Peres Celebrates Bar-Bat Mitzvahs with Terror Victims
President Shimon Peres celebrated Bar and Bat Mitzvahs Monday with 70 victims of terror who he said symbolize hope for the Jewish people. The youth were wounded in terrorist attacks or lost relatives who were killed in suicide bombings and other attacks.
The President spoke personally to Gabriel Simla, who was seriously wounded in the Netanya Park Hotel massacre on Passover in 2002.
“You have suffered seven levels of hell but stood up and spoke tonight in a clear voice that expressed sorrow and hope. No one knows this better than you.”
President Peres said that the young man is “a symbol of what terror victims have suffered” and that the Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations “symbolize what the People of Israel feel towards you. This event is intended as a symbol for all the people of Israel, who celebrate with you.
“I want to congratulate you on your strength and for being who you are. It is a privilege to speak to you in the name of the People of Israel because all of the people share your sorrow and your strength, and you bring hope for a better future.
Speaking to all of the youth, the president added, “I see you as bringing wisdom from your inner quiet that represents you and your abilities to carry your suffering without losing hope. Turn the suffering that you experienced into strength and achievements in memory of those who have fallen. Never give up.
“All of the people of Israel want peace and do not hate anyone. We do not commit terrorist attacks, and we try to act responsibly with restraint and patience, and I hope we soon will see peace..”