Australia pays respects to Shimon Peres

Richard Balkin signing the ZCNSW condolence book in honour of Shimon Peres. Photo: Noel Kessel.

GOVERNOR-GENERAL Sir Peter Cosgrove told The AJN it was an “honour to express the condolences of so many Australians” at the funeral of Shimon Peres.

Describing Peres as a “great man of Israel, and a great man of the world”, the Governor-General said, “He was a dedicated servant of the State of Israel and its people. As president, prime minister and citizen, his life’s work was to strengthen his nation through both security and peace.

“Shimon Peres was a friend of Australia. It was an honour to express the condolences of so many Australians who recognise Peres’ significant life and contribution.”

Meanwhile, Australian Jewry is being given the opportunity to add its voice to the outpouring of international condolences for Peres.

The Zionist Council of NSW (ZCNSW) and Zionism Victoria, together with the Embassy of Israel, are inviting members of the public to sign condolence books for the late Israeli leader.

The books, which will be available for signing until tomorrow (Friday), will be sent to Israel as a mark of respect from the NSW and Victorian Jewish communities.

ZCNSW president Richard Balkin told The AJN on Wednesday, “I urge all members of the community to come to the Maccabean Hall in Darlinghurst to sign the book in memory of a true prince of the Jewish people, a dreamer and a statesman who never gave up his quest for peace and did so much to raise the status of the State of Israel among the nations of the world.”

Zionism Victoria president Sharene Hambur told The AJN, “The condolence book will give an opportunity for members of our community to send their personal message on the passing of Shimon Peres.

“Shimon Peres’ death has stuck a chord with many members of our community and I encourage members of the community to take this opportunity to express their -condolences.”

A condolence book has also been set up at the Israeli embassy in Canberra for diplomats and members of the public to sign.

The books are located at Maccabean Hall, 146 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst, and Beth Weizmann Community Centre, 306 Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield.

EVAN ZLATKIS