Rep. Levin joins Obama for funeral of Israel’s Peres

Melissa Nann Burke
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — U.S. Rep. Sander Levin joined President Barack Obama as part of the U.S. delegation attending Friday’s state funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

Levin, D-Royal Oak, is part of a 32-member delegation visiting Tel Aviv that includes the president, former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry and 18 other members of Congress.

The former Israeli president and prime minister died Wednesday, two weeks after suffering a stroke, at the age of 93. Friday’s funeral is expected to be the largest gathering of world leaders in Israel since the funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by a Jewish nationalist in 1995.

The 85-year-old Levin, who is Jewish, has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1983 and is the ranking Democrat on the powerful U.S. House Ways and Means Committee that handles tax and other legislation.

“I was privileged to attend the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres,” Levin said in a statement. “The remarks at the memorial service were all a moving tribute to his unique combination of vision and determination with the central goal of Israel’s security in a land of peace.”