Definitions

Shamir

Shamir

[shah-meer]
Shamir, Yitzhak, 1915-, Zionist activist and Israeli politician, b. Poland. Emigrating (1935) to Palestine, he was twice arrested by the British for participating in a militant Jewish organization; in 1946 he fled to France. Returning (1948) to Israel, he served in the secret service until 1965. He helped to found (1973) the conservative Likud party, becoming its leader and prime minister upon the retirement of Menachem Begin in 1983. In 1984 and 1988, Likud and Labor formed a government of national unity in which Shamir served as foreign minister (1984-86) and prime minister (1986-90). From 1990 to 1992 Shamir was prime minister of a Likud-led right-wing government.

See his autobiography, Summing Up (1994).

orig. Yitzhak Jazernicki

(born Oct. 15, 1915, Ruzinoy, Pol., Russian Empire) Polish-born Israeli statesman. He immigrated in 1935 to Palestine, where he helped found the Israel Freedom Fighters, later known as the Stern Gang. Twice arrested by British authorities (1941, 1946), he twice escaped and eventually found asylum in France. After Israel achieved independence, he served as a secret-service operative until 1965. He was speaker of the Knesset (1977–80) and later foreign minister under Menachem Begin (1980–83). He became prime minister in 1983; in 1984 an indecisive election led to his sharing power with the Labour Party leader Shimon Peres, and Shamir acted as prime minister for the six years beginning in 1986, which included another indecisive election in 1988 and the formation of a coalition government in 1990, but lost power in 1992. He retired from the Knesset in 1996.

Learn more about Shamir, Yitzhak with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Yitzhak Jazernicki

(born Oct. 15, 1915, Ruzinoy, Pol., Russian Empire) Polish-born Israeli statesman. He immigrated in 1935 to Palestine, where he helped found the Israel Freedom Fighters, later known as the Stern Gang. Twice arrested by British authorities (1941, 1946), he twice escaped and eventually found asylum in France. After Israel achieved independence, he served as a secret-service operative until 1965. He was speaker of the Knesset (1977–80) and later foreign minister under Menachem Begin (1980–83). He became prime minister in 1983; in 1984 an indecisive election led to his sharing power with the Labour Party leader Shimon Peres, and Shamir acted as prime minister for the six years beginning in 1986, which included another indecisive election in 1988 and the formation of a coalition government in 1990, but lost power in 1992. He retired from the Knesset in 1996.

Learn more about Shamir, Yitzhak with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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