Dov Lautman 370.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
President Shimon Peres eulogized industrialist, philanthropist and national
activist Dov Lautman at his funeral on Sunday afternoon, painting a picture of a
tireless pioneer who always marched ahead of the camp.
“All your life you
dreamed, you fought, you built, you volunteered and you contributed,” Peres
said. “You didn’t rest and you didn’t flinch. You didn’t seek power, but you
always sought new peaks in service to your people. You enabled many to advance;
you enthused many and you harmed no one. You didn’t waste time on trivia, but
you were excited by great potential and you never gave in to despair. You never
tired of waving the banner of hope.”
The president spoke of Lautman not
only as a senior member of the board of directors or executive board of
directors at many companies, institutions and organizations, but also as a close
friend, who was known to nearly all as Dovik.
Among the many positions
that Lautman held at one time or another was that of chairman of the Peres
Center for Peace, of which he was one of the founders.
“We will miss your
rare, exemplary character,” Peres said, describing Lautman as “a true envoy for
all that is beautiful in Israel.”
Peres said that Lautman’s entire being
was inseparable from the upbuilding of Israel, the country in which he was born,
the country he loved and in which he was rooted.
He spoke of how Lautman
had made the Galilee flourish, and of how he had established a factory plant in
Karmiel, thereby providing jobs for thousands of people. He also paid tribute to
an unprecedented cooperative effort that Lautman had led between the Histadrut
and the government to overcome rising inflation and to set out on the path to
Peres noted Lautman’s contribution to peace between
Israel and her neighbors – establishing factory plants in Egypt and Jordan, thus
helping to forge allies for Israel.
In recent years, Peres said, Lautman
had dedicated his life to education, stubbornly determined to ensure that every
child in Israel would be educated.
Lautman led a busy social and
cause-committed lifestyle for over a decade after being diagnosed with ALS (Lou
Gehrig’s disease), which in the course of time deprived him of all independent
He only stopped after his hospitalization two weeks prior to
Referring to Lautman’s illness, Peres praised him for having
battled bravely against the cruel and unjust sentence dealt out to him by
“You did not surrender until your last breath,” he said. “Your life
was devoted to your people and your country, even at times of great personal
Hundreds of people from all over Israel attended Lautman’s
funeral at Tel Aviv’s Kiryat Shaul Cemetery. His passing was front page news in
the Israeli press, with extensive coverage in every major daily newspaper. It
was also reported in radio and television news bulletins.