web analytics
December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Former PM Shamir Remembered For Saying Little, Standing Strong


Coffin of former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir is carried from the Knesset to burial service on Mt. Herzl Monday evening.

Coffin of former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir is carried from the Knesset to burial service on Mt. Herzl Monday evening.

But the community rallied around Shamir in December 1991 when President George H.W. Bush sought to tie a $10 billion U.S. loan guarantee to help resettle Jews flooding into Israel from the former Soviet Union to money Israel spent on settlements. Bush cast himself as “one lonely guy” facing “some powerful political forces” – a framing many Jews saw as borderline anti-Semitic.

Shamir’s successful absorption of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the collapsing Soviet Union, and his secret transport of thousands of Ethiopian Jews in Operation Solomon also restored respect and affection for him among American Jews.

Shamir was not incapable of pragmatism. He defied Israeli public opinion – and young bucks in his own party, including then-deputy foreign minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and acceded to Bush’s request to keep out of the first Iraq War, even if Saddam Hussein provoked Israel, which Hussein did with a barrage of Scud missiles.

Marshall Breger, a former Reagan administration official who at the time still functioned as an unofficial liaison between Bush and the Jewish community, said Shamir earned kudos with that decision. “From the U.S. perspective, that was very important and got a lot of good will because we could not have gotten the coalition that we got if Israel had acted in a proactive or reactive way,” he said.

Zakheim also recalled Shamir intervening when AIPAC tried to stop the sale of combat aircraft to Kuwait.

“He was extremely pragmatic and somebody who when the chips were down tended to make good decisions,” Zakheim said.

Shamir, notably, earned affectionate references in the memoirs of U.S. figures who were among his most frustrated interlocutors when they faced each other as leaders, among them the elder Bush, national security adviser Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell, who under Bush was the chief of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Shamir was not a comfortable campaigner. In the 1992 elections he lost to Yitzhak Rabin, advisers told him to exude more warmth. Appearing at a late-in-the-game rally in Maaleh Adumim – a West Bank settlement and city, and what should have been a natural constituency – he stood at the podium, his diminutive figure nearly swallowed by the stage, threw open his arms and shouted “I love you!” The crowd murmured nervously.

Yet one on one, he exuded warmth and determination. Shamir would take walks around the prime minister’s residence, followed by a single security guard, and stop to chat with everyone, giving extra time to recent immigrants and congratulating them on their decision to move to Israel.

His mantra was land. After Oslo, still serving as a backbencher after Netanyahu had succeeded him as party leader, Shamir decried in a Knesset speech the ceding of the Gaza Strip, citing biblical injunctions about preserving the land of Israel. A Labor backbencher shouted that Gaza is not part of biblical Israel. Shamir shrugged. “We were taught that territory is sacrosanct,” he said.

Breger said Shamir understood what the other side wanted – but stuck to what he wanted.

“I had occasions to talk to him when he was rubbing up against Bush…and urged him to pay attention to how serious Bush was about building in the territories, which culminated in Bush’s effort to reduce the loan guarantees dollar by dollar for what was being spent in the territories,” Breger said. “You had the feeling that he didn’t reject what I said, but he had made up his mind and would go forward.”

That posture set a standard for Shamir’s successors, said Rosen. “He stood for a set of core principles that are still the bedrock of the right wing but I would argue have influenced the center, too,” he said. “Skepticism of the seriousness of the Arabs on permanent peace, a reliance on self-defense and not on agreements that rely on the will of others, skepticism of great power guarantees.”

Shamir the “hard-liner” paved the way for “hard bargainers,” Rosen said.

(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Former PM Shamir Remembered For Saying Little, Standing Strong”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ayala Shapira, 11, is fighting for her life after suffering burn wounds when an Arab terrorist threw a Molotov cocktail at the car in which she was riding.
‘Slight Improvement’ in Life-threatening Condition of Firebomb Victim
Latest News Stories
Sammy Ghozlan, president of the French Bureau for National Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism

Bullet holes in an identifiably Jewish-owned building Friday morning makes this the third such attack on Jews in Paris this week.

Firebombed car near Maale Shomron

Defense Minister Yaalon told Ruth Shapira that the terrorists were caught last night by IDF forces.

No more rockets

The early warning Code Red siren sounded shortly before noon Friday in the area of Netiv Asara and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, sending residents to bomb shelters. The “rocket” apparently was rifle fire from Gaza. Residents also have reported they have heard sounds of tunnels being built underground.

Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence.

Gov. Mike Pence celebrated Christmas in Israel and staked his credentials for a possible run at the presidency.

A Superdeal branch in Jerusalem ran an exhibition called “Special” with music and entertainment while you shop.

An Afikim bus driving past the Maaleh Shomron junction on Road 55 was stoned by Arabs.

Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]

Israel’s deterrence must be waning as some Iron Domes are being redeployed.

Will American-born Uri Bank win a Knesset seat?

A kosher restaurant is the scene of the second shooting incident at a Jewish site in Paris this week.

Doctors at Sheba Medical Center are currently fighting for Ayala Shapira’s life, who suffered burns to 50% of her body.

Plans also advanced for new homes in Har Homa in southern Jerusalem.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas
Hillary Clinton

Clinton derided perceptions that U.S.-Israel tensions had become tense under Obama.

“We have made impressive progress on issues that originally seemed intractable. We have cleared up misunderstandings and held exhaustive discussions on every element of a possible text.”

It’s not yet clear if Nemmouche was acting on orders and, if so, whether the orders came from ISIS.

“The Jewish community is going to have to work harder,” said one veteran official who has worked both as a professional in the Jewish community and a staffer for a Jewish lawmaker.

The disagreements don’t seem to have gone away, despite a cease-fire that appears to be firmly in place.

“On the Hill and with some people with whom I have spoken who are robust Israel supporters, people are concerned if not angry,” one of the staffers, a Democrat, told JTA

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/former-pm-shamir-remembered-for-saying-little-standing-strong/2012/07/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: