Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, joined President Barack Obama and other membes of Congress at today’s funeral in Israel for Shimon Peres, a former president and prime minister of the Jewish state who was 93.
Deutch, whose Palm Beach-Broward district is one of the most heavily Jewish districts in Congress, said it was a “great honor” to be part of the U.S. delegation, which included former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry and at least 15 members of Congress. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, also attended from Florida.
“You couldn’t help but feel the sort of overwhelming friendship and respect that everyone there had for Shimon Peres,” Deutch said. “The eulogies really spoke to that…Shimon Peres was someone who always thought about achieving peace, even as he helped build up Israel’s defense, even as he presided over the Israeli government in difficult times, he always was a visionary for peace.”
Deutch noted that one of the eulogists said Peres’ death marked “the end of the era of giants” for Israel. Peres was a protégé of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion.
“At the same time we were celebrating his life there was this real sadness about coming to the end of an era,” said Deutch, who met Peres when the statesman visited Washington. “He was a giant and it was a privilege to have had the chance to meet him and a real honor to be there today.”