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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Time's offensive obituary

If former Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir z"l, who was buried today, is looking down from Heaven now on what is going on in the world, he is likely offended by a petty obituary written about him by Time's Karl Vick. It starts by being under the header 'Palestine' as if the State of Israel doesn't exist or weren't a worthy folder for organizing news. It continues by calling Shamir the 'shortest giant.' And then it makes one offensive cut after another in a bid to cut down a man who no longer has any means of defending himself.
Shamir inspired no such legends. “They will not write or say in the eulogies of Yitzhak Shamir that he was a fierce, charismatic leader who knew how to inspire his people,” one of his successors and protégés, Ehud Olmert, wrote in Yedioth Ahronot on Sunday. The headline in Haaretz: “A modest man, an uninspiring leader – and a genuine zealot.” Yet the sweep of his life describes the arc of modern Israel — from its birth in the ashes of the Holocaust, which claimed every member of the family Shamir left in Poland when he emigrated to what was then Palestine – to the new mainstream he thrived amid as inheritor of the Likud, the party that evolved from another Jewish militia regarded as outlaws by the Labor Party mainstream Ben-Gurion led.


Stolid and diminutive at barely five feet tall, Shamir nonetheless loomed so large — and served so long — that the official announcement of his death could not avoid the question of stature: Shamir “belonged to the generation of giants who founded the State of Israel,” said the statement issued by the office of Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister who, in elections expected next year, is positioned to surpass Shamir’s tenure in office. He might not have enjoyed living to see it, according to Chemi Shalev, who covered Shamir for Haaretz. Shamir “disliked ‘professional politicians’ and was no great fan of Shimon Peres… nor… Netanyahu, the Likud superstar who would eventually take Shamir’s place after his 1992 electoral loss to Yitzhak Rabin,” Shalev wrote. “Netanyahu’s slick, American-style politicking was alien to Shamir, and his willingness to grudgingly adopt the Oslo Accords in order to win over centrist voters in the 1996 elections was viewed by Shamir both as betrayal and as a vindication of his earlier mistrust.”
But they make him sound like he loved Olmert, the greasiest of Israeli politicians?

Read the whole thing.

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At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Rhymes with grime, slime and crime.

(Above is text of an actual letter to the editor of Time in the 70s, after Menachem Begin became Israel's Prime Minister, and Time, wanting to make sure its readers didn't mispronounce Begin's name, stated that it rhymed with Oliver Twist's stereotypical character, "Fagin".)


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