One of Israel's greatest political leaders,
a guiding figure to this nation since its
nationhood in 1948, a staunch ally to
the United States and the west, and always
in the midst of the action, Shimon Peres,
passed away September 28 after several
years of increasingly debilitating illness.
including two strokes, aged 93.
A protege' of David Ben-Gurion, Israel's
first head of state and a founding father,
Peres himself was Prime Minister on three
separate occasions, Foreign Minister as
many times, and president from 2007 until
2014. Peres was pivotal in building Israel's
defensive capabilities through helping to
establish Israel's electronics and aircraft
industries, as well as building his country's
nuclear arsenal. The leader of Israel's Labor
Party, Peres had no illusions of the dangers
posed by Israel's dangerous Arab neighbors.
Peres also revitalized Israel's economy in addition
to expanding and upgrading her defense
capability, as well as her economy.
A farmer and a shepherd in his younger days,
Peres rose to lofty heights as a political leader.
Statesman, warrior, then peace advocate, speaker
of several languages including Polish, Russian,
Hebrew, English and French, poet, songwriter,
an all-around renaissance man, Peres made his
mark not only upon Israel, but upon the Middle
East and the world. Principled yet pragmatic,
strong yet flexible, single-minded yet open to
new ideas, Shimon Peres was a great leader
for his people and an indefatigable ally of
the United States, he leaves a huge pair of
shoes to fill and a vast void in his part of the world.
Repose in comfort, sir. Enjoy your everlasting
reward after your yeoman's work. R.I.P.