Eulogies for the late prime minister Yitzhak Shamir began arriving from overseas
on Sunday, lauding a stern leader with a clear vision for the country and a deep
commitment to the well-being of its citizens.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center
said the 96-year-old Likud politician who died the day before served his country
with “courage and great distinction.”
“He will be remembered as a great
patriot who woke up everyday asking: ‘What more can I do today to defend and
help the State Of Israel and the Jewish people?’” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the
founder of the NGO.
Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-California) said
Shamir was “a man whose life of accomplishment was woven into the fabric of
modern day Israel.”
In his statement, Berman chose to highlight the
compromises that the staunchly right-wing Israeli – who in 1978 abstained from
the Knesset vote on the peace treaty with Egypt – had made during his second
tenure (1986-1992) as prime minister.
“[He was a] leader who was a fierce
Zionist, uncompromising in his defense of the land of Israel, yet willing to
take great risks by leading Israel in Madrid during peace negotiations with Arab
nations and peoples who were his sworn enemies,” he added.
spokesman Jay Carney released a statement on behalf of the Obama administration
on Sunday noting the passing of the former prime minister.
“From his days
working for Israel’s independence to his service as prime minister, he
strengthened Israel’s security and advanced the partnership between the United
States and Israel,” he wrote in the statement.