An extraordinary event took place Sunday at the presidential residence: Dozens of teenagers, representatives of every Israeli youth movements from the left-wing, secular Hashomer HaTzair to the strictly Orthodox girl's youth movement, Bnot Batya, held a surprise birthday party for the president.
First to greet the president were representatives of the HaNoar HaOved Ve Lomed organization, who gave Peres a blue movement shirt with a red ribbon. Peres who was a member of the movement and its secretary-general said: "I couldn't have wished for a better present for my birthday."
The Ztofim (Israel Scouts) representative said: "Greeting the president is a great honor for me. You are a role model for us."
President Peres was touched by the emotional gesture and said to the teenagers: "This country was built by young pioneers, as qualified and dedicated as you are. My advice for you is roll up your sleeves and enter the realm of politics – fix what need to be fixed, help lead the country with your energy, your idealism, your honesty and dedication. I call on you to serve the country and do great things for it, great things of your own."
Peres added that Israelis are characterized by their sense of perpetual discontent that inspires them to continuously work for a better reality.