(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Kadima MK Ze’ev Boim was buried Monday in Binyamina, a short distance from the Nahalat Jabotinsky community where he grew up in the early years of the state.
The 67-year-old politician and educator lost his long battle with cancer on Friday, and thousands came to the Monday- afternoon funeral to say farewell to the man whom Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni described as “one of the best sons of this country and...one of its most beautiful faces.”
Boim, like Livni, grew up in a home infused with the Revisionist Zionist ideology of Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Boim’s namesake.
“For us, Betari is not a line in one’s resume – and Ze’evik was both a participant and a counselor in Betar [the youth movement associated with Revisionist Zionism] – but it was an entire experience, a world full of values that constitute an internal compass, a guidebook to the Hebrew person,” recalled Livni of Boim’s dedication to Jabotinsky’s values.
“His behavior broadcast nobility without superiority toward another. His values dictated his actions, straight as a ruler; he was tough on himself rather than others, proud of his identity as an Israeli and a Zionist – a pride without arrogance, a person who told the truth in a world of lies,” she declared, concluding her words with the traditional Betar salute.
In addition to Livni, Boim was eulogized by his wife Edna, his daughter Ya’ara, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and his childhood friend former prime minister Ehud Olmert.
Boim’s wife revealed that even while undergoing his last treatments in America, her husband had never removed a small gold necklace with the symbol of the State of Israel.
For years, Boim served as the principal of the Rogozin School in Kiryat
Gat. In 1986, he was elected to lead the northern Negev city. Kiryat Gat
blossomed and developed during the decade he sat in city hall before
being elected to the Knesset in 1996 as a representative of the Likud.
Boim served both as head of the Likud Knesset faction and as coalition
chairman. In 2005, he left the Likud to join then-prime minister Ariel
Sharon in the newly founded Kadima. After the 2006 elections, Boim was
appointed to serve as both housing and construction minister and
agriculture minister until the 2009 elections.
In his eulogy, Netanyahu emphasized Boim’s dedication to education.
“He acted for the entire public, without exception, believed in human
goodness, lived according to his beliefs and will be lacking for all of
us,” said Netanyahu.