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9/28/16

Israel: Shimon Peres of Israel Dies at 93; Built Up Defense and Sought Peace - by Marilyn Berger

Shimon Peres, one of the last surviving pillars of Israel’s founding generation, who did more than anyone to build up his country’s formidable military might, then worked as hard to establish a lasting peace with Israel’s Arab neighbors, died on Wednesday in a Tel Aviv area hospital. He was 93.

His death was announced by his son Nehemya Peres, who is known as Chemi, and his personal physician and son-in-law Dr. Rafi Walden, outside the Sheba Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized for the last two weeks.

Mr. Peres died just over two weeks after suffering a stroke. Doctors kept him largely unconscious and on a breathing tube since then in hopes that it would give his brain a chance to heal. But he deteriorated as the nation he once led watched his last battle play out publicly and leaders from around the world sent wishes for his recovery.

As prime minister (twice); as minister of defense, foreign affairs, finance and transportation; and, until 2014, as president, Mr. Peres never left the public stage during Israel’s seven decades.

He led the creation of Israel’s defense industry, negotiated key arms deals with France and Germany and was the prime mover behind the development of Israel’s nuclear weapons. But he was consistent in his search for an accommodation with the Arab world, a search that in recent years left him orphaned as Israeli society lost interest, especially after the upheavals of the 2011 Arab Spring led to tumult on its borders.

Note EU-Digest: Shimon Peres once said: Optimists and Pessimists both have to die. I rather die as an Optimist"". A great statesman who saw peace between Palestine and Israel as the only solution  to creating a stable Middle East.

Read more Shimon Peres of Israel Dies at 93; Built Up Defense and Sought Peace - The New York Times

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