Pres. Isaac Herzog at a memorial for late Pres. Shimon Peres
Pres. Isaac Herzog at a memorial for late Pres. Shimon PeresAmos Ben Gershom/ GPO

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog participated Wednesday in the state memorial ceremony at Mount Herzl, for the Ninth President of the State of Israel, the late Shimon Peres, marking the seventh anniversary of his death.

In his address, President Herzog paid tribute to Shimon Peres as “a leader of vision and hope, a leader who built Israel's security.”

He went on to say, “The State of Israel has been in the midst of an acute constitutional and social crisis for almost nine months, which has dangerously shaken the society, the economy, and especially the security of the State of Israel. I have already said, and I will repeat – there is no way to a solution without dialogue, there is no way forward without listening and mutual respect. We must understand that if one side wins and one side is defeated - we all lose.”

He added, “I stand here with deep concern and great anxiety, and stress once again: we must resolve the difficult and dangerous crisis between the different branches of government, and determine the healthy and correct balance of powers between them. Israeli society's democracy must be preserved - based on the rule of law, which of course includes full compliance with the decisions of the court. These are days of soul-searching and introspection - and everyone should think carefully about the consequences of our actions. I am again calling on the elected officials: It is time to show responsibility, look reality in the eyes, and act in every way to reach a broad consensus.”

He continued, “I know it is far from easy, sometimes unbearable. But it is time to reach out, time to respond in kind, it is time to try. The vast majority of the public wishes to see an end to this crisis, and oust this controversy from the daily agenda, and start working together on the things that truly matter. Especially today, when polarization and division are at a high, and it seems that some of us find it difficult to imagine a shared and hopeful future - I believe that we must adopt the outlook that Shimon Peres always carried with him: that even at the height of anxiety, we must focus on calmly finding a way out of the crisis through dialogue. Together.”

The President added, “Crisis is part and parcel of the human experience. All of us - all human beings and all societies and nations - have gone through or will go through crises in our lives. But human nature not only allows us to overcome the greatest crises, but also requires of us to do so.”

He concluded, “I call on all of us to learn this great lesson from Shimon Peres. Even and especially at this time, we must remember the State of Israel is stronger than any crisis. Israeli society is stronger than any crisis.”