Quotes from around the world after the death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and elder statesman of Israeli politics, at age 93.
“A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever. Shimon Peres was a soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves – to the very end of our time on Earth, and in the legacy that we leave to others. For the gift of his friendship and the example of his leadership, todah rabah (thank you very much), Shimon.” – President Barack Obama
“With the passing of Shimon Peres, Israel has lost a leader who championed its security, prosperity, and limitless possibilities from its birth to his last day on earth. The Middle East has lost a fervent advocate for peace and reconciliation and for a future where all the children of Abraham build a better tomorrow together. And Hillary and I have lost a true and treasured friend.
“I’ll never forget how happy he was 23 years ago when he signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, heralding a more hopeful era in Israeli-Palestinian relations. He was a genius with a big heart who used his gifts to imagine a future of reconciliation not conflict, economic and social empowerment not anger and frustration, and a nation, a region, and a world enhanced by caring and sharing, not torn asunder by the illusions of permanent dominance and perfect truth. His critics called him a dreamer. That he was – a lucid, eloquent dreamer until the very end. Thank goodness. Let those of us who loved him and love his nation keep his dream alive.” – Former President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton
“I am more sad than words can express. This is a man who was a political giant, a statesman who will rank as one of the foremost of this era or any era, and someone I loved deeply. He was an inspiration, a mentor and a friend. His intellect, his way with words that was eloquent beyond description, his command of the world and how it was changing were extraordinary.
“Though he grew older, his spirit never did. Above all, his commitment to peace and his belief that it was in the interests of the country he adored marked him out as a visionary whose vision was never dimmed or displaced. He saw every setback as a spur to further action and every moment of hope as a sign of what could be done.” – Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
“Shimon Peres was, above all, a man of peace. My deepest condolences to his loved ones and to the people of Israel on his passing.” – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
“Shimon Peres never stopped trying to reach peace and believing in peace. His hand was always extended to a historic compromise with our neighbors, and even if this compromise tarried, he taught us never to give in to despair, but to cling to hope.” – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
“President Abbas has sent a condolence letter to Shimon Peres’ family expressing his sorrow and sadness, as Peres was a partner in making the peace of the brave with both the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He exerted persistent efforts to reach a just peace from the Oslo agreement until the final moments of his life.” – the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
“The Palestinian people are very happy at the passing of this criminal who caused their blood to shed…Shimon Peres was the last remaining Israeli official who founded the occupation, and his death is the end of a phase in the history of this occupation and the beginning of a new phase of weakness.” – Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri
“The last time I sat with Shimon back in March, at his Center for Peace in Tel Aviv, he said ‘we gave up war, because war led nowhere.’ Every nation has a soul–someone who embodies the spirit of a people. And for so many years, Shimon Peres was the soul of Israel. The world is a little darker without him in it.” – Vice President Joe Biden
“Today with deep sorrow we bid farewell to our beloved father, the 9th president of Israel. Our father’s legacy has always been to look to tomorrow. We were privileged to be part of his private family, but today we sense that the entire nation of Israel and the global community share this great loss. We share this pain together.” – Chemi Peres, Shimon Peres’ son
“A giant, a leader and an outstanding statesman has left us. The last of the leaders of the country’s founding. A man who made an immeasurable contribution to Israel’s security, its standing in the world and its efforts for peace. A world statesman, who even during his greatest achievements and until his last days had a great vision for a better Israel and a better world, along with an inexhaustible curiosity of a young man for every emerging innovation and revolution. His memory will be forever bound up with the chronicles of Israel’s history. May his memory be a blessing.” – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
“For many years, Shimon Peres worked together with the Mossad on operations and activities for Israel’s security, and was one of the country’s prominent leaders, a symbol of peace and brotherhood and one that gave an enormous contribution to fortifying Israel’s security.” — Israel’s Mossad spy agency
“Words cannot quantify the tremendous amount that Shimon Peres did for the security of Israel. Shimon Peres shaped the character and values of the Ministry of Defense, led the building and development of the Israel Defense Forces and its strategic capabilities, developed defense relationships between Israel and different countries around the world, and played a key role in the developing Israel’s defense industries.” – Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, Udi Adam
“Barbara and I join Shimon Peres’ countless admirers around the world in saluting his singular life of service – to the universal cause of freedom, to the timeless cause of Israel, to the noblest cause of peace. By his unyielding determination and principle, Shimon Peres time and again helped guide his beloved country through the crucible of mortal challenge. But it was by his innate humanity, his decency, that Shimon inspired the world over and helped pave a path to peace broad enough that future generations will walk it one day, side-by side.” – Former President George H. W. Bush
“Laura and I join the people of Israel and those around the world in mourning the death of Shimon Peres. As a young man, he worked for his country’s independence. For the rest of his life, he led it with a deep and abiding concern for his people and a commitment to freedom and peace. The Bush family will miss Shimon Peres and his grace, dignity, and optimism.” – Former President George W. Bush
“My heart is bleeding.my tears are falling.because President Shimon Peres is no longer in this world. He was a father figure not only to his beloved country of Israel, but also to me, because he was what I imagined my father would have been like. Shimon’s mind was expansive and his heart was compassionate. He was a brilliant statesman, gifted with the ability to listen to others who did not share his views and still remained determined to find a path forward.
He was a voice of reason who also happened to have the sensibility of a poet.thoughtful and soft-spoken, but his words echoed loudly around the world. I adored Shimon.and I’m so grateful that I was able to spend some time with him over the years, and sing for him at his 90th birthday celebration in Israel. Thank god his spirit, his wisdom, and his ideals will live forever.” – Barbra Streisand
“My friend Shimon had a very rare human quality: He had the ability to change.
When I met Peres in the early 70s, he was in my eyes a banal hawk. Supporting settlers, a settler lover, a security man, the more land the better, the more power the better. He changed before my eyes … into an enthusiastic and stubborn believer in Israeli-Palestinian peace and Israeli-Arab peace.” – Israeli author Amos Oz
“The Last of the Mohicans has left us. He was one of the founding fathers, or founding sons, and all his generation is gone. Shimon is the last who remained.
“I also was very close to him when he was around (Israel’s first prime minister David) Ben Gurion. I remember the entire group of younger people who were around the old man. Shimon was the last. They are all gone. It’s a kind of feeling of losing your father. Because he is a father of modern Israel.” – Peres’ biographer and former political adviser Michael Bar Zohar
“President Peres believed that the best way to serve the State of Israel and to deliver security to the Israeli people was through peace with the Palestinians. We can only honor his memory with a daily commitment to reconciliation, preserving and advancing his vision for a two-State solution.” – European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini
“The world has lost a true legend and statesman. Shimon Peres was a gift to the country he helped establish and lead, and a persistent voice for the cause of peace. President Peres’ countless contributions to the world earned him the Nobel Peace Prize, Congressional Gold Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. While we join the State of Israel and people around the globe in mourning his death, we also give thanks for his incredible life.” – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan
“Shimon Peres’ story was the story of modern Israel – a saga of daring, dynamism and wisdom. With all of his heart, this farmer, fighter, author, Nobel Peace Prize winner, prime minister and president worked to guide his nation into a secure and confident future. I valued his friendship. He was an intellectual resource who personified the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel.” – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
“My wife Lucy had the honor of visiting Shimon Peres a few months ago, at the Peres Centre for Peace. He told her the secret of perpetual youth was to ensure that your list of dreams always remained longer than your list of achievements. On that test, Shimon Peres remained the youngest of leaders.” – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
“On behalf of the entire New York Jewish community, we deeply mourn the passing of Shimon Peres, one of the greatest Jewish leaders of our time. President Peres was one of the extraordinary visionaries of our age, a towering Zionist hero of deep courage who devoted his life to serving and defending Israel and the Jewish people.” – Eric S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York