VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy led MPs from both major parties last week in signing a condolence book organised by Zionism Victoria that will be sent to the family of Shimon Peres.
Paying tribute to the former president of Israel, Andrews said, “The life and times of Shimon Peres can teach us all a lesson in the difference between politics and public service.
“From the beginning, Peres understood that the foundation of Israel was not merely a political statement, but a powerfully human one: the act of an oppressed people wanting to live simply, soundly, and in peace. To the end, he remained faithful to it.
“In his final years, he became Israel’s interpreter to the world – its poet laureate and its professor. His discipline was humanity. His method, grace. His message, peace. Let us hope that message continues to be the light unto the nation, its people, and its neighbours.”
Member for Caulfield David Southwick also lauded Peres in Parliament, describing him as “a fierce defender of Israel’s security and ability to defend itself, and … an equally tireless advocate for peace”.
Southwick added, “A fond memory of mine was attending the Maccabiah Games in 2012 with then deputy premier Peter Ryan and meeting Peres to discuss the importance of peace.”
A communal commemoration for Peres will be held at Beth Weizmann at 8pm on Wednesday, October 26.