Shimon Peres, the last remaining of Israel’s “Founding Fathers,” died overnight at the age of 93.
Peres suffered a stroke two weeks ago and never fully recovered.
In a life that spanned nearly a century, Peres was there for Israel’s modern rebirth and played a leading role in most of the major events to occur over its 68-year history.
A die-hard left-wing liberal, Peres was the target of harsh criticism over his failed policies in regards to the Middle East peace process.
At the same time, few doubted the former prime minister’s and former president’s sincerity in trying to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, misguided as they may believe his efforts to have been.
Peres was also the driving force behind a number of policies and decisions for which most Israelis from across the political spectrum are thankful.
Peres is widely regarded as the “spiritual father” of Israel’s nuclear program, and it was Peres who pushed for the daring raid on Entebbe when most of Israel’s political leadership at the time feared undertaking such an operation so far from home.
It his latter years, Peres gained the respect of Israelis as the nation’s elder statesman, a role most feel he fulfilled faithfully and with dignity.