Sunday, July 01, 2012

Yitzhak Shamir z"l

It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Yitzhak Shamir. I cannot say that I always agreed with what he did as Prime Minister. However, during his days at the helm Israel was a much safer place to live: ther were no exploding busses in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and neither were Grad and Kassam rockets terrorizing Southern Israel.

The best tributes to Shamir that I saw are in Yisrael Hayom. Here they are:

Yaakov Ahimeir
Yitzhak Shamir was the most modest of all of Israel's prime ministers, but also the most decisive. Modesty is a fine, admirable quality, but the ability to make decisions is possibly the most essential quality any decision-maker, and certainly a prime minister of Israel, must possess.

One can argue with Shamir's decisions as prime minister — some may say that there were definitely times when it would have been wiser to show diplomatic flexibility. But for Shamir, there was nothing nobler than making a decision that he felt was the best one for the people living in Zion, for as long as he was at the helm. Let the naysayers say what they will.
Dan Margalit:
Yitzhak Shamir's violin only had one string, and he only knew how to play different variations on one theme: Israel. During a big celebration honoring his 90th birthday several years ago he asked those in attendance, and the following generations, to remember only one thing: that he never gave up even one grain of Israeli soil.
Yoram Ettinger:
In 1992, Republican Whip Senator Alan Simpson from Wyoming, who was critical of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s policies, told me: “How can I like Prime Minister Shamir when he resembles an aggressive, roaring tiger? However, how can I not respect a roaring tiger?!”

Former U.S. Secretary of State Jim Baker, who was one of the crudest detractors of Shamir’s policies, respected Shamir’s ironclad commitment to deeply-rooted ideology.

Therefore, he considered Shamir a trustworthy — although non-subservient — ally of the U.S.

Shamir was consistently guided by principles, values and a history-driven ideology; he was not herded by pollsters and public-opinion consultants.

Rest in peace Mr. Shamir, and thanks for everything.

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