Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday said Nelson Mandela, who passed on Thursday at 95, “was among the greatest figures of our time” and “will be remembered as the father of the new South Africa and a moral leader of the highest order.”
In a statement, Netanyahu remembered Mandela as “the father of his country, a man of vision and a freedom fighter who disavowed violence. He set a personal example for his country during the long years in which he was imprisoned. He was never haughty. He worked to heal rifts within South African society and succeeded in preventing outbreaks of racial hatred.”
Israel President Shimon Peres also issued a statement about the passing of Mandela: “The world lost a great leader who changed the course of history,” he said. “On behalf of the citizens of Israel we mourn alongside the nations of the world and the people of South Africa, who lost an exceptional leader.”
“Nelson Mandela was a fighter for human rights who left an indelible mark on the struggle against racism and discrimination,” Peres said. “He was a passionate advocate for democracy, a respected mediator, a Nobel peace prize laureate and above all a builder of bridges of peace and dialogue who paid a heavy personal price for his struggle in the years he spent in prison and fighting for his people.”
“Nelson Mandela’s legacy for his people and for the world will forever remain engraved in the pages of history and the hearts of all those who were touched by him. He will be remembered forever,” Peres said.