Shimon Peres was not only a politician and statesman, but a thinker and an effective orator. During the course of his career, but particularly in his last years, he made many trenchant observations about life, war and peace and the nature of Israel.
Here are 10 of his best.
"If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact – not to be solved, but to be coped with over time."
"The Jews' greatest contribution to history is dissatisfaction! We're a nation born to be discontented. Whatever exists we believe can be changed for the better."
"When you have two alternatives, the first thing you have to do is to look for the third that you didn't think about, that doesn't exist."
"The Middle East is ailing. The malady stems from pervasive violence, shortages of food, water and educational opportunities, discrimination against women and – the most virulent cause of all – the absence of freedom.
"My heart goes out to the brave citizens of Syria, who each day risk and even sacrifice their lives to achieve freedom from a murderous regime. We in Israel welcome the historic struggle to forge democratic, peace-loving governments in our region."
"You know who is against democracy in the Middle East? The husbands. They got used to their way of life. Now, the traditional way of life must change. Everybody must change. If you don't give equal rights to women, you can't progress."
"Television has made dictatorship impossible but democracy unbearable."
"Israel doesn't intend to introduce nuclear weapons, but if people are afraid that we have them, why not? It's a deterrent."
"Sometimes people ask me, ‘What is the greatest achievement you have reached in your lifetime or that you will reach in the future?’ So I reply that there was a great painter named Mordecai Ardon, who was asked which picture was the most beautiful he had ever painted. Ardon replied, ‘The picture I will paint tomorrow.’ That is also my answer."
"At my age, after looking back, if I feel that I have to make a choice between being experienced and cynical or being curious and innocent, I prefer the second. It is much more appealing."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now