Israel’s seventh Prime Minister Yithzak ShamirÂ was laid to rest Monday evening at Mount Herzl’s Helkat Gedolei Ha’Uma. Shamir died on Saturday evening. He was 96-years-old.
Shamir’s family members, President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuÂ and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin are among the distinguished guests who came to pay their last respects to the former leader.
President Shimon Peres eulogized Shamir, saying “we served in the same government for six years. We came from and stayed in two different schools of thought, though we shared the same roots.”
Peres added that “Shamir was a man who was at peace with himself. He had solid opinions. He could not be swayed by the blowing wind; he was not tempted by passing trends. His ideology stemmed from the history of our people.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also eulogized Shamir, saying “he did not seek popularity or honor. Every act and decision he made had to stand up to one test: Whether it is good for the Jewish people and the land of Israel.”
Netanyahu added that Shamir “had unwavering commitment to the security of Israel and recognized the importance of national unity as a source for national robustness.”
Netanyahu lauded Shamir’s work in the international arena, and the restraint he exhibited during the Gulf War. “Many times it was claimed that Shamir decided not to respond to the rocket fire on Israel because he didn’t want to weaken the international coalition that formed against Saddam Hussein. But there is one important detail that is less known,” Netanyahu noted,” When missiles were falling on Israel Shamir did not sit idle. He made clear to the United States…that Israel is about to take action in Iraq. The US realized that Shamir means business, but before Israel acted, he envisioned a ceasefire that canceled the need for an Israeli operation.
“If the fire would have continued, Israel under the leadership of Yitzhak Shamir would have acted. This was the type of person he was: Resolute, practical, realistic and completely committed to the security of Israel,” he said.
Earlier Monday, Shamir’s casket was placed at the Knesset Plaza in Jerusalem. Various state officials and public figures expressed their sorrow over Shamir’s death
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin eulogized Shamir. “You were a stable, unbreakable rock. You’ve carried the weight of this nation, its past and future, on your shoulders,” said Rivlin.
Rivlin further added that Shamir’s only weakness was his unconditional love: for the Jewish people, for the ancestral homeland and for his family.
Source: Ynet News