The World Jewish Congress mourns the death of former Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres, one of Israel's and the world's greatest statesmen, and the recipient in 2012 of the WJC's inaugural Theodor Herzl Award for his services to Israel and to the Jewish people. Up to his final days, he was the living embodiment of the Zionist project, which is to build a free, secure, democratic and prosperous state in the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. A former Israeli prime minister, defense minister, and foreign minister, among many other senior government positions, he was an astute statesman, a great intellectual and strategist, a seasoned diplomat, and a peacemaker. He did Israel proud, and Jews in every corner of the world are proud of Israel because of what he did. The people of Israel and the Jewish people throughout the world are the richer for his having lived amongst us, and the poorer now that he is gone. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to his family and to the entire nation of Israel. May his memory be for a blessing. Ronald S. Lauder, President; David de Rothschild, Chairman, Governing Board; Chella Safra, Treasurer; Robert Singer, CEO
Published in New York Times on Sep. 29, 2016.