Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Netanyahu: I share Shamir's outlook on Middle East

Memorial ceremonies held at Mount Herzl and the Knesset to mark first anniversary of the death of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Shamir dedicated himself to building the country and ensuring its independence.

Memorial ceremonies were held at Mount Herzl and the Knesset on Tuesday to mark the first anniversary of the death of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

Shamir, a Likud politician who had two stints as prime minister, first from 1983-1984 and again from 1986-1992, passed away last year at the age of 96.

Speaking at Mount Herzl on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "Thirty years ago, after the resignation of Menachem Begin, Shamir said that despite the relative calm, we must always remember that we live in a region that is still unstable and in great disarray. This is due to the nature of the regimes around us, the ongoing hatred toward Israel and the lack of acceptance of the fact of our existence in the region. This reality requires us to maintain excellent security capabilities and constant vigilance. The vicissitudes of the Middle East taking place before our very eyes [confirm] Yitzhak Shamir's sober and realistic vision for which he took much criticism during his time. I share the essence of his outlook."

Netanyahu said Shamir was a leader with deep sense of Jewish history.

"He dedicated himself to building [the country] and ensuring its independence, sovereignty and power," Netanyahu said.

At the Knesset ceremony, Shamir's son, Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir, read one of his father's last speeches, in which he said, "The State of Israel exists for the entire people of Israel. Zionism has not yet completed its role and there are challenges ahead. I hope I'll be remembered as a lover of the land of Israel."

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Shamir "was a strong man with a warm heart. He was a proud Jew, a pleasant conversationalist and well-mannered."

Opposition Leader MK Shelly Yachimovich credited Shamir for Operation Solomon, in which 14,400 Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel, and for the large-scale immigration to Israel of Jews from the former Soviet Union.

No comments: