Happy 89th birthday to the President of Israel, Shimon Peres! Mr. Peres, born in a time when proper birth certificates were a privilege, has chosen to celebrate his date of birth on August 16th for many years now.

Happy 89th Birthday, Mr. President!

The Israeli president, Shimon Peres, and the IDF (Zahal) chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, posing with IDF (Zahal) soldiers. Happy birthday, Mr. Peres!

Peres has long supported the IDF (Zahal) and its soldiers. Every year, on the Israeli Independence Day, he meets with the army’s excelling soldiers (traditionally called “the president’s finest”). Recently he even wrote a piece about the IDF (Zahal):

I love the army. The IDF (Zahal) is still the people’s army, not too pretentious, full of volunteering spirit and devotion. Israel should be measured not through discipline, but through its volunteers. The IDF (Zahal) is the biggest volunteering organization in Israel, with people even volunteering to risk their lives and physical well-being.

I had the privilege to serve for many years in the Ministry of Defense and witness the army in its first days. Today when I look at the soldiers, at the faces of their commanders and at our technological superiority, I can’t help but be excited and proud at our work.