Peres: Woe to Us Had Nathan Listened to Consensus

Hundreds of people paid their last respects to Abie Nathan Friday morning, at a funeral service held at Tel Aviv's Tzavta Theater. A video projected on the stage backdrop showed photos of Nathan and news reports on his humanitarian and peace efforts. The soundtrack included songs such as "We Shall Overcome" and John Lennon's "Imagine."

Among the friends, politicians and performing artists who came to say goodbye were MKs Haim Oron and Zahava Gal-On (Meretz), Dov Khenin (Hadash); Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and former mayor Shlomo Lahat; Yossi Sarid, Uri Avnery, Gila Almagor, Yaakov Agmon, Hanna Meron and David Broza.

Henry Elkeslassy, a friend of Nathan's and chairman of the Humanitarian Fund of the Kibbutz Movement, read from a book by President Shimon Peres (paraphrased here): "We are accustomed to think that history is made by armies and governments, but sometimes individuals appear and through the courage of their hearts and their fertile imagination they change the whole world.

"Abie Nathan was like that - a courageous man with a message, a wonderful man who sowed the seeds of peace."

"Above all he was and will remain the man who dedicated his life to peace between Israel and its neighbors. He took action, touching the heart of an entire nation," Huldai said.

Peres recalls Nathan

After the service the mourners followed the casket to the Kiryat Shaul cemetery, where Peres delivered a graveside eulogy: "We were annoyed with him for not acting like everybody else, for crossing borders, breaking laws - why wasn't he obedient? But woe to us had he listened to us."