A speech of Hope
The memorial service for Shimon Peres held today on Mount Herzl in Israel was a watershed in many ways. It commemorated the death of a great and beloved leader. The heads of state of more than twenty countries attended with the presence of Mahmoud Abbas a significant feature. The handshake between him and Netanyahu was particularly poignant. After speeches by the main figures in Israel’s politics and including President Clinton, Barach Obama gave the final eulogy. In a statesman like presentation he gave a moving and thoughtful review of his admiration and respect for Shimon. In particular he repeated his support for Shimon’s unquestionable optimism and belief that the unrest in the Middle East can be resolved and that future generations will see the two states living side by side in peace.