Prime Minister of Israel 1983-1984 and 1986-1992
of Israel 1980-1986
FM Liberman: "Yitzhak Shamir was one of the outstanding
leaders of the State of Israel, a man who played an important part in the
establishment of the state. He served the state his whole life with loyalty and
Yitzhak Shamir was a man of the Land of Israel in every fiber of his being.
In every position that he ever held, he was faithful to his beliefs and
exemplified the ideal of a man of principle.
I had the privilege of knowing Shamir personally, and I will always remember
him and his great contribution to the state."
* * *
President Shimon Peres: "Yitzhak Shamir was a brave warrior before
and after the founding of the State of Israel. He fought with courage against
the British Mandate in the days of the underground and his incredible
contribution to the State of Israel during his time in the Mossad will remain
forever enshrined in the tales of bravery of our nation. He was loyal to his
views, a great patriot and a true lover of Israel who served his country with
integrity and unending commitment."
* * *
Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks at the start of the
Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 1 July 2012):
I ask that we stand for a minute of silence in memory of Yitzhak Shamir, the
seventh Prime Minister of the State of Israel.
I would like to say a few words about Yitzhak Shamir. I would like to begin
with a story that says much about Yitzhak Shamir. One day, as he sat here in the
Prime Minister's office, a delegation of Likud members arrived and they sought
to advance the candidacy of one of our members for a certain post. This was in
the afternoon. Yitzhak Shamir welcomed them, saw a large group in the middle of
the day and told them 'What are you doing here? Go to work.' This says
everything about the man - blunt, a man of truth, simple, direct and, of course,
with great inner strength.
Yitzhak Shamir was from the generation of giants that established the State
of Israel. He dedicated his life and all his might to ensuring the existence of
the state, the freedom of the Jewish people, the security of Israel's citizens
and the ingathering of the exiles.
It is important to know that Shamir had a decisive role in directing hundreds
of thousands of immigrants
from the former Soviet Union to the Land of Israel. He worked urgently with
the American administration in order to ensure that the first transit station
would be in the Land of Israel, in the State of Israel. He said, 'Come here
first. Choose after you have seen the choice here' - and there is no doubt that
with this stubbornness, he changed the fate of the country because, to a large
extent, he made sure that this welcome immigration, with all its strength, came
here. And we see that he was right, that the decisive majority stayed here.
He was also responsible for the immigration
of 15,000 Jews from Ethiopia in one operation, which also expressed his deep
commitment to the Zionist idea, to the Jewish future, and he was, of course,
very forthright in his approach to the diplomatic issue. He
went to Madrid, but he knew how to utilize his strength and his ideological
resolve regarding the Land of Israel. He also knew to go toward the peace
process - I attended that conference. I saw his actions and his decisions - he
was very sagacious. I think he was a man who really saw the good of the country
as he understood it and acted for the good of the country as he understood
Today we have lost a true Jewish patriot and one of the Jewish people's solid
leaders. He may not have been especially charismatic, but he simply had inner
strength and this, in my opinion, is more important than anything else. I think
that it is proper that we honor the memory of Yitzhak Shamir, one of the
founders of the State of Israel and one of its most dedicated leaders ever.