Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday issued a statement saying US President Barack Obama will attend the state funeral of Israel’s ninth president Shimon Peres on Friday. Also on the list of world leaders arriving in Jerusalem: former US President Bill Clinton and his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Pope Francis, Prince Charles, French President François Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German President Joachim Gauck, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Beatrix, Queen Mother of the Netherlands, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, President of Togo Faure Gnassingbé, and President of Romania Klaus Iohannis.
The foreign ministry has activated an emergency protocol to consolidate information regarding the arriving dignitaries and caring for their needs. The statement notes that ministry personnel will be coordinating the funeral operation with Ben-Gurion International Airport, government ministries and police.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara expressed deep personal sorrow over the passing of the former President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres. The Prime Minister will issue a special statement later this morning and convene the Cabinet in a special session.
In his statement about the passing of President Peres, President Obama wrote: “There are few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves. My friend Shimon was one of those people.
“Shimon Peres once said that, ‘I learned that public service is a privilege that must be based on moral foundations.’ Tonight, Michelle and I join people across Israel, the United States and around the world in honoring the extraordinary life of our dear friend Shimon Peres—a Founding Father of the State of Israel and a statesman whose commitment to Israel’s security and pursuit of peace was rooted in his own unshakeable moral foundation and unflagging optimism.
“I will always be grateful that I was able to call Shimon my friend. I first visited him in Jerusalem when I was a senator, and when I asked for his advice, he told me that while people often say that the future belongs to the young, it’s the present that really belongs to the young. “Leave the future to me,” he said, “I have time.” And he was right. Whether it was during our conversations in the Oval Office, walking together through Yad Vashem, or when I presented him with America’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, Shimon always looked to the future. He was guided by a vision of the human dignity and progress that he knew people of goodwill could advance together. He brought young people from around the world together because he knew they could carry us closer to our ideals of justice and equality.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett directed Israel’s education system to dedicate Wednesday to the life and achievements of Shimon Peres, and called on Jewish communities and schools to do the same, “so the future generation for whom he fought will know who he was and be inspired by him.”JNi.Media