Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Death of a Hero

Ezer Weizman 1924-2005

Money quotes from the Times obit:
Mr. Weizman made his name as one of Israel's most celebrated fighting men, yet he worked to transform himself into a dovish politician. He was involved in the 1978 peace negotiations with Egypt that led to Israel's withdrawal from the territory he helped capture a decade earlier.

His eventful life paralleled that of the country he served for more than half a century. A fighter pilot with Britain's Royal Air Force during World War II, Mr. Weizman created Israel's fledgling air force in the war at Israel's founding in 1948. He became an acclaimed military strategist, a forceful cabinet minister and a leading figure in each of the country's two major political parties.

"He represented everything mythic and heroic about Israeli society; he also represented everything chauvinistic and impolitic about Israeli society," said Michael B. Oren, author of the best-selling book, "Six Days of War," about the 1967 war.
and my favorite thing about him was this, as the Times put it:
Mr. Weizman rarely, if ever, censored his sharp tongue, irreverently skewering opponents and allies alike. With almost every major figure in his public life, he had an openly contentious, even combative, relationship that he seemed to relish.