Peres remembers his colleague Ben-Eliezer as a ‘courageous commander’

Israel's leaders remember Ben-Eliezer.

August 28, 2016 23:17
2 minute read.
Former defense minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer visits a Navy base.

Former defense minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer visits a Navy base. . (photo credit: ASSAF RAVITZ)


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Former president Shimon Peres, a longtime colleague of Binyamin “Fuad” Ben- Eliezer, expressed sorrow after hearing of the former defense minister’s death at the age of 80 on Sunday.

“I will remember Fuad as a courageous commander in the IDF, a warm person who loves people, whose heart was deep in the land and in the fate of our people,” Peres said. The former president expressed his condolences to Ben Eliezer’s family and “to the many loyal friends who followed him through thick and thin throughout the years.”

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recalled several aspects of Ben-Eliezer’s life in a message to his family. “Fuad served the State of Israel for decades as a fighter, commander, public figure and senior minister in the government,” he said. “I knew him and appreciated his contribution and his special character. In many conversations with him, Fuad expressed his concern and commitment to the future of the country that he so loved.”

President Reuven Rivlin characterized Ben Eliezer as “a man of many accomplishments who did much for the nation, devoted his life to its defense and security,” and was later a government liaison in the administered territories. “As a parliamentarian and minister who applied himself to his work with great devotion,” Rivlin said Ben Eliezer would be remembered for his love of the land, his commitment to its security and all he had done to facilitate its development.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein paid tribute to Ben-Eliezer’s “priceless contribution to Israel and its security,” and sent condolences to his family in the Knesset’s name.

“Fuad dedicated most and the best of his years to strengthening the Jewish people in its homeland and was an important and dominant voice in our public life for many years,” he said.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called Ben-Eliezer “a lone young man from Iraq, a brave warrior who finished his military service at the rank of brigadier-general, and from there went on to an impressive political career.

“I had many discussions with Fuad recently about the cloud over the last years of his life, and he insisted he is innocent,” Herzog added, referring to charges of financial impropriety leveled against Ben-Eliezer over the years.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said, “Ben-Eliezer’s contribution to our country’s security was great, but beyond all the official titles, Fuad was always a person, in the full meaning of the word, with a constant smile and friendly smacks on the back that you felt long after he gave them.

We will always remember him with respect and affection.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said, “From the Sinai Campaign in 1956 until the second intifada, his life was woven in the life of our nation as a fighter, public figure, and more than all else, a person.”

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