Famous Christian author and psychologist Dr. James Dobson is one of many people who are mourning the loss of former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres.
“As world leaders gather in Israel for the funeral of Shimon Peres, Shirley and I also remember the legacy of this remarkable leader who devoted his life in service to his country,” Dobson said in a statement.
He went on to praise Peres for the years he spent in public service, occupying almost all major cabinet positions and becoming prime minister twice, and his role as one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel.
Peres had always been a “voice of inspiration,” Dobson said, and never stopped being an instrument of peace even long after his years of public service had ended.
“Throughout his career, and even after his retirement, he remained an unwavering and inspirational voice for peace, both in the Middle East and around the world,” Dobson said. “Today, it seems especially true that statesmen like Mr. Peres are too few and far between.”
Peres served as prime minister in 1984 and as acting prime minister in 1997 when Yitzhak Rabin stepped down. He also served as minister of foreign affairs, defense transportation and finance. In 2007, he was elected president, a position he held until 2014.
Aside from being a key figure in strenghtening the defense of Israel and developing the country’s nuclear weapons, Peres was also instrumental in promoting peace.
While serving as foreign affairs minister, he was able to help establish a peace treaty with Jordan. And in 1994, he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for helping in the negotiation of the Oslo Accords between Israel and Palestine.
“The message of the Jewish people to mankind is that faith and moral vision can triumph over all adversity,” he once said.
Peres suffered a stroke earlier this month. After more than two weeks of being hospitalized at Sheba Medical Center, Peres passed away on Wednesday.
“Those of us left behind are grieving his passing, and we double our resolve to uphold and defend the State of Israel,” Dobson said.
Peres’ funeral was attended by world leaders, including U.S. Pres. Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Peres as “a great man of the world.”
"Shimon lived a life of purpose,” Netanyahu said at Peres’ funeral. “He soared to incredible heights. He swept so many with his vision and his hope. He was a great man of Israel. He was a great man of the world."