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Shamir and Netanyahu: It takes one to know one

Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir passed away yesterday at the age of 96.  To me he will be remembered as the man who loved the status quo. The man who did nothing, and for years. The man who basically taught Benjamin Netanyahu the art of stalling. Shamir can rest in peace knowing his pupil has outdone him in the field of inactivity.

Shamir, the man who executed his own Lehi friend for treason.

Shamir, the man who said “For Eretz Yisrael, it is permissible to lie.”

Shamir, the man who said “The Arabs are the same Arabs, and the sea is the same sea.” [Heb]

Shamir, the man who said that Netanyahu was “the angel of destruction.” It takes one to know one.

And destroy he did. As David Landau points out today in Haaretz, “His long years in power did enormous damage. His shooting down of Shimon Peres’ ‘London Agreement’ with King Hussein of Jordan was arguably the most disastrous decision an Israeli leader ever took… Every day of non-progress that passed was a victory for him. He notched up ten years of them.”

How many will Netanyahu notch up?


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    1. William Burns

      Hey, let’s not forget “the Jew who offered to ally with Hitler” thing.

      Reply to Comment
    2. sh

      I despaired of him when he was in power for most of the reasons cited above plus a few more. Yet he was human in a way that Netanyahu doesn’t seem to be. A few years after he’d withdrawn from public life I saw Shamir out walking alone (apart from a minder keeping a discreet distance) on the sea front between Tel Aviv and Jaffa. None of the passersby showed any sign they’d recognized him. He was swinging his arms, had an almost beatific smile on his face and his body language bespoke delight. Another thing, he was an amazing linguist. When he visited mainland Europe, there were several countries in which he needed no interpreters. Apart from English, he argued his case on TV very competently in French, made a cultivated impression we haven’t seen since from a Prime Minister and I’m told could go hammer and tongs in Polish too. He was ruthless, stubborn and bigoted but seemed, to me at least, to be without any of Bibi’s vanity, ambition or showmanship. David Landau’s honest liar seems about right.
      This link to the obituary seems to circumvent Haaretz’s locking system.

      Reply to Comment
    3. @sh – thanks for the link!
      and yes, he doesn’t have those traits you mentioned, which not only belong to bibi, but also olmert and barak in various degrees.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Philos

      I think we should include that he was a cold-blooded murderer and a terrorist. A man who perpetrated atrocities against Jews, Arabs and the British. Somebody who perfected the use of violence to intimidate, and had no qualms about killing the innocent. Frankly, the man was a complete and total b*stard by every measure of what we ought to consider makes a decent person.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Tomer

      I would not say he did nothing. He actually built thousands of units in Judea and Samaria, thus making a PLO terror state on out doorstep impossible.
      A True Giant of Am Israel!

      Reply to Comment
    6. Jogortha

      A terrorist is dead.

      Reply to Comment
    7. XYZ

      That is not news….Arafat died 8 years ago.

      Reply to Comment
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