Some 3,000 guests celebrated the 90th birthday of Israeli President Shimon Peres at a two-hour gala event at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on Tuesday night.
Peres’ actual birthday is in August, but every June, world leaders, thinkers and artists visit Jerusalem to discuss world issues at the Israeli Presidential Conference—so the party was scheduled for when the boldface names were in town.
Among the international politicians and celebrities who turned out to fete the Israeli leader were former US President Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, actress Sharon Stone and actor Robert De Niro.
US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon wished Peres a happy birthday in videotaped messages.
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At the event, Jewish-American singer Barbra Streisand serenaded Peres with two songs: her iconic hit "People," from Funny Girl, and "Avinu Malkanu," a song in Hebrew based on a Jewish prayer.
"You are the world's social Einstein," Clinton told Peres in a speech, according to Haaretz. "You have tried to put together a unified theory of meaning to unite politics and philosophy and psychology and history and science and technology. Every one of us who has been blessed enough to know you… has been made a little bigger, a little stronger and a little more optimistic that one day your theory will be real."
Peres shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for his work toward the landmark interim Israeli-Palestinian peace accord of 1993.