Artists Bid Farewell to Shimon Peres
By: Nick Lieber, Editorial Associate and Analyst, Creative Community For Peace (CCFP)
“Dear friends,” Shimon Peres said to Barack and Michelle Obama three years ago, “after everything I have seen in my life, I earned the right to believe that peace is attainable.”
Believe in peace, he surely did. And for the last few decades of his life, the once prime minister and president, who passed away this week at the age of 93, fought strongly for it.
We at Creative Community For Peace (CCFP) join world leaders and Hollywood artists — many of whom have met President Peres — in mourning his passing and celebrating the enduring legacy of peace he leaves behind.
“In memory of this remarkable human being, Shimon Peres,” Madonna wrote with a photo she posted on Instagram. “A symbol of peace not only for Israel but for the Middle East and the rest of the world.”
“I am deeply saddened at the news of the passing of Former President of Israel Shimon Peres. The world has suffered a great loss,” wrote disco diva Gloria Gaynor, who performed in Israel last July. “My prayers go out to his family, friends, and countless people who have benefited from his life’s work of commitment to peace in Israel and beyond.”
“Godspeed my friend,” said actress Sharon Stone, who together with actor Robert DeNiro, was a guest of honor at the Presidential Conference hosted by President Peres in Jerusalem in 2013.
Godspeed my friend.????
“Israel welcomes the wind of change, and sees a window of opportunity. Democratic and…
“R.I.P. Shimon Peres,” actor Michael Douglas shared on Facebook. “We spoke on a panel in 2015 when I visited Israel to receive the Genesis Prize. He was an extraordinary man of peace. I send my deepest condolences to his family and to the people of Israel.”
“President Shimon Peres was a voice of reason who also happened to have the sensibility of a poet…thoughtful and soft-spoken, but his words echoed loudly around the world,” singer Barbra Streisand said. “His mind was expansive and his heart was compassionate. He was a brilliant statesman, gifted with the ability to listen to others who did not share his views and still remained determined to find a path forward.”
President Shimon Peres was a voice of reason who also happened to have the sensibility of a poet…thoughtful and…
Actress Morgan Fairchild called his death a great loss for Israel, for the world, and for peace. Paula Abdul, who met President Peres in 2013 and famously called him “sababa” (Israeli slang for “cool”), said “I’m deeply grieved that Shimon Peres has passed away. Going to Israel was life-changing for me [and] I treasure the memory of my visit [with] him. Shimon Peres’ warmth [and] kindness moves my heart to this day.”
The loss has been taken particularly hard by Israeli artists. The story of President Peres’s life was the story of Israel itself. He served as an inspiration and a source of hope for the people of the embattled country desperately wanting a better future for the entire region.
“A visionary. A man of peace. A friend of all people,” Israeli actress Gal Gadot, best known for her roles in The Fast and the Furious and Wonder Woman, wrote on Twitter. “Goodbye dear Shimon, your memory is cherished and your legacy lives on.”
A visionary. A man of peace. A friend of all people.
Goodbye dear Shimon, your memory is cherished and your legacy lives on. pic.twitter.com/TEYaXzKySF
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) September 28, 2016
“I have had the privilege to know a rare man [whose] contribution to Israel is impossible to explain in words,” Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli said. “Rest in peace, dear man.”
Though President Peres is gone, we can — and at CCFP we will — ensure that his legacy lives on by continuing to work for the peace he long desired. We believe in the power of the arts and culture to build bridges toward peace.