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Wednesday, 28 September 2016 12:50
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece and the entire Greek Jewry join the mourning for the loss of the ninth President of the State of Israel and convey their deepest condolences to his family and the people of Israel.

Shimon Peres has been a great political and academic figure who has identified his name and activity with the history of the State of Israel for seven decades.
From the office of the President of Israel, as Prime Minister –a position which he was elected in three times- as well as from all public offices he hold, Shimon Peres worked for the security, the achievement of peace and the progress of Israel. He pioneered the Oslo agreement. His tireless work for peace was recognized at international level and in 1994 he was awarded with the Nobel Prize for Peace, together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.

“Shimon Peres’s bond with Greece has been special and has deep roots”, said the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece Mr. David Saltiel. As stressed in his condolences message: “Shimon Peres has been a friend of Greece and of the Greek Jewish Community. He grew up with his father’s memories of his passing through Greece when during 1941 Yitzhak Persky fought with the Jewish Brigade against the Nazis. In 2003 the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki proclaimed Shimon Peres an honorary member of the Community. Last June he visited Greece and the characteristic statement of the Greek President Pavlopoulos was that “Peres represents a source of inspiration for peace in the Middle East”.

Shimon Peres has also been an admirer of the Greek-Jewish cultural heritage. I am profoundly touched to recall the meeting that he had with the leadership of the Greek Jewry during his state visit to Greece in August 2012. I vividly remember his address to the Youth: “The scientists represent the true wealth of a country, thus, arm yourselves with knowledge and invest in research”. I quote these words as I believe they reflect his wisdom, his character and his innovative thought. Let those words be his legacy to the people of Israel and the entire world for the benefit of progress and development”.

Shimon Peres didn’t simply speak about peace. He worked throughout his whole life with persistence in order to accomplish it. He believed in turning the impossible into possible. He knew well that Israel could not survive depending either on military force, or on diplomacy or on economic power alone, but on the commitment and continuous development of all three parameters together.  

Shimon Peres carried on his shoulders for 70 years the visions and the hopes of an entire people and through his continuous participation in its fights, identified the history of the State of Israel with his own personal history which is a source of inspiration to future generations.

In 2005 Shimon Peres stated: “My vision is to have a State as old as the Ten Commandments and as new as the internet”.

Athens, September 28, 2016

Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece


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