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The duty of leaders is to pursue freedom ceaselessly, even in the face of hostility, in the face of doubt and disappointment. Just imagine what could be.

-Shimon Peres

peresThe National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA mourns the death of Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister and President of Israel, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate for his role in the Oslo Accords peace process.  We remember him as a leader who worked for peace with Israel’s neighbors and was optimistic, until the very end of his life, about a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians.

“Shimon Peres will be missed for his courageous and honorable stand for peace in Israel and Palestine, and in the wider Middle East,” said Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, Associate General Secretary.  “Knowing that peace would require a genuine reconciliation that resolves long-standing issues between Israelis and Palestinians and fulfills the aspirations of both, he took risks in the sacrifices he was willing to make. For this kind of moral leadership, his presence among us was a gift for which we are all thankful.”

The National Council of Churches joins our many Jewish and other interfaith partners in recognizing the significance of Peres’s passing and pray that the cause of peace, for which he believed, will live on.