European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 28/09/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 28/09/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Shimon Peres, last of Israel’s founding fathers, passes away

Shimon Peres, the last of Israel’s founding fathers, died early on Wednesday morning at the age of 93, the Times of Israel reports.

Peres died in his sleep at around 3:00 am local time on Wednesday, Rafi Walden, Peres’s personal physician, who is also his son-in-law, told AFP. He died surrounded by family members.

Peres was hospitalised at the Sheba Medical Center on September 13 after suffering a major stroke. He had been under sedation since then, with doctors periodically reporting slight progress in his condition until the rapid deterioration on Tuesday and into Wednesday.

Over a seven-decade career, the elder statesman of Israeli politics and one of the country’s most admired symbols has held virtually every senior political office, including two stints as prime minister and extended terms as foreign, defence and finance minister. He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in reaching an interim peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Israeli politicians mourn loss of Shimon Peres

Israeli politicians reacted with grief and sorrow on Wednesday morning to the passing in hospital overnight of former president and prime minister Shimon Peres, the last of Israel’s founding fathers. The Times of Israel reports.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he and his wife Sara wanted to convey their “deep personal sadness on the passing of a beloved man of this nation, former Israeli president Shimon Peres.”

Netanyahu was to hold a special government meeting on Wednesday morning, his office said.

Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said Peres’s death was “a sad day for Israel.”

Despite the political differences, the two had met frequently over the past several years, Liberman said in a statement, and held long conversations about the future of the state.

Upon learning of the former president’s passing, President Reuven Rivlin, who was on a state visit to Ukraine on Tuesday where he spoke at a parliamentary session marking the 75th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre, cut his trip short and was on his way back to Israel.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Peres’s passing was like “losing the head of a family.”

“Israel is parting with a man who saw everything, who was involved in everything and who was behind everything. Peres is the story of the Jewish people and of Israel. He was one of the giants of national leadership we have seen over the past century,” Edelstein said in a statement.

“Shimon was a teacher, a friend and a remarkable statesman who will be forever remembered as an icon of Israel’s history, and whose legacy will continue to play a profound role in Israel’s future,” opposition leader and head of the Zionist Union party Isaac Herzog wrote on Facebook.

“He was a man who had a hand in everything that was built here,” wrote Herzog, who also leads Labour — the largest party that makes up the Zionist Union faction — which Peres also headed.

Peres, said Herzog, “is one of the greats that shaped the face of Israel throughout its existence. He contributed to Israel’s security and deterrence, he fought resolutely against terrorism, and he relentlessly pursued peace. These remarkable contributions, as well as his work towards economic and social empowerment, improving Israel’s international status, and supporting Israel as a nation of innovation and courage, created a lasting impact that no words can do justice.”

Zionist Union MK and head of the Hatnua party Tzipi Livni which makes up the second part of the faction said that it was “hard to imagine Israel without him; he will be remembered the world over as a statesman and a leader.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) praised Peres as “a practical visionary and peace-seeking security figure, a courageous leader.

“He proudly represented Israel around the globe, and cared for the future of the Jewish people with every ounce of his body and soul,” Bennett said.

Economy Minister and head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Aryeh Deri, said that he received the news of Peres’s death with “deep sorrow and great pain”

“He was a true friend to me. I loved him dearly. I will always remember him for his intelligence, his vision, his sensitivity and the great respect with which he treated everyone,” said Deri.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Israel’s population reaches 8.58 million

Israel will have a population of 8.585 million citizens this Rosh Hashana, Arutz Sheva reports.

The growth rate, two percent, was similar to previous years, according to an annual report released Tuesday by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics.

The country's Jewish population, which makes up nearly three quarters of the country at 6.419 million, grew at a rate of 1.9 percent, while the Arab population, which makes up just over a fifth of the country at 1.786 million, grew at a rate of 2.2 percent.

Other groups, including non-Arab Christians and those identifying with other religions, which make up 4.4 percent of the population at 380,000, grew at a rate of 3.8 percent.

The birth rate surpassed the death rate, with 189,000 births and 46,000 deaths.

In the past Jewish year, 30,000 people moved to Israel, including 25,000 new immigrants, representing a 10 percent fall on the numbers from 2015. The fall in Aliyah was most marked from France.

Click here to read the full article in Arutz Sheva

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
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