Yitzchak Shamir was a 1930s refugee, a 1940s revolutionary, a 1950s spy, and later a politician — and prime minister — who made no effort to be loved or to craft an image. Diminutive, barrel-chested, with a face like a clenched fist, he showed just how tough a shtetl Jew could be.
Yitzhak Shamir, who served as Israel's prime minister from 1986 to 1992, died Saturday at the age of 96.
He had been living in a nursing home in Tel Aviv and had Alzheimer's disease for several years.
"Yitzhak Shamir belonged to the generation of giants that established the State of Israel and fought for the freedom of the Jewish people in its land," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. "Shamir personified loyalty to the Land of Israel and the eternal values of the Jewish people."