Five years on: Footage of Shimon Peres's final speech released to public

Former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres's final speech was delivered hours before he fell ill, and has never been released to the public before.

 GRAYEVSKY TOOK one of the last photographs of late president Shimon Peres. (photo credit: NOA GRAYEVSKY)
GRAYEVSKY TOOK one of the last photographs of late president Shimon Peres.
(photo credit: NOA GRAYEVSKY)

On the fifth Hebrew anniversary of the death of Shimon Peres, Israel's 9th President and 8th Prime Minister, the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation has released footage of his final public appearance, where he gave a speech to Israeli technological entrepreneurs and international investors.

In the speech, Peres encouraged those in attendance to invest in Israel by establishing research centers and creating a presence in the country.

Peres said, “People ask me: what is your greatest achievement in life? I say I wish I could have achieved more. What is your greatest mistake in life? I say: my dreams were too small. I recommend to dream big! Don’t be afraid, don’t be hesitant, leave the past for the historians.”

The former prime minister focused on Israel's talent for entrepreneurship, and innovation.

SHIMON PERES smiles during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in 2013. (credit: REUTERS)SHIMON PERES smiles during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in 2013. (credit: REUTERS)

Chemi Peres, Chair of the Peres Center and the son of Shimon Peres, who was present at the event, remarked, "I was privileged to be alongside my father during the final hours of his life.

He spoke about his love of the State of Israel and his faith in its people. He devoted his last speech to strengthening international connections with the State of Israel and to establishing its position as a leading and ground-breaking country of science and technology. He spoke in praise of the State of Israel that he so loved, about her sons and daughters, the source of his pride.

I couldn’t have asked for a greater gift than to be by his side in the hours and moments before he left us forever, and to keep his words in my heart.”

Shortly after his speech, Peres suffered a stroke and was rushed to the Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer, where he eventually succumbed to a significant brain hemorrhage on 28 September 2016, at the age of 93.