|5th President of Israel|
24 May 1978 â€“ 5 May 1983
|Prime Minister||Menachem Begin|
|Preceded by||Ephraim Katzir|
|Succeeded by||Chaim Herzog|
|Born||(1921-04-09)9 April 1921
Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine
|Died||6 November 2015(2015-11-06) (aged 94)
|Spouse(s)||Ofira Resnikov (1963â€“93, her death)
Miri Shafir (2008â€“15, his death)
Do you know why dogs are man’s best friend? It’s because they’re not in politics.
6,000 people were killed, crippled, and wounded during the War of Independence. The economy was devastated – there was no milk, just milk powder. No eggs, but egg powder. Meat was only once a week.
The State of Israel is a state that was formed before the people were even in it. You have to understand: In India, in Burma, in Pakistan – all of the people were already there. Their problem was for the English to leave so they could be independent.
I grew up in Jerusalem and went to school here. I studied at the Hebrew University – mostly Islam and Arabic: Arab literature, Arab poetry and culture, because I felt like we are living in this region, in the Middle East, and we are not alone: There are nations here whose culture is Arab.
Once, there was a time in Jerusalem of brotherhood and peace: cultures and languages lived side by side and not one at the expense of the other.
There are Jews who came from 102 countries and speak 81 languages – how do you consolidate them into one nation? This is where I saw my role.
If the angel Gabriel came to me and said, ‘Look, I’m willing to take your soul now and give it back to you at any period of time in the history of the nation of Israel, from the very beginning to this very day’ – I think I would not think of any other time except for when Moses brought down the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai.