Remembering a Man of Peace
On September 27, 2016, Shimon Peres passed away after suffering from a massive stroke two weeks earlier. At the age of 93, Peres was one of Israel’s last founding fathers, who aimed to bring security and peace to his country.
Beginning in the 1950s, Peres’ political career spanned nearly seven decades, serving as the minister of transportation, finance, defense, foreign affairs; prime minister, and most recently, Israel’s ninth president.
Although not always loved by his home country, Peres was recognized around the world for his efforts to foster amicable relations. Peres was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1994 for his role in negotiating the Oslo Peace Accords, alongside with former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The accords forged a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. The elder statesman also received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2012, and then in 2014 the House of Representatives awarded Peres the Congressional Gold Medal.
While Peres officially retired from politics in 2014 at the age of 91, he never ceased advocating for peace. After leaving office he focused his efforts on his nonprofit organization, Peres Center for Peace, which aims to promote peacebuilding between Israel and its neighbors, particularly with Palestinians.
Learn more about the Israel-Palestine relationship with our reading list:
Back Channel Negotiations: Secrecy in the Middle East Peace Process by Anthony Wanis-St.John
Jerusalem: Conflict and Cooperation in a Contested City edited by Madelaine Adelman and Miriam Fendius Elman
Democracy and Conflict Resolution: The Dilemmas of Israel’s Peacemaking edited by Miriam Fendius Elman, Oded Haklai, and Hendrik Spruyt