Jewish Leaders Express Sorrow at Death of Lester B. Pearson

Two major Jewish organizations expressed grief today at the death of Lester B, Pearson, former Prime Minister of Canada and one of the architects of the historic United Nations partition plan that led to the establishment of Israel. Mr. Pearson, who died last night of cancer at the age of 75, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for his activity in 1956 during the Suez Canal crisis that led to the establishment of a United Nations Emergency Force to keep peace between Israel and Egypt. He was the President of the UN General Assembly in 1952.

Sol Kanee, president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, issued a statement “on behalf of the Jewish community in Canada” expressing its deepest sympathies to the family of Mr. Pearson “in recognition of his lifetime of service” to humanity. The statement expressed sorrow at the passing of “a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people” and as the architect of the plan which resulted in the creation of the State of Israel.” The statement also recalled that Mr. Pearson was sympathetic to “the Jewish community’s pleas seeking asylum for the victims of the war” in Europe.

Philip Givens, QC, MPP, president of the Canadian Zionist Federation, expressed profound condolences to Mr. Pearson’s family and recalled the diplomat’s “monumental contributions to the people of Canada, the United Nations and the world community” which has assured his place in the history of the 20th century. The statement added that Mr. Pearson “conducted the brilliant negotiations that led to the establishment of the State of Israel by the United Nations on Nov. 29. 1947. Throughout his tenure in office he continually expressed concern “for the survival of the Jewish State. Canada has lost a remarkable citizen and Jews a good friend.”

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