for former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir began at the Knesset Monday
morning with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin eulogizing him before his
"You had only one weakness," Rivlin said. "Only one
weakness succeeded in breaking through: Your love for this pursued
nation, the land of our forefathers, your love for your children,your
home, and your Shulamit."
Shamir will buried on Monday evening alongside his
wife, Shulamit, in the section reserved for leaders of Israel on Mount
He died in Tel Aviv
on Saturday at age 96.
Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and
representatives of Shamir’s family will eulogize the former prime minister at
Sunday’s cabinet meeting began with a moment of silence for Shamir.
Netanyahu used the occasion to defend some of Shamir’s more controversial
Netanyahu convened the Likud faction at the Prime Minister’s
Office on Sunday to enable the party’s ministers and MKs to share their personal
memories of Shamir. Netanyahu recalled at that meeting that Shamir sent him on
personal missions when he was ambassador to the UN to deliver important
“What defined Shamir more than anything else was his
unconditional loyalty to Israel and its security,” Netanyahu said. “Yitzhak was
consistent and restrained and he knew how to choose realistic stances that fit
each and every situation.”
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom mocked critics of
Shamir who said he did not accomplish anything. Shalom said the peace
conference Shamir initiated in Madrid in 1991 led to Israel establishing
relations with many countries and to several major international companies,
including McDonald’s, starting to do business in Israel.
Minister Dan Meridor, who is the only current minister who served in Shamir’s
cabinet, focused on the Russian immigrants who came under Shamir’s watch. He
recalled Shamir telling the Americans to stop allowing Russian Jews to come to
the US under the category of people who lack a homeland.
there are no Jews who lack a homeland,” Meridor said Shamir told the US State
Department. “Who know how many Jews would not have come to Israel if Shamir was
not so stubborn with the Americans.”
MK Tzipi Hotovely said that when a
pollster told Shamir that “the public is not satisfied,” he replied: “Stop. We
need to do what we need to do.”
She said this proved that Shamir was a
man of vision who withstood pressure and succeeded to lead in the way he thought
was right even when the public disagreed.