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Peres, at 90, is the last iconic figure of Israel's founding generation.Dermer cited the astonishing statistic that Peres has been a public servant in Israel for nearly 67 years, including two stints as prime minister.What has marked Peres throughout his career has been a liberal optimism about Israel and its place in the world. Peres remained outside the tough-guy circle.Peres sometimes seemed the bridesmaid at the Israeli political wedding, never quite achieving the status of some of his contemporaries.Peres spoke after the laudatory tributes.Peres' message, as best I understood, was that Obama should be faithful to who he is, and not try to conform to demands about what he ought to be.Peres' successor as president will be Reuven Rivlin, a respected right-wing politician who opposes creation of a Palestinian state--the cause Peres championed.
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