Israel bids Peres final goodbye at Mount Herzl

Israel is saying goodbye to one of its greatest leaders, Shimon Peres, who is being laid to rest at Mount Herzl.
Obama and Netanyahu Photo credit: Gil Yohanan/ Channel 2 News

This morning (Friday), Peres’ casket made its way from the Knesset area to Mount Herzl, where he will be laid to rest in the section reserved for the greatest among the nation. Dozens of heads of state arrived at the funeral from around the world in order to share their final respects for one of the greatest leaders of the State of Israel including US President Barack Obama, former US President Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The 9th President of Israel will be buried between the graves of former Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin and former Prime Minister Itzhak Shamir.

Israeli President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin was the first to deliver a eulogy: “I am speaking to you today for the last time Shimon, ‘President to President’, as you used to say every time you called to give some wise words of advice. I am speaking and my eyes are searching for you, our beloved brother, our older brother, and you are not here.”

“Today, you are with your forefathers in the ground that you loved so much but your dreams and beliefs are still here,” Rivlin added. “You were one man who carried a whole nation on the wings of imagination, on the wings of your vision.”

Bill Clinton delivering a eulogy Photo credit: Gil Yohanan/ Channel 2 News

“Not only did Shimon Peres live a long life but he lived a life full of purpose,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his eulogy. “He was a central partner in the national mission of the Jewish people. He planted his roots in this nation and held the sword of David to protect them.”

Netanyahu mentioned his disagreements with Peres but stressed that the good relationship between them grew stronger: “Although Shimon and I disagreed on many things, the disagreements did not harm the many warm and pleasant meetings that we had.”

Flowers for Peres Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

In his final words, Netanyahu said: “My dear Shimon, you told how one of the only times you shed a tear was when you received the bitter news that my brother Yoni fell during Operation Entebbe. You cried then and I cry for you now. I loved you. We all love you. Goodbye Shimon, dear friend, incredible leader. We will treasure you in the heart of the nation and I daresay in the heart of all nations.”

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