Begin forwarded message:
From: Jerome CARTILLIER >
Date: September 30, 2016 at 4:50:22 AM EDT
To: Brian Gabriel >
Subject: Travel Pool Report #5 - POTUS remarks
POTUS sat in the front row, Benjamin Netanyahu to his left, Nechemiah "Chemi" Peres (Shimon Peres' youngest son) to his right, listening to eulogies from President
Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, and President Clinton.
After a traditional prayer,
"Avinu Malkeinu," was sung by David D'or. Amos Oz also paid tribute to the former president.
After Shimon Peres' three children delivered remarks, POTUS took the stage at 11:15am.
At the beginning of his speech, President Obama saluted the presence of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, a "gesture and reminder to the unfinished business of peace".
"I could not be more honored to be in Jerusalem to say farewell to my friend Shimon Peres who 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 who can be counted on as allies. Always. A bountiful life driven by the simple pleasures of family and by big dreams. This was Shimon Peres' life. This is the State of Israel. This is the story of the Jewish people over the last century. It was made possible by a founding generation that counts Shimon as one of its own"
Peres "showed us that justice and hope are the heart of the Zionist idea", POTUS said.
Going through his career, he praised a man "who had the capacity to see all people as deserving of dignity and respect, to see not just the world as it is but the world as it should be"
"His pursuit of peace was never na?ve", he added.
"Shimon's contribution to this nation is so fundamental, so pervasive that perhaps sometimes it can be overlooked", he also said.
"Shimon never saw is dream of peace fulfilled (...)The region is going through a chaotic time", he added.
"In many ways, he reminded me of some other giants of the 20th century that I have had the honor to meet. Men like Nelson Mandela, women like her majesty Queen Elizabeth. Leaders who have seen so much, whose lives span such momentous epochs they find no need to posture or traffic in what's popular in the moment", he said.
POTUS also insisted on his personal relationship with Peres.
"I took great pleasure in my friendship with this older, wiser man"
"I could somehow see myself in his stories. Maybe he could see himself in mine because for all of our difference both of us had lived such unlikely lives"
AFP White House Correspondent
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