The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) mourns the loss of Yitzhak Navon, Israel’s fifth president and former member of parliament, deputy prime minister and education minister who strengthened the study of Arabic and Sephardic Jewish heritage and worked tirelessly to promote Jewish-Arab co-existence and democratic values.

“President Navon believed strongly in the value of promoting positive relations between Jews and Arab and upheld coexistence as essential to maintaining a strong and culturally vibrant Jewish state,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.

“He similarly emphasized and celebrated his own Jewish cultural heritage both as a politician and as a playwright. It is this legacy of bridge-making through education that he will be remembered and respected, especially today when alienation between different sectors of Israeli society and its neighbors seems so great.

“His pragmatic leadership will be greatly missed, and his memory will be for a blessing.”