Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement today after the passing of former Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres:
“Israel and the world have lost a man who was the truest definition of a public servant and someone who embodied Israel’s story. Shimon Peres served Israel and the world with dignity and distinction as he pursued the noble goal of peace in the Middle East and a two-state solution. He repeatedly sought peace for the Israeli people, while also serving critical roles in ensuring Israel’s right to defend herself from attacks.
“I had the good fortune to meet Prime Minister Peres several times. But, as the first Jewish woman to ever represent Florida in Congress, it was an extraordinary honor to meet with him in the Presidential Residence during a Congressional Delegation trip to Israel in 2010. During that trip, I led a bipartisan group of my colleagues on a journey through Israel and the Middle East to focus on the strength of the bonds between the U.S and Israel and our unwavering commitment to the Jewish state. We also focused on Peres’ treasured goal, which is the goal of so many Israelis, of a peaceful two-state solution. Every time I met with him over the years it was inspirational to share his company and learn from him. He was the pride of the Jewish people both in Israel and the diaspora. May his memory be a blessing to his family, the Israeli people and the entire world.”