Lipkin-Shahak Remembered by Colleagues
Former Israeli Military Chief and Cabinet Minister Amnon Lipkin-Shahak died today in Jerusalem the age of 68. According to The Associated Press, Lipkin-Shahak had been battling cancer for a long time before he passed away.
According to The Times of Israel, Lipkin-Shahak was diagnosed with Leukemia in the 1990s, but in 1995, he announced that he has recovered from it; however, says The Times, he was hospitalized on Tuesday and said to be “critically ill.”
Lipkin-Shahak had a distinguished military career. According to The Jerusalem Post, he was and was awarded the Medal of Honor twice. He had, said The Post, become a paratrooper in the early 1960s, and had served as a commander in the 1967 Six Day War. He was also involved in leading an operation in Beirut that involved killing more than 100 PLO terrorists in 1973.
Lipkin-Shahak also had a notable political career. According to The Times of Israel, he served as tourism minister under Ehud Barak in the 15th Knesset. He was also in charge of transportation. According to AP, Lipkin-Shahak also participated in the Israel-Palestinian peace process. As former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s deputy military chief of staff, he took part in negotiations between the two sides.
The Jerusalem Post reports that upon hearing news of Lipkin-Shahak’s death, politicians and officials expressed “deep regret” and hailed his accomplishments. The Post quotes Israeli President Shimon Peres as saying that Lipkin-Shahak was “a true hero, a torchbearer of peace, a rare human being and a wise Jew.” He also said that Lipkin-Shahak was a “dear friend” and said that “There is no parallel to Amnon’s contribution to the security of Israel.”
According to The Post, Defense Minister Barak also praised Lipkin-Shahak, saying that he was “one of Israel’s pillars of security in the last two generations.” Barak also said that Lipkin-Shahak had dedicated his life to obtaining peace and security for Israel and that he was “a unique person and a friend.”
The Post further reports that Labor party leader Shelly Yacimovich lauded Lipkin-Shahak for his accomplishments and character. Indeed, she said that he was “an officer and a gentleman” and that he was “an honest and decent person who was beloved by all.”
Lipkin-Shahak is survived by his wife and five children.
Filed Under: Politics
About the Author: Miranda has a B.A. in political science and has worked over a decade as a news reporter, financial news writer and political blogger. More about Miranda