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September 29, 2016 6:40 am

Shimon Peres: In His Own Words

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The late former Israeli President Shimon Peres. Photo: World Economic Forum.

The late former Israeli President Shimon Peres. Photo: World Economic Forum.

JNS.org – The state of Israel, as well as dignitaries and Jewish groups around the world, are mourning the death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, who passed away on Tuesday, two weeks after suffering a massive stroke at age 93.

Courtesy of The New York Times and Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, JNS.org has gathered a few of the renowned statesman’s best quotes:

“Pessimistic and optimistic people end up the same way, so why not be an optimist?”

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“I’ve been controversial for most of my life. Suddenly, I’ve become popular. I don’t know when I was wrong, then or now.”

“Don’t hate human beings, even those you don’t like so much.”

“Sometimes people ask me, ‘What is the greatest achievement you have reached in your lifetime or that you will reach in the future?’ So I reply, ‘There was a great painter named Mordecai Ardon, who was asked which picture was the most beautiful he had ever painted. Ardon replied, ‘The picture I will paint tomorrow.’ That is also my answer.”

“At my age, after looking back, if I feel that I have to make a choice between being experienced and cynical or being curious and innocent, I prefer the second. It is much more appealing.”

“People think that I fantasize. I don’t fantasize about anything. And if yes, I have the right to fantasize, because everything I imagined became reality.”

“For peace, one must remember, As a bird cannot fly with one wing, as a man cannot applaud with one hand, so a country cannot make peace just with one side with itself. For peace, we need the two of us.”

“I believe that in foreign policy, it is better to talk like a lion in a sheep’s skin rather than a sheep in a lion’s mane. It’s a matter of taste. I think it is more effective to understate. “

‪“We need to use our imagination more than our memory.”

“Jewish history is devoid of any desire to rule over another people. I think that what is happening now is a deviation. All the people who ruled over us have been erased from the stage of history. We are the only ones who never ruled over anyone else, and we prevailed.”

“There are two things I dislike in life: To pamper myself and to be lazy.” 

“I support the right of every human being to marriage, including gay marriage. Every human being has the right to breathe fresh air, to eat food, to fall in love with whoever they want. According to our tradition, we are all created equal.”

“You are only as young as your dreams, not as old as your age.”

“I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is exercise. Then I have breakfast, which is composed of a bit of fresh lemon every morning. I believe this really affects a person’s digestion. Then I eat a fruit, an apple, peach or a banana, not more than this. I drink tea, usually weak tea…because strong tea in my opinion negatively affects a lot of things.”

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