"I know you have come to Jerusalem from around the world and from across the country to pay tribute, with me, to our people, to the State of Israel, and to Tikun Olam. Thank you all," said President Shimon Peres
at the ceremony marking his 90th birthday, in the presence of many esteemed guests. Peres added that he was honored to fight for the country and for peace for so long.
|Former US President Bill Clinton|
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
opened the celebrations with warm words for Peres and said: "We have our queen, and you have your Shimon."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
also spoke at the ceremony and said: "Shimon you prove that it is possible to be curious at any age and young at any age."
"Shimon Peres has devoted his life to building Israel and building peace. A strong Israel creates the conditions for peace," the prime minister added.
Netanyahu: 'Peres dedicated his life to Israel' (Photo: Omer Miron)
Peres with Clinton, Netanyahu, Streisand (Photo: EPA)
In his speech, Former US President Bill Clinton
said Peres was the Albert Einstein of the social world.
According to Clinton, Peres managed to put together a unified theory of meaning, philosophy, politics, psychology, technology and society. One day, Clinton said, his theory would become a reality in both Israel and the world.
Clinton points to Peres (Photo: Omer Miron)
Clinton was followed by Barbra Streisand
who sang for the president and said that Peres knows how to swim against the current for what is right. She was followed by Peres himself, who took the stage to much fanfare.
'Angelic' (Photo: Reuven Castro)
In English, Peres thanked all the dignitaries for coming and then returned to Hebrew to welcome the Israeli politicians, the IDF chief of Staff Benny Gantz,
bereaved family members, the family of the late Prime Minister Rabin.
"I am moved to see so many people who have been with me along the way."
"I know you have come to Jerusalem from around the world and from across the country to pay tribute, with me, to our people, to the State of Israel, and to Tikun Olam," Peres said, adding that it has been an honor fighting for the country and peace for so long.
Peres called Streisand's voice angelic and said it was worth waiting 90 years to her sing.
Peres and Streisand hug (Photo: Reuven Castro)
Peres praised Israel and said that there was no room for any form of discrimination in Israel. He then reiterated that Israel was geared toward peace and that he wished to see a Palestinian state.
Robert De Niro (Photo: Omer Miron)
World leaders who were not present at the ceremony praised Peres via video recordings, among them US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Spanish King Juan Carlos and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and several other key figures arrived at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem for the Presidential Conference, and to wish the Israeli president a happy birthday.
The Presidential Conference hosted some 5,000 people from 20 countries, including political figures, such as Mikhail Gorbachev and Rahm Emanuel, Nobel Prize laureates and Hollywood stars.
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