Shimon Peres, Israel’s last founding father, buried in Jerusalem
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Live updates (closed)Latest: Peres family extends thanks to all those who paid respects

Shimon Peres, Israel’s last founding father, buried in Jerusalem

'Thank you, dear friend,' Obama says in Hebrew; Netanyahu pays final respects to the former rival he 'loved, we all loved'; Rivlin asks for forgiveness for opponents who crossed 'red lines'

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

  • US President Barack Obama (C) speaks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) as he sits next to President Reuven Rivlin (L) during the funeral of former president Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016, at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / RONEN ZVULUN)
    US President Barack Obama (C) speaks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) as he sits next to President Reuven Rivlin (L) during the funeral of former president Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016, at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / RONEN ZVULUN)
  • Former US president Bill Clinton delivers his eulogy during the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016, at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery.(AFP PHOTO / POOL / ABIR SULTAN)
    Former US president Bill Clinton delivers his eulogy during the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016, at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery.(AFP PHOTO / POOL / ABIR SULTAN)
  • The casket of Shimon Peres is moved from the Knesset plaza on September 30, 2016 (Knesset spokesperson's office/Yitzhak Harari)
    The casket of Shimon Peres is moved from the Knesset plaza on September 30, 2016 (Knesset spokesperson's office/Yitzhak Harari)
  • Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (C) sits alongside European Council President Donald Tusk (L) and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery during the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016. (AFP/Pool/Abir Sultan)
    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (C) sits alongside European Council President Donald Tusk (L) and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery during the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016. (AFP/Pool/Abir Sultan)
  • The coffin holding former Israeli president Shimon Peres during the state funeral ceremony at Mount Herzl, in Jerusalem, on September 30, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
    The coffin holding former Israeli president Shimon Peres during the state funeral ceremony at Mount Herzl, in Jerusalem, on September 30, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
  • Tsvia Walden, Shimon Peres's daughter, eulogizes the former president and Nobel Prize winner at his funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)
    Tsvia Walden, Shimon Peres's daughter, eulogizes the former president and Nobel Prize winner at his funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)
  • Former Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, November 2, 2015 (Flash90)
    Former Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, November 2, 2015 (Flash90)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Friday’s funeral for Shimon Peres as it unfolded.

Jerusalem cops close off streets ahead of funeral

The funeral of Israel’s former president and prime minister Shimon Peres will begin this morning at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.

Ahead of the ceremony, Jerusalem police at 7 a.m. closed the streets surrounding Mount Herzl to traffic. The city’s light rail will operate on a shortened route that will avoid the closed-off parts of the city.

The main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, Route 1, will be hermetically sealed to all traffic in both directions from 7:30 a.m. until 9 a.m., then again from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., the times when many world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, are expected to land at Ben Gurion Airport and make their way to the capital.

US President Barack Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on September 29, 2016 as he departs for Israel to attend the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

US President Barack Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on September 29, 2016 as he departs for Israel to attend the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

The state funeral will begin at 9:00 a.m., with Peres’s ten eulogizers delivering their remarks to a crowd of some 5,000, including family members, foreign delegations from some 70 countries and representatives of all branches of Israel’s government and security services. The eulogies will be delivered in a clearing alongside the tomb of Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl.

While the proceedings will be broadcast live online and on Israel’s main television channels, the events are closed to the public for security reasons.

The first eulogies will come from Israel’s leaders, President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. They will be followed by former US president and longtime friend and confidant Bill Clinton.

The Knesset Honor Guard carries the coffin of former president and prime minister Shimon Peres at the Knesset, September 29, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The Knesset Honor Guard carries the coffin of former president and prime minister Shimon Peres at the Knesset, September 29, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

After Clinton, the singer David D’Or, especially loved by Peres, will sing a rendition of the “Avinu malkeinu” (“Our father, our king”) prayer, followed by the eulogy of another old friend, the acclaimed author Amos Oz.

Peres’s three children, Yoni and Chemi Peres and Tsvia Walden, will then offer their eulogies.

The final eulogy will be delivered by Obama.

The Times of Israel will be liveblogging the funeral, and a livestream of the proceedings will be available here when it begins.

Egyptian FM lands in Israel

Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry has landed in Israel for the funeral, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu writes on Twitter.

2,000 cops deployed in capital

Some 2,000 police officers are deployed in the capital, Army Radio reports.

Police are prepared for all scenarios, but are mostly concerned about attempts to disrupt the funeral, the Jerusalem district commander tells the radio station.

Abbas will get ‘appropriate’ seat — minister

Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud), who is organizing much of the funeral arrangements, tells Army Radio PA President Mahmoud Abbas “will receive an appropriate seat.”

Channel 10 reports that Abbas will receive a front-row seat.

Then-president Shimon Peres, left, meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan on May 26, 2013. Mark Neyman/GPO/FLASH90)

Then-president Shimon Peres, left, meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan on May 26, 2013. Mark Neyman/GPO/Flash90)

Air Force One to land shortly

Air Force One begins its descent to Ben Gurion Airport.

Joining Obama at the funeral are Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, as well as House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

In all, 18 members of Congress are flying to Israel to pay their respects to Peres, as well as current and former top administration officials such as key Mideast adviser Robert Malley, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and former peace envoy Martin Indyk.

Air Force One lands in Israel

Air Force One carrying US President Barack Obama and an accompanying US delegation touches down at Ben Gurion Airport.

Air Force Once touches down at Ben Gurion International Airport on September 30, 2016 as US President Barack Obama arrives for Shimon Peres's funeral. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Air Force Once touches down at Ben Gurion International Airport on September 30, 2016 as US President Barack Obama arrives for Shimon Peres’s funeral. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Abbas to be seated next to Mogherini

PA President Mahmoud Abbas will be seated in the front row at the funeral, next to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and a representative of COGAT.

Peres’s casket leaves Knesset plaza

As the US delegation makes its way to Jerusalem, the funeral procession begins at the Knesset plaza.

Peres’s casket is removed from the Israeli parliament and is en route to Mount Herzl, where attendees are already waiting.

Shimon Peres's funeral procession leaves the Knesset, heads to Mount Herzl. September 30, 2016 (screen capture: livestream/GPO)

Shimon Peres’s funeral procession leaves the Knesset, heads to Mount Herzl. September 30, 2016 (screen capture: livestream/GPO)

Shimon Peres's funeral procession leaves the Knesset, heads to Mount Herzl. September 30, 2016 (screen capture: livestream/GPO)

Shimon Peres’s funeral procession leaves the Knesset, heads to Mount Herzl. September 30, 2016 (screen capture: livestream/GPO)

Oren, Ashkenazi at Mount Herzl cemetery

Kulanu MK Michael Oren and former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi are spotted at the Mount Herzl cemetery.

The honor guard practices its salute while Israeli media mingling at the site speculates on the meaning of Obama’s lack of a meeting with Netanyahu.

At the Knesset, the Kaddish mourner’s prayer is recited. A small gathering of family members looks on as the casket is placed into the hearse.

Shimon Peres's family stand by his coffin during the recitation of the mourner's prayer at the Knesset plaza on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Shimon Peres’s family stand by his coffin during the recitation of the mourner’s prayer at the Knesset plaza on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Sara Miller contributed

Obama, Kerry greeted at airport by Foreign Ministry chief

Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold greets Obama and Kerry at Ben Gurion Airport.

Palestinian delegation en route to Jerusalem

The Palestinian delegation has left Ramallah and is on its way to Mount Herzl, Israel Radio reports.

Israeli politicians arrive at the cemetery.

UK Jewish leaders hail ‘towering statesman’

UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis says he feels “privileged” to be part of the official British delegation at Peres’s funeral. It’s a “very moving day” and a “day of strength and unity,” he says.

Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, is also there to “pay tribute to the memory of a towering statesman, a man of humanitarian ideals who helped Israel be strong and who did everything he could to help Israel make peace,” he tells The Times of Israel.

Arkush says the British Jewish community is “enormously appreciative” that the Jewish leaders are included in the official government delegation.

Sara Miller

Abbas, Netanyahu shake hands at Mount Herzl

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s hand at the Mount Herzl cemetery, Channel 2 says.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speak at the funeral of Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speak at the funeral of Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

World leaders are at the cemetery, including former US president Bill Clinton, French President Francois Hollande, and former UK prime minister David Cameron.

Former US president Bill Clinton at Shimon Peres's funeral at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Former US president Bill Clinton at Shimon Peres’s funeral at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Video of Abbas, Netanyahu encounter

A spokesperson for Netanyahu posts a video of the prime minister meeting Abbas.

In the clip, the two exchange what appear to be friendly greetings. Abbas is flanked by PLO official Saeb Erekat.

Obama, Kerry arrive at cemetery

Obama arrives at the Mount Herzl cemetery, along with Kerry.

Obama greets the PA president with an embrace.

Netanyahu, Obama chat in front row

Netanyahu arrives at the cemetery and greets leaders.

In the front row, the prime minister is seated next to Obama and the two are seen smiling and making small talk before the funeral formally begins.

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Shimon Peres's funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Shimon Peres’s funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Ceremony begins as casket arrives

Peres’s casket is carried into the cemetery, accompanied by a procession of IDF soldiers.

The IDF cantor recites the traditional liturgy. The eulogies will begin shortly.

Rivlin eulogizes ‘our dear brother’

President Reuven Rivlin offers the first eulogy.

“I am speaking to you today for the final time Shimon, ‘as one President to another,’ as you would say each time you called to offer strength and good advice.

As I speak, my eyes search for you, our dear brother, our older brother, and you are not there,” he says. “Today you are gathered to your forefathers in the land which you loved so, but your dreams remain, and your beliefs uninterred.”

Rivlin says Peres ensured Israel ‘an indisputable fact’

Rivlin says Peres ensured that the State of Israel “is an indisputable fact.”

“Like you, I was also born into the Zionist Movement in those decisive years between vision and fulfillment. I was fortunate to look up to you as a partner in the building of the State of Israel from its very foundations. For both of us, the State of Israel could never be taken for granted. However, with much thanks to you Shimon, for our sons and daughters, for our friends – and yes for our opponents – the State of Israel is an indisputable fact,” he says.

“You had the rare ability Shimon to conceive what seemed to be the inconceivable, and see it to fruition. Your eyes saw far ahead, while your feet covered great distances on the landscape of Jewish and Zionist history,” the president says.

Peres “succeeded in moving even the most stubborn of politicians, and to melt away even the hardest of hearts of our opponents,” says Rivlin.

“You strived until your final breaths to reach the pinnacle of the Zionist dream: an independent, sovereign state, existing in peace with our neighbors. Yet you also knew that true peace could only be achieve from a position of strength, and you were sure to secure the path to this goal,” he says.

Rivlin praises Peres for his contributions to Israel’s security.

“Few among us understand, and much more will be written about how many mountains you moved, from the days of the State’s establishment and till today in order to ensure our security and our military qualitative edge. How deep was your belief in the sacred combination of ethical leadership and military prowess, that Israel must act not just with wisdom, but with justice, faithful at every moment to its values as a Jewish and democratic state, democratic and Jewish,” he says.

‘You were our heart,’ Rivlin says

Rivlin details Peres’s record-breaking political career.

“My dear Shimon, you were the only one in the history of the State of Israel to serve in the three most senior positions in government: foreign minister, defense minister and finance minister. You are the only one to have served as prime minister and as president. It is no exaggeration to say that, more than you were blessed to be president of this great nation, this nation was blessed to have you as its president.

“In all these roles you were our head, but even more so, my dear friend, you were our heart; a heart that loved the people, the land, and the State. A heart which loved each and every person, a heart which cared for them.”

“Your stubborn faith in mankind and the good of people — in the victory of progress over ignorance, in the victory of hope over fear — was your eternal fountain of youth, thanks to which you were the eternal fountain of youth for all of us.

President Reuven Rivlin delivers a eulogy at Shimon Peres’s funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

President Reuven Rivlin delivers a eulogy at Shimon Peres’s funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

“The man of whom we thought time could never stop. With all your love for history and tremendous knowledge of history, you despised wallowing in the past, or being entrenched in a sense of self justice at the cost of the possibilities and opportunities that tomorrow brings. ‘The future is more important than the past’ you said. ‘What happened yesterday does not interest me, only tomorrow does,’ you would say,” adds Rivlin.

“The love you received, which transcended political divides in the later years of your life — from your supporters and opponents — was an expression of the yearning of all us to be infected by your unequivocal optimism. Even when we did not agree with you we wanted to believe that perhaps you were right. Believe me, it was not easy to refuse your optimism, and at times your innocence. Who more than you knew the heavy price of innocence, and yet, who more than you believed that heavier still was the price of mediocrity and being of little faith?”

Rivlin apologizes to Peres for criticism that crossed ‘red lines’

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Rivlin apologizes to Peres for criticism of his policies that may have crossed “red lines.”

“Shimon, I unashamedly confess, on the eve of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, at your graveside among the graves of the leaders of our nation, also your forgiveness must be asked. We will ask your forgiveness. It was permitted to disagree with you. Your opponents had a duty to express their opinion.

“However, there were years in which red lines were crossed between ideological disputes and words and deeds which had no place. You always acted according to what you believed with all you heart was best for the people, whom you served.”

President Reuven Rivlin delivers a eulogy at Shimon Peres’s funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

President Reuven Rivlin delivers a eulogy at Shimon Peres’s funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

“As president, you were for us an honest advocate. You taught many around the world to love the State of Israel, and you taught us to love ourselves, not to speak ill, and see the good and the beautiful in everything.”

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Shimon Peres's funeral on Mount Herzl. September 30, 2016 (screen capture/GPO livestream)

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Shimon Peres’s funeral on Mount Herzl. September 30, 2016 (screen capture/GPO livestream)

Peres’s death seals a chapter in Israel’s history, says Rivlin.

“Your death is a great personal and national loss, as it is also the end on an era, the end of the era of giants whose lives’ stories are the stories of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel. This is our profound feeling today. A feeling of the end of an era in the nation’s life, the end of a chapter in our lives,” he says.

“Our farewell to you is also a farewell to us from ourselves. When we see world leaders — our friends from near and far — who have come here to bid you their final respects, we understand that not only here but across the world you will be missed. And all of us already miss you.”

The world grieves for Shimon — Netanyahu

Netanyahu takes the podium.

“You came from near and far to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, to pay your respects to Shimon Peres, one of the founding fathers of our state,” he says in Hebrew to world leaders.

That is “a testament to his optimism, his quest for peace, his love of Israel,” Netanyahu says in English.

“The people of Israel deeply appreciate the honor you have shown Shimon and the state to which he dedicated his life,” he adds. Peres “lived a life of purpose, he soared to incredible heights.”

“He was a great man of Israel, he was a great man of the world. Israel grieves for him. The world grieves for him. But we find hope in his legacy, as does the world.”

Netanyahu describes ‘powerful’ bond with Peres

Netanyahu says it’s “no secret we were political rivals,” but says in Peres’s later years the two became friends.

Netanyahu says he first encountered Peres’s “fervor” in action 40 years ago at Mount Herzl, at the funeral of his brother, Yoni Netanyahu, killed during the Entebbe raid.

The prime minister says he’ll never forget Peres’s eulogy.

“It was the first time I met him,” he says. “My parents, may they rest in peace, my brother and I, were deeply moved by his words on Yoni, on the operation, on the connection to our forefathers… and at the moment, we had a powerful connection that was never severed.”

He says the two sparred over whether security will precede peace or vice versa.

“He came from left, I from right. I came from the right, he came back from the left.”

“Do you know what surprising conclusion I came to? We were both right.”

“Power is a means” to achieve peace, he says.

I loved you, we all loved you — Netanyahu

Netanyahu says that two months ago, he and his wife attended the opening of an innovation center at the Peres Peace House.

“I don’t think I’ve seen him so happy,” he says. “It was one of his dreams that came true.”

“Shimon always looked forward. He believed, like we believe, in progress, science, technology,” he says.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a eulogy at Shimon Peres’s funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a eulogy at Shimon Peres’s funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Netanyahu says that these components should be used to both advance Israel militarily and to promote peace — so that modernity should triumph over “barbarism” and “good over evil.”

Wrapping up his eulogy, Netanyahu says: “I cry over you today. I loved you. We all loved you.”

Rest in peace, “dear man, acclaimed leader.”

You were our shepherd, says Knesset speaker

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein praises Peres’s “modesty.”

“Shimon, you taught us an important lesson about life — not only about longevity,” but how to live a meaningful life, he says.

“You proved again and again, to all the skeptics, how great” Israel is, he says.

“We learned from you never to give up and despair,” Edelstein adds.

The Knesset speaker quotes Peres saying how he wanted to be a shepherd. You were out shepherd, he says.

Edelstein praises Peres as a ‘giant’

Edelstein says Peres was “a giant of a leader” and says “his fingerprints are here forever.”

He extends condolences to the family.

Clinton says Peres ‘never gave up on anybody’

Bill Clinton is up next.

The former US president says: “Yesterday, the prime minister did something that was unthinkable” when he was president, “he sent out a tweet” saying “it was Israel’s first day without Shimon Peres.”

“He was a public servant. I was honored to share almost 25 of those years with him,” he says, pointing to the Oslo accords negotiations.

“Then, just as his friend. Someone to listen to, learn from, and laugh with. And always was in awe of his endless capacity to” endure “setbacks” and seize opportunities.

Clinton says he is honored to speak at the funeral.

“Israel watched him grow from sort of a young genius,” and through his long life, “to become a wise champion of our common humanity.”

Peres’s vision has come true, he says.

“The tomorrows he envisioned are already being lived by people here in Israel,” says Clinton.

“His critics often claimed he was a naive, overly optimistic dreamer. They were only wrong about the naive part. He knew exactly what he was doing in being overly optimistic… he never gave up on anybody, I mean anybody.”

“Shimon always kept the door open,” says Clinton.

Clinton says Peres lived in ‘constant wonder’

Clinton says Peres lived in a “state of constant wonder.”

“He lived 93 years in a state of constant wonder over the unbelievable potential of all the rest of us to rise above our wounds, our resentments, our fears.”

Clinton says it’s easy to say these things at a memorial service, but “it’s hard to do.”

Peres had to conquer his “demons” and “disappointments,” he says.

He says the “monumental effort to do that grew his heart bigger than his brain, which is really saying something.”

Former US president Bill Clinton delivers a eulogy at Shimon Peres’s funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)

Former US president Bill Clinton delivers a eulogy at Shimon Peres’s funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)

That effort, “I am convinced, made him forever young,” he adds.

“Now he is gone,” he says, leaving a “powerful example.”

“So for the rest of our lives, whenever the road we travel comes to a dead [end]… in his honor I ask that we remember Shimon Peres’s luminous smile, and imagine.”

Singer David D’or sings ‘Avinu Malkeinu’

Singer David D’or sings “Avinu Malkeinu.”

Peres had asked that D’or sing at his funeral.

Amos Oz says Peres was deeply innocent

Israeli author Amoz Oz eulogizes Peres’s “deep innocence,” the “innocence that is not the opposite of intelligence.”

“Because of his great dreams, people called him the dreamer,” Oz says, proceeding to compare him to the biblical Joseph. Like Joseph, “he saw most of his dreams come true.”

Oz says that Peres’s innocence may have caused him to stumble in politics, but says he was a true diplomat.

“There are those who say peace is not possible. But peace is essential and unavoidable,” because neither the Israelis and Palestinians are going anyway.

Both Israelis and Palestinians won’t be “honeymooning” anytime soon, so there is “no choice” but to divide the land, he says. Most people know this, “but where are the brave leaders” who will do it? he asks. “Where are Shimon Peres’s successors?”

Oz calls Peres “a close friend” and “someone I loved very much.”

Peres’s daughter says father was ‘in love with Israel’

Tsivya Walden, Peres’s daughter, offers personal recollections of her father.

“The world will remember the determined Peres who never stopped, who kept running despite the obstacles, and despite the falls along the way,” she says.

“I will remember him during this past year at Friday night dinners at our home, when he was the first to rise for Kiddush, holding the booklet with the Shabbat songs printed in tiny letters, trying to make out the words of the songs through his thick lenses, never skipping a word, singing at the top of his lungs.

“He was described as a great negotiator, as someone who always found a way to get what he wanted. “To me he was a young man who used his creative skills to get us to eat. Who cut sandwiches into triangles and diamonds. ‘Try this. It’s a Burmese sandwich.’ My father pulled out all the creative stops, and used every trick of the trade to tempt us to open our mouths and eat and grow.”

Tzvika Walden, Shimon Peres's daughter, eulogizes the former president and Nobel Prize winner at his funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)

Tzvika Walden, Shimon Peres’s daughter, eulogizes the former president and Nobel Prize winner at his funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)

 

Walden says her father “had a long and good life.”

“And all those years he was a man in love: In love with Sonia – we were just about to dedicate the Sonia House – a wellness center for the children of the Ben Shemen Youth Village, where they first met and fell in love,” he says.

“Mother believed that every injustice in the world could be corrected and was always there to listen, support and help. Father admired this trait in her.”

“My father had a long and good life,” she continues.

“And all those years he was a man in love: In love with his family, with the people of Israel, with the State of Israel. A man who loved life in the present and was in love with the promise of the future.”

“My father, you were a lover of life, who sprung like a lion at daybreak to fulfill his mission.”

Peres’s son says father considered himself ‘shy’

Yoni Peres says his father always saw himself as “shy.”

“Father considered himself shy, even though he was always under the spotlight. I must have inherited that trait from him. We had a deep and special bond, which wasn’t always expressed in words. Despite his many absences, he always took a loving interest in us, even from great distances. He helped me through hard times, and I tried to be at his side too in difficult times, to help him even though he had enormous reserves of inner strength.

“My father was very sensitive and caring towards all people,” Peres continues. “He wasn’t ruled by his ego, he treated everyone as an equal and was always attentive, interested and supportive. He loved his family dearly, and with all the new members that joined us.”

Yoni Peres, Shimon Peres’s son, eulogizes the former president and Nobel Prize winner at his funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)

Yoni Peres, Shimon Peres’s son, eulogizes the former president and Nobel Prize winner at his funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)

“In recent years, he basked in the love of millions in Israel and the world. What a sight it was to see.

“When asked what he would like to have inscribed on his tombstone after death, he said, without hesitation, ‘He was too young to die.'”

“Indeed, my dear father, this is how I feel – you left us prematurely. There is so much more you could have done,” he says.

Chemi Peres vows he’ll keep father’s legacy alive

Chemi Peres opens his eulogy in English.

“We believe our father would have wanted us to say a few words in English to all of you who traveled from across the world to join us at this devastating moment, as we say goodbye and pay tribute to a special man who we all loved dearly,” he says.

“He would have wanted us to thank you all for your friendship to him and to our people. We believe that if he could he would have used this opportunity to remind us all that the role of leaders today is to serve their people and that there is no greater responsibility and no greater privilege than that.

“He saw in all of you leaders, friends and partners in his quest for peace. We will treasure his memory and honor his legacy.”

Chemi Peres, Shimon Peres’s son, eulogizes the former president and Nobel Prize winner at his funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)

Chemi Peres, Shimon Peres’s son, eulogizes the former president and Nobel Prize winner at his funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)

Switching to Hebrew, he says his father never forgot that he was a Jew.

“You kept your promise to your beloved grandfather, when you bid him farewell on your first stop on the way to the Land of Israel. You never forgot what it means to a Jew. And I promise you that neither will I. No one can continue to pave your path instead of you, but many follow in your footsteps, each according to their own way and conviction. And I am one of them, as best I can,” he says.

“We will remember you wherever we go and in whatever we do… Whenever we see your friends and loved ones, we will see your face reflected, as in the many people in Israel and the world for whom you were a leader, mentor and inspiration. You were a role model, a loyal son to your people and your country, and you strove with unparalleled determination for security and peace.

“You never spared your energy, and it never waned. You made the most of every moment in your life, up to very the end. We will remember you as one whose greatness stemmed from a deep passion to serve a great cause, and not out of a desire for power.”

Right-wing activist arrested during funeral

Police officers detain a right-wing activist as part of their efforts to prevent extremists from “doing something” during Shimon Peres’s funeral, a police spokesperson says.

Judah Ari Gross

Obama gives nod to Abbas, peace

Last in the line-up of speakers, Obama offer his eulogy to Peres.

He says Abbas’s presence “is a gesture and a reminder of the unfinished business of peace.”

He says Peres “showed us that justice and hope are at the heart of the Zionist idea. A free life in a homeland regained. A secure life in a nation that can defend itself, by itself. A full life in friendship with nations that can be counted on as allies, always.”

“This was Shimon Peres’s life. This is the State of Israel. This is the story of the Jewish people during the last century.”

Obama says Peres’s peace efforts ‘weren’t naive’

Obama turns to Peres’s early life, referring to the Holocaust and loss of his relatives.

“And so from an early age, Shimon bore witness to the cruelty human beings can inflict on each other… the particular madness of anti-Semitism, which has run like a stain through history.”

That understanding made him vigilant, but it “would never harden his heart. It would never extinguish his faith. Instead it broadened his moral imagination. It gave him the capacity to see all people as deserving of dignity and respect. It helped him see, not just the world how it is, but the world how it should be,” says Obama.

Obama says Peres “laid the foundation for the formidable armed forces that won Israel’s wars.”

“His boldness sent Israeli commandos to Entebbe” and rescued Jews from Ethiopia and his statesmanship built bonds with other countries, says the US president.

Peres “made hard choices, to roll back inflation,” he says, and “turned this tiny country in a central hub for the digital age.”

Obama says Pres’s contributions are “so fundamental, so pervasive, that perhaps sometime it could be overlooked.”

Younger generations remember Peres for Oslo accords, he says.

“But whatever he shared with his family or his closest friends, to the world, he brushed off his critics. And I know from my conversations with him, that his pursuit of peace was never naive.”

Obama says Peres “understood how hard peace would be “in a region where Arab youth are often taught to hate.

“I don’t believe he was naive. But he understood from hard-earned experience, that true security comes through making peace with your neighbors.”

Obama says Peres recognized need for Palestinian statehood

Obama says Peres saw the need for Palestinian statehood. He quotes the former Israeli president as saying the Jewish people were not meant to rule over another people.

“Out of the hardships of the diaspora, he found room in his heart for others who suffered,” says Obama.

“Even in the face of terror attacks, even after repeated” failures in negotiations, he recognized Palestinian self-determination, he says.

“He believed the Zionist idea would be best protected when Palestinians too had a state of their own,” he says.

Peres “never saw his dream of peace fulfilled. The region is going through a chaotic time. Threats are ever-present. And yet, he did not stop dreaming and he did not stop working.”

“By the time I came to work with Shimon, he was in the twilight of his years, though he would not admit it,” Obama continues.

Obama says he was the tenth US president to “fall prey to his charms.”

Obama compares him to Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth — “leaders who have seen so much, whose lives span such.. epics, that they see no need to posture or traffic in what’s popular in the moment. People who speak in depth and knowledge, not in soundbites.”

“He 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.”

Peres “believed in miracles, because in Israel, he saw miracles come true.”

Peres a reminder that Israel ‘not built by cynics’

Obama reaffirms bonds and commonalities between US and Israel.

He says both countries have flaws in their histories which they are reluctant to address. But because democracy was embedded from the start, “we have the capacity to do what’s right.”

Obama says he shared “a love of words and books and history” with Peres. “And perhaps like most politicians, we shared too great a joy in hearing ourselves talk.”

US President Barack Obama eulogizes former president and Nobel Prize winner Shimon Peres at his funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)

US President Barack Obama eulogizes former president and Nobel Prize winner Shimon Peres at his funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on September 30, 2016. (screen capture: GPO livestream)

Obama says Zionism is a universal story.

Peres is a reminder that Israel, like US, “was not built by cynics.”

“And Shimon Peres was never cynical.”

Peres had accomplishments of “a thousand men.”

Now the work of peace-making is in the hands of Israel’s next generation and its friends, Obama says.

He ends with the biblical quote “choose life,” in Hebrew and English.

“Shimon, toda raba, haver yakar,” he says in Hebrew: “Shimon, thank you, dear friend.”

Peres’s coffin carried out for burial

Peres’s coffin is carried toward the grave, in the Leaders of the Nation section of the Mt. Herzl military cemetery, where he is set to be buried.

Peres buried between Rabin, Shamir

The last of Israel’s founding fathers is buried at Mount Herzl, between former prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Yitzhak Shamir.

Peres’s children recite the Mourner’s Kaddish

Peres’s children recite the Mourner’s Kaddish at their father’s graveside.

The grave of former president Shimon Peres (screen capture: livestream GPO)

The grave of former president Shimon Peres (screen capture: livestream GPO)

Israeli leaders lay wreaths on Peres’s grave

Rivlin, Netanyahu and Edelstein lay wreaths on Peres’s grave.

Next up, Miriam Naor, the president of the Supreme Court, presents a wreath.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman then honors Peres, followed by opposition leader Isaac Herzog.

Security chiefs lay wreaths at Peres’s grave

Police chief Roni Alsheikh and IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot lay flowers at the grave of the former president, then a representative of the foreign service, which Peres headed during his tenure as foreign minister, places one on the fresh grave.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is next.

Obama embraces Peres’s family as funeral ends

Dignitaries are starting to file out of the funeral, as Obama embraces and offers his condolences to the family of Shimon Peres.

Obama is making his way slowly through the crowd talking with those paying their respects.

Former president Bill Clinton walks up to Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and puts his arm around his shoulders before heading out.

Yachimovich slams PM for not addressing Abbas in speech

Zionist Union MK Shelly Yachimovich slams Netanyahu for failing to acknowledge Abbas in his speech at Peres’s funeral.

“A prime minister who didn’t bother acknowledging Abu Mazen [Abbas], who is sitting in the audience, with not so much as a polite word — after he [Abbas] is the subject of bitter mudslinging for coming — is a prime minister who is terrified of political, or symbolic disintegration,” she writes on Twitter.

All Jerusalem streets reopened

All streets in the capital that had been closed for the funeral have been reopened, police say.

Judah Ari Gross

Highway 1 reportedly reopened to traffic

Highway 1 is now open to traffic in both directions, Channel 2 reports.

US delegation back on Air Force One

Obama has boarded Air Force One, which is set to depart Ben Gurion Airport soon.

Clinton said to hitch ride with Air Force One

Reuters’ White House correspondent writes on Twitter that Bill Clinton has hitched a ride back to Washington on Air Force One.

Clinton was among the first dignitaries to arrive in Israel on Thursday.

Air Force One has left Israel.

Peres family thanks funeral-goers

The Peres family thanks the Israelis and foreign leaders who attended the former president’s funeral on Friday and memorial service at the Knesset on Thursday.

“We deeply appreciate the support from all of those who came to the Knesset to pay their last respects at the ninth president’s coffin, and all those who joined us in mourning at the funeral ceremony,” Tsvia and Rafi Walden, Sigal and Yoni Peres, and Gila and Chemi Peres say in a statement.

“Mourners are invited to pay respects at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, located at 132 Kedem Street, Tel Aviv-Jaffa.”

The family will receive condolence calls at the following times:

Saturday, October 1 – 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday, October 2 – 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tuesday, October 4 – 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Wednesday, October 5 – 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Thursday, October 6 – 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Before departing, Obama snaps pic with police

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan posts a photo of a smiling Obama with Israeli security personnel at Ben Gurion Airport.

“President Obama knows who he needs to thank for this difficult and complicated operation,” writes Erdan, referring to the security arrangements for the funeral.

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