Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky released the following statement upon the passing of Nelson Mandela:
"Nelson Mandela was able to transform an armed campaign into a peaceful transition towards human rights. In so doing, he succeeded in building bridges and fostering cooperation where such ties had previously been unimaginable. When we met in 1990, several months after his release from prison and several years after mine, I was struck by his ability to see beyond the immediate goals of his efforts, pursuing the brighter future he wished to see for all South Africans. Nelson Mandela's death leaves a void that will not be quickly filled, and I join all defenders of human rights in mourning his passing."
(Portrait of Mandela by South African artist, Paul Blomkamp )
Chairman Sharansky mourns the passing of human rights activist and first president of a democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela, on December 5, 2013 Inside the Jewish Agency