Former Secretary of State George Shultz: A Great Friend of Israel

(Ha'aretz) Moshe Arens - Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz spoke in Jerusalem last week at a dinner in his honor at the Israel Democracy Institute. He symbolizes to me the best of America - principles, integrity, courage. No wonder he was and continues to be a great friend of Israel, seeing in Israel these very qualities. He recalled his Israeli graduate student in economics at the University of Chicago, Yossi Levy, who surprised him when on the eve of the Six-Day War he interrupted his studies to return to Israel to join his army unit. A week later he learned that Levy had fallen in battle. "I asked myself," Shultz said, "what kind of a country is this that commands such loyalty from such talented people." Shultz as secretary of state took up the cause of Soviet Jewry. In his negotiations with Soviet leaders attempting to wind down the Cold War, he would always bring up their names, pleading for their release. Shultz put together a deal with the Soviets for Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky to be released in exchange for a Soviet spy held by the Americans. Sharansky refused to be part of it. "I am not a spy," he insisted. "The integrity of the man is just stunning," Shultz said in his speech. Turning to Sharansky, who was in the audience, he said, "Thank you Natan for your integrity." The writer was Israel's ambassador in Washington during the time that Shultz served as secretary of state.

2016-02-22 00:00:00

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