Yitzhak Shamir, former two-time Prime Minister of Israel, died Saturday after a long illness, according to MSNBC. He was 96.
“Yitzhak Shamir belongs to a generation of giants, who founded the State of Israel and fought for the freedom of the Jewish people in its land,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “He led Israel with deep loyalty to both the people and the land.”
Shamir, a native of Poland, was part of Israel’s right wing throughout his career, in keeping with his revisionist beliefs, which held that Israel holds sole claim over all of the Holy Land – Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. He would come to denounce his successors’ decisions to cede some of the West Bank to the Palestinians. He served as prime minister from 1983-84 and 1986-92 as part of the Likud party. In 1999, he left Likud for another right-wing faction, the National Union, which rejected any land concessions toward Palestinians.
Israeli media reported that Shamir, who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, died in a nursing home in Herzliya. He will receive a state funeral Monday, and be laid to rest in the Nation’s Great Cemetery on Mount Hertz.
A video retrospective of his career, aired on MSNBC on June 30, is below.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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