Prime Minister of Israel
- --Born in Poland, 1915
- --Immigrated to Israel, 1935
- --Two children
- --Active in the Jewish underground movements (Etzel and Lehi), 1937-48
- --Businessman, 1948-54
- --Held a senior position in the Israeli Intelligence Service (Mossad), 1955-65
- --Returned to business, 1966-69
- --Joined the Herut political party, 1970
- --Elected a Member of the Knesset, 1974
- --Served as Speaker of the Knesset, 1977-81
- --Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1980-83
- --Prime Minister of the 20th Government, 1983-84
- --Vice Premeir and Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1984-86
- --Prime Minister of the 22nd Government, 1986-88
- --Minister of the Interior, 1987-88
- --Prime Minister of the 23rd Government, 1988-90
- --Minister of Labor and Social Affairs (23rd Government)
- --Prime Minister of 24th Government, June 1990-present
*Yitzhak Shamir and his Likud party are regarded by some as overly stubborn in their dealings with the Arab world. A veteran of the Israeli revolution and the many wars Israel has endured since then, his views of his Arab neighbors are certain to be tainted by the hostility displayed toward the Israeli state. He remains an ally of the United States, but that relationship has chilled under the current administration given U.S. concerns on the settlement of Soviet ?migr?s in Jerusalem.
Yitzhak Shamir and the Israeli government maintained a quiet role throughout much of the Gulf Crisis, even in the face of continued attack by Iraqi SCUD missiles. The entry of Israeli forces into the battle would have done little militarily, but could have caused considerable political damage in the efforts to maintain the Arab forces unified against Iraq.
Israel received unprecedented support for its policy of restraint and there was a warming of U.S./Israeli relations to points previously unknown in this administration. During the crisis, President Bush and Secretary Baker were in almost daily contact with the Israeli government, this in contrast to the previous year in which there was no high level communication between Washington and Israel. The deployment of U.S. Patriot missiles, with U.S. troops, and the increased economic aid that Israel has requested, and will probably receive, should provide for greater U.S./Israeli relations in the next year.
The future of Israel, or more appropriately, the occupied lands, is certain to be the major concern of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Having successfully build and received the trust of a coalition of moderate Arab countries, the President will attempt to encourage a number of Arab nations to settle their long-standing differences with the Jewish state. Conversely, given the United States help and assistance in eliminating Iraq and protecting Israel, it is possible that President Bush can bring the Israelis to the negotiating table to talk about the future of peace in the region.
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