, with knowledge, not in soundbites.”

Instead of obsessing over “polls or fads,” Obama said, Peres “knew better than the cynic that if you look out over the arc of history, human beings should be filled not with fear, but with hope.”

 

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