Israel’s political elite has been attending the funeral of Teddy Kollek, the former mayor of Jerusalem. President Moshe Katsav was among those joining the grieving family of the 95-year old. Warm tribute was paid by Kollek’s former political foe, Ehud Olmert. Now the Israeli Prime Minister, he defeated Kollek in 1993 elections, taking the job of Jerusalem mayor held by his then rival for nearly 30 years.
During that time, Kollek became one of Israel’s most famous political figures. One of his trademark cigars was placed at his final resting place in Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl National Cemetery. Kollek became Mayor of Jewish West Jerusalem in 1965, two years before Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem.
He will be remembered as a tireless preacher of Israeli-Palestinian co-existence. Many thoughts today were also turned towards former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for exactly one year.