Yitzhak Shamir, born Icchak Jaziernicki

Shamir, born Icchak Jaziernicki

Russian-born Israeli Politician, Two-term Prime Minister, Zionist, Commanded the Lehi, Member of Irgun, Served with the Mossad, Knesset Speaker, Commanded Lehi-Lohamey Herut Yisrael (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel)

Author Quotes

You don't make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies.

Yes to Peace, No to Violence.

We will not rest until we reach a permanent agreement [with the Palestinians] that would secure a safe future for our children and that would provide us with renewed hope to live in a region where people lead a life of co-operation and not, God forbid, where blood is shed.

We must never bend too much.

We have said that Israel has had a very bad history with the United Nations, and whoever cares for himself in Israel distances himself from that Organization.

We do not celebrate the death of our enemies.

There is no way of finding the middle ground, even with the best intentions of the world. Our most sensible policy is to stall.

The struggle to get weapons is continuous, but the United States will aid us, if it finds Israel displaying a willingness for peace.

The past leaders of our movement left us a clear message to keep Eretz Israel from the Sea to the Jordan River for future generations, for the mass aliya [immigration], and for the Jewish people, all of whom will be gathered into this country.

The main message is that in a democracy, [assassination] is not the means to change policy... Unfortunately, the assassin was right: for a while, there was a freeze in process.

The Arabs will always dream to destroy us. I do not believe that they will recognize us as part of this region.

So if you want to call him a successor you may call him a successor. But he came to the same conclusion - that to be a Jewish, democratic, independent state we have to separate.

Should there be maniacs who raise the idea, they will encounter an iron fist which will leave no trace of such attempts.

Our image has undergone change from David fighting Goliath to being Goliath.

Of all hands in the world, it was not the hand that I wanted or dreamed of touching, ... We, the soldiers who have returned from battle stained with blood, we who have seen our relatives and friends killed before our eyes, we who have attended their funerals and cannot look into the eyes of their parents, we who have come from a land where parents bury their children, we who have fought against you, the Palestinians - we say to you today in a loud and clear voice: Enough of blood and tears. Enough. ...The time for peace has come.

No Arab ruler will consider the peace process seriously so long as he is able to toy with the idea of achieving more by the way of violence.

It is unacceptable that nations made up of people who have only just come down from the trees should take themselves for world leaders . . . How can such primitive beings have an opinion of their own?

It is not worth the paper it is written on unless it is backed by the kind of force that will make the other side consider the penalties too heavy to break the agreement.

Israel's capital will never again be a divided city, a city with a wall at its center, a city in which two flags fly. This city, will, in its entirety, absorb immigrants, welcome pilgrims and be the eternal capital of Israel forever.

Israel has an important principle: It is only Israel that is responsible for our security.

In this part of the world, Jews and Arabs will live together forever.

I considered the prevention of war as the test of our security policy; in addition to being able to rapidly and forcefully end any war forced upon us.

I believe that the will of the people is resolved by a strong leadership. Even in a democratic society, events depend on a strong leadership with a strong power of persuasion, and not on the opinion of the masses.

I believe that it is my responsibility as the prime minister of Israel to do whatever can be done to exploit the unique opportunities that lie ahead of us to move towards peace. Not everything can be done by one act.

I believe however that peace is attainable regardless of the Arabs mentality, society or government.

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Shamir, born Icchak Jaziernicki
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Russian-born Israeli Politician, Two-term Prime Minister, Zionist, Commanded the Lehi, Member of Irgun, Served with the Mossad, Knesset Speaker, Commanded Lehi-Lohamey Herut Yisrael (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel)