Leeds community mourns former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres

PEACE PRIZE: Shimon Peres with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
PEACE PRIZE: Shimon Peres with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

TRIBUTES HAVE been paid in the city to the former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres who has died at the age of 93.

Mr Peres, who was one last surviving link to his country’s founding fathers, had been in hospital since suffering a major stroke two weeks ago.

Tributes have been paid by leaders across the world, including in Leeds, which has one of the largest Jewish communities in the North of England.

Rabbi Jason Kleinman of the Beth Hamidrash Hagadol synagogue, in Street Lane, said: “The Jewish community has lost an internationally renowned statesman for Israel.

“He dedicated his life to public service and was committed to coexistence and to peace.

“They don’t make them like him any more.

“On the world stage he was a voice for Israel and one who was totally committed to a peaceful solution for Israel.

“He received the Nobel Peace Prize and while Israel has always strived for peace I think it needs a voice of reason like his again now.”

The Leeds Jewish Representatives Council said: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Shimon Peres, a man who spent his whole life seeking peace in a fractured world. We hope that the message of peace that he fought for for so long is one which is carried forward by all current leaders in the Middle East.”

As Foreign Minister, Mr Peres helped negotiate and signed the Oslo Accords, designed to create a “lasting and comprehensive peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians”. The accords, were the first peace treaties ever signed between Israel and Palestinian leadership.

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