Yitzhak Shamir (1915-2012) was twice Prime Minister of Israel.
He was born in Ruzinoy, Poland (now in Belarus). He emigrated to what was then Mandate Palestine in 1935.
Irgun and Lehi
Shamir's mother and sister were killed during the holocaust in Europe.
Shamir was a founder member of the Irgun breakaway Lehi (mainly known in English as the Stern Gang or Stern Group). He joined the Lehi leadership in 1942. He was involved in planning the assassination of Lord Moyne in Cairo in 1944, the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946, and the assassination of the UN Count Folke Bernadotte in 1948. For a period in 1946, he was interned by the British in Eritrea, but escaped to France, where he received political asylum, before returning to Palestine prior to Israeli independence in 1948.
As Paris operations chief, Shamir was one of a number of senior Mossad operatives who signed a telex criticising the departure of Isser Harel as head of the agency, and his replacement by Meir Amit. Within two years all the signatories, including Shamir, the head of Mossad's european operational unit, had left the agency.
He became Prime Minister for the first time in 1983, following the resignation of Menachem Begin. Following a general election in 1984, he was forced to cede the premiership to Labour under Shimon Peres for two years within a coalition. He returned as Prime Minister in 1986, and held the position until 1992, and his defeat in a general election by Labour's Yitzhak Rabin.
- Lawrence Joffe, Yitzhak Shamir obituary, guardian.co.uk, 1 July 2012.
- Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, Every Spy a Prince: The Complete History of Israel's Intelligence Community, 1991, Houghton Mifflin, p.52.
- Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, Every Spy a Prince: The Complete History of Israel's Intelligence Community, 1991, Houghton Mifflin, p.128.
- Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, Every Spy a Prince: The Complete History of Israel's Intelligence Community, 1991, Houghton Mifflin, p.130.