'Shtern was an angel'

The Knesset marked the 30-day memorial for Yuri Shtern Wednesday with speeches by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu and Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman and a number of other MKs. Shtern, who died of cancer last month, was a Soviet aliya activist and a pioneer in relations with Evangelical supporters of Israel around the world. "Yuri Shtern was an angel and an exemplary activist on behalf of the State of Israel," said Olmert. "He was a man of extraordinary principles and good will. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him." Netanyahu spoke of visiting Shtern's home, an apartment close to the Knesset. "The modesty of the home, the simplicity yet complete warmth... and its closeness to the Knesset spoke of the things close to Yuri's heart," said Netanyahu. A number of Shtern's family and friends attended the memorial service and spoke to MKs about a variety of projects that are being proposed in Shtern's honor.