The staff of the PJVoice joins with the world wide Jewish community in mourning the passing of Shimon Peres. Many American Jews, particularly those old enough to have experienced the formation of the State of Israel, see a direct line from Ben-Gurion to Shimon Peres. Peres helped shape the development of the Jewish State to a great extent.
The founding Israeli leaders were never divorced from the hard reality of Israel’s security situation. Each of them took a turn leading the military, and fully understood the need for protection from both internal and external enemies.
Still Peres, especially later in life, saw the need for an accommodation with the Palestinian Arabs, while protecting the State of Israel. When the opportunity came, he applied his utmost effort to carry out the goal of a two-state solution. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, for his work as Foreign Minister negotiating the Oslo Peace accords.
We mourn the loss of Peres. May his memory be a blessing. In American and in Israel, there seem to be ever wider chasms between opposing groups and conflicting points of view. Yet we remain optimistic that in Israel, as here, charismatic leaders will arise to build bridges between communities again.