Sunday, July 01, 2012

Prime Minister Shamir Died

sNadene Goldfoot
Prime Minister  "Yitzhak Yzernitzky" Shamir b: October 15, 1915 in Ruzinoy, Poland, Israel's 7th, PM,  passed away Saturday  "Shabbat" at age 96 years 8 months 15 days.  For the past 10 years he has suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He has been in a coma during this period as well.  The funeral will be on Monday.

President Shimon Peres said in a statement that "Yitzhak Shamir was a brave warrior for Israel, before and after its inception.  He was a great patriot and his contribution will be forever etched in our chronicles.  He was loyal to his beliefs and he served his country with the utmost dedication for decades.  May he rest in peace.

 He started his life's work as an underground leader in Palestine and became Israel's Prime Minister.  He immigrated to Palestine from Warsaw at age 22 where he had been studying law. After reaching Palestine he enrolled in the Hebrew University and then  joined the Irgun Tzevai Leumi  or known as Etzel in 1937.  It was an offshoot of the Haganah, a  Zionist paramilitary group  which started in 1931 and continued till the birth of Israel in 1948. It turned out to be the political predecessor to the Likud party that Shamir belonged to.
However, Shamir left the group in 1940  for the Lohmei Herut Israel (Lehi)  or the Stern Group (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel) of which he became one of the 3 heads. This is the group my cousin, Stanley Goldfoot b: 1914 belonged to and had been the Chief of Intelligence.  They held to the belief that Britain must be fought notwithstanding the war effort against the Germans.  Shamir was its operational commander.  They had about 300 members. " Lehi split from the Irgun in 1940.   Stern declared that he incorporated elements of both the left and the right."  Twice the British tried to arrest Shamir but he escaped, as they were arresting many Jewish men, including Goldfoot who was imprisoned.   Shamir had been deported to Eritrea ( on Horn of Africa between Sudan and Ethiopia) and had escaped that place. He found asylum in France in 1947 and returned to Palestine in 1948 to continue as head of Stern Group (Lehi)  until Israel's birth May 14, 1948.  The group did see the British as the most evil of all their enemies.  

From 1955-56 he worked for the Mossad (Israeli Secret Service).  From 1973 he served in the Knesset as a Herut member, serving as speaker in 1977-80 and foreign minister from 1980.

In 1983 he succeeded Menahem Begin as prime minister.  The 1984 elections led to a stalemate and an agreement was reached between Shamir's Likud party and Shimon Peres' Labor party for a government of National Unity with rotation between the two men.

1984-86 Shamir was the Prime Minister.  After the 1988 elections he continued being the head of the National Unity government.  The Labor party left the government in 1990 when he led a right wing-religious coalition which was involved with the peace talks with the Arabs.  Shamir must have been frustrated with those talks like we are today, as he then believed in the expansion of Jewish life in the Administered Territories.

He will be remembered also for giving the green light to Major Hadad of the Christian Militia in 1982, when the Major's men went into Lebanon to clean out the PLO terrorists who had been hammering the northern border of Israel-Lebanon where Hadad and his men patrolled.  Major Hadad was a good friend of Israel and took his R&R in the army hospital in Haifa.  Then men took advantage of the situation and it was not a good scene.  This put Shamir in a bad light for having allowed the deaths of the PLOs.  My feeling was that he had no idea of what they could do, trusting in Hadad, who I can't believe realized it, either.

Arutz Sheva  Netanyahu eulogizes shamir on "The Arabs Are The Same Arabs" by Chana Ya'ar
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Also read to see the British attitude in Palestine and understand where the Jewish fighters were coming from-1st two posts that come up.  .

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