Ezer Weizman

Picture of Ezer Weizman

Date of Birth: 06/15/1924

Age: 79

Place of Birth: Tel Aviv

Citizenship: Israel

Conversion of `` The YASTREBA` GOLUBYA`

Resigns, Israeli President Ezer Weizman said:

- I leave this post with a sense of satisfaction with their work. It seems that the best policy - it is good to remember.

Life Weizmann - a staunch supporter of the world - or rather, `world` hawk, as he calls himself - this is a very unusual story of the Jew, proud and do not suffer from complexes. Antikonformist, a braggart and a brawler who was able, however, such `elegantno` move from right to left Zionism, that no one dared to accuse him of opportunism.

- Circumstances change. And the one who does not change along with them, an idiot - says Weitzman.

In his presidential office on the wall behind the chair head of state hung two pictures. The first - a tall, thin young man in the form of the pilot. It Weizmann in the 50s sitting at a table in the hotel `King Devid` in Jerusalem in the campaign two more. To the left of him - the leader of Mapai (today `Avoda`), the first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, and the right - his old opponent, Menachem Begin, founder of` Herut` (the progenitor of the current block `Likud`). A sort of visual symbol of a bridge between the left and right, embodied by the President in the eyes of their fellow citizens.

In the second photo - Weizmann in 1978 at Camp David between US President Jimmy Carter and Anwar Sadat of Egypt. Israelis remember how he played a decisive role while being only appointed defense minister in Begin`s government, the establishment of peace between Egypt and Israel.

However, to the peaceful sentiments Ezer Weizman did not come immediately.

* * *

He was born in 1924 in Haifa, Zionist in an aristocratic family. His father Ihiel Weizman was one of the most respected citizens of the city, and his uncle Chaim Weizmann - the first president of the state. Looking ahead, I will say that his wife - sister Ruth Dayan, wife of the famous Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, until their divorce in 1971.

After high school, he began to learn aerobatics. The first independent flight in 18 years. In the midst of World War II he joined the British Army. In 1943 it was included in the first group of Palestinian volunteers sent to flight school in Rhodesia. Then he fought in Egypt and India.

Demobilized in 1946, Weizmann was in England and enrolled in aviation engineering courses. In the same period, he became an active member of an extremist organization `Irgun zwei leumi`. Shortly before the proclamation in May 1948, the State of Israel, Weizmann returned to Palestine to help create aviation units. Subsequently, they will become the core of the Israeli Air Force, in which the future president was one of the first pilots - natives of the country.

During the first Arab-Israeli war (Israelis call it `war for nezavisimost`) in 1948, he commanded a squadron in the Negev. Then he was sent to Czechoslovakia to ferry planes purchased there `messershmitty` in Israel. He participated in the first air raids on Egyptian troops, coming up to the Ashdod.

In 1950 he was appointed head of the operational department of the Air Staff. A year later sent to England to study at the Military Staff College. On his return he became commander of `kryla`, which included the first jet fighter aircraft entered service with the Israeli army.

During the war of 1956, Weizman participated in the air attacks on Egypt, and after it became the chief of the aviation department of the Air Staff. In 1958 he, quite naturally, was appointed commander of the Air Force and received the rank of general. In this capacity, he participated in the negotiations with the French, to supply the Israeli Air Force aircraft of its production. But the more attention he paid to the high morale and combat training of pilots. In 1966, Weizmann was appointed Chief of Operations and Deputy Chief of General Staff.

Even before the Six Day `voyny` in June 1967, he stated that the Israeli Air Force can defeat the Egyptian air force for six hours. Some regarded it as one of the `non-serious statements Veytsmana`. After the war, he got every reason to smile to say that he was mistaken in its calculations, as required to do at least three hours, Israeli aircraft. His `` prigvozdili` mirazhi` literally to the ground Egyptian planes. It is recognized that the success of the Israeli Air Force in many ways contributed to the plans developed by Weizmann.

After retiring from the army in 1969, he appeared for a short period on the political scene. From the chair chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, he `pereskochil` in the leadership of the party` Herut`. That was when it became known that he had no chance of appointment of chief of staff. `And when Herut` exhausted the possibilities of selecting candidates from among their leading figures to ministerial posts in a national unity government, a post - minister of communications - has been proposed to Weizmann:` it`s a wonderful paren`, and besides, he has such connections, including including related.

At that time he was one of the `yastrebov` (ie, occupied the extreme right position), strongly advocated the continued occupation of Arab territories. For policies in the occupied territories, as well as on relations with the Arab countries, he remained faithful to the principles of `Herut` no less than its leader Menachem Begin, distinguished by ultra-nationalist views.

It is not surprising that the Weizmann Begin decided to bring to him. In December 1970 he was elected chairman of the party `Herut`. By this time he became an ordinary citizen - is not occupied governmental or public office. Apparently, this has unleashed his hands, and he made a number of sharp political statements. For example: `The time has come to eliminate Iordaniyu`. Then he wrote a series of articles on the issues of war, relations with the Arab countries, the prospects for a peaceful settlement, which were published in the newspaper `Gaarets`. According to their content can be judged on what was then the outlook Weizmann Israel should abandon the concept of `non sily`.

In fact, he became the second man in the party `Herut`. Begin obviously felt him as a potential rival, decided to get rid of it. At the party congress in late 1972, Weizmann received a third of the votes of delegates, but he did not have the patience to continue the inner-struggle, and he resigned.

However, in 1977, Begin Weizmann offered to lead the campaign headquarters of the block `Likud` that largely contributed to the arrival of the unit to power. In the years 1977-1980, while he was defense minister, he played a major role in the conclusion of a peace treaty with Egypt. And many in Israel regarded as the Weizmann Begin`s successor. But he cut his political career in 1980 - came from the government and from the right-wing camp.

The former first Israeli ambassador to Russia Aryeh Levin told me, explained the move:

- Ezer Weizman broke with the unit `Likud` because they do not share the hard political course the Prime Minister. It was during the Camp David epic when Begin Weizmann removed from the negotiations, he formed the belief that the only right way is to find a peaceful settlement with the Arab countries. It was at Camp David Weitzman lost faith in a sincere effort to `Begin Likuda` and personally abide by the terms of the Camp David accords and achieve a comprehensive peace. But by this time the world for the Weizmann became a matter of life and not a nice word. So he left.

The transformation of the `` yastreba` in golubya` (ie, left-wing politics), many attributed as follows. The visit of Egyptian President Sadat to Jerusalem in November 1977 proved to be a strong emotional shock to many Israelis. For Weizmann, which permanently stuck derisive nickname `Ezer Egipetskiy`, it was a turning point in life.

It should be borne in mind that it was a military pilot. He never shot down, he was not taken prisoner. So he did not see the terrible workaday face of war and its front facade. The pilot did not see the blood of those who recovered from the wreckage, not to hear their moans. The true face of the war, he saw when he stood at the bedside of his son Shaul, seriously wounded by a bullet in 1970, an Egyptian sniper near the Suez Canal (later he was killed in a car accident). That`s when it started its transformation from `` yastreba` in golubya`. From now on the famous warrior will seek to inspire the Israelites to faith in themselves - the essential ingredient for the conclusion of peace treaties.

- It`s just crazy, that we, the Jews still retained a range of ghettos - once said Weitzman. - As if we experience pleasure, claiming that others hate us. As they say now? You can display a Jew from the ghetto, but it is difficult to deduce from the ghetto Jew.

Later he would say:

- Hell! We have one of the best armies in the world! What are we afraid of? We need to believe in the world and to understand that the territory of today are much less important than the political agreement, the psychological resistance of the people of Israel.

Founded after leaving the `Herut` small centrist party that had no particular prospects for the future, in 1984, Weizmann was elected a member of the Knesset as an independent MP and soon joins the party` Avoda`. (Then it was called the `Labour Party Izrailya`.) From her, he was again elected in 1988 to the Knesset and gets the post of minister of energy, infrastructure, science and technology. Some members of the party will then blame him for what he was surprisingly silent position during the first two years of the war in Lebanon.

But popular Weizmann very useful. Returning to power in the government of national unity, the establishment of which he contributed, together with Shimon Peres became Minister of Science.

As supporter - as it still is - an open dialogue with the Palestinians, Weizmann in 1990 secretly met in one of the hotels in Geneva with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization. However, Israeli intelligence does not sleep, and it is possible to record the conversation. Here it does not stand can not stand this` predatelya`, passed in the left camp, Yitzhak Shamir (and now it is his turn to serve as prime minister). The law adopted in 1986 (today it is canceled), forbade any contact with `terroristami`.

Shamir accused perpetrator in collusion with the enemy and demanded his head. But he did not get it ... after a while Weizmann, a pronounced individualist, an impulsive man, but perfectly able to control himself, a rebel at heart, he announced his retirement from the political scene and refused the deputy mandate, finally turning to the time of ` superyastreba` in extreme `golubya`.

Leaving, Weizmann gave an interview to Israeli television in which he said all that know populists, breastfeeding myths people, but do not dare to say, because they are afraid of losing votes of future voters.

- He is mistaken - he said, - who think that it is possible to come to peace with Syria and to leave in the hands of the Golan Heights. Do not try to isolate the Palestinians and to seek a separate settlement with Syria. Anyway, all will be consistent with the PLO. So why play children`s games?

You can disagree with Dr. Weizmann or not, but one can not deny the sincerity of his thought, not designed to applause. It is impossible not to see the nobility, which made him an outsider Israeli policy. If there is something diametrically opposite political pragmatism with its combinations and electoral calculations, it Weizmann. If there is a polar opposite of populism, it is also a Weizmann. He could have at one time to become a leader `Likuda` and head of government, if guided in the calculations of politics, personal ambition and was not so uncompromisingly true to his convictions.

Weizmann knew the Israeli policy. And inside, and he had no illusions on this score. Even before he was elected president more than once offered to lead the `world` camp. He refused...

- I would not like to leave politics - he said. - But I will not get dirty.

Ezer Weizman - an optimist and one of the colorful figures in Israel`s highest circles. He acquired many enemies because of acute caustic tongue and habits make hurtful remarks. Behind him it is also entrenched a reputation, make hasty decisions, who can not be weighed until the end of all `` za` and protiv`. This reputation is said to have served as one of the reasons that the Weizmann not appointed chief of the General Staff, despite his brilliant ability and outstanding service. It was he who created the Israeli military aviation as the main striking power of the armed forces and pilots instilled such excellent qualities as a high fighting spirit, boldness of action, skillful tactics.

Many who spoke to Weizmann, noted that he always is sympathetic interlocutor: very friendly, open, charming. It can be persuaded there is no stubbornness, anger desires interlocutor. He knows how to listen, to accept arguments. In broad terms, it is prone to the same pragmatism that in matters of principle tends to make concessions and compromise. He needs to breathe air, to all his loved, praised and thanked. This necessity subordinates it to itself and leads (can not but lead!) To the failures. Between this and the need for the ability to stand firmly on its position, to be faithful to his principles and to fight for them - an unbridgeable chasm.

Many know Weizmann, endows each and every smile, good-natured, charming. But he may fall into an incredible rage. He - a man of extreme moods. Instantly can move from state to an oppressed mood, full of optimism and humor, from a deep disappointment to the great hope. Therefore it is impossible to guess in advance what decision it will take, what will be his reaction.

Weizmann`s colleagues indicate that at times he ranged between moderate and aggressive. An event could bring it to a sudden and drastic change of opinion. Often his rights who gave advice to the latter.

May 13, 1993, in accordance with the protocol in force in the country, the seventh President of Israel, took office and took the oath before the deputies. From the Weizmann - army man, a true indivisible `Eretz Israel` (` Land Izrailya` in the biblical boundaries), fighting for the Judea and Samaria - and not a trace in the form of the Weizmann-policy.

Congratulating the new president on his election, the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said that he sees him as a political figure, who will be able to consolidate the people of Israel during the period of difficult decisions. It is possible that the Prime Minister was referring to the fact that Israel had to make important choices in the negotiations with the Arabs, to compromise, to ensure peace in the Middle East. As written while Israeli newspapers, the statement indicated the trust Rabin`s new president, although between the two former warlords there is very complicated relationship.

The rivalry between the new head of state and prime minister began from the time of the Six Day `voyny` in July 1967, when General Rabin was Chief of General Staff, and General Weizman - his deputy and chief of operations. The Prime Minister, psychologically represents the exact opposite of the president, never forgave his former subordinate, that he spoke about the fit of nervous depression, what happened to him before the offensive.

- I saw him wheeled into the soft part of the tranquilizer injection, - said Weitzman.

Within 24 hours, while the Chief of Staff came to himself, the operations carried out by his deputy leadership. This story, widely picked up by right-wing forces, and distorted, almost cost Rabin his last assignment. Years later Dr. Weizmann spoke strongly against the nomination of the former chief of the post of prime minister from the party `Avoda`.

Needless to say that the Prime Minister did everything possible to prevent the election of his comrade-in-arms. But could not.

At the Weizmann had a dream: to get from Syrian President Hafez Assad`s invitation to lunch in Damascus.

- Do not laugh, - warned in its environment. - When Weizmann comes to mind some idea, aimed at the world, he is capable of anything ...

This is to be believed. After all, the very next day after taking office for his first term Weizmann said that, no matter how limited the possibility of its largely honorary post, he is not going to be satisfied with the inauguration of the exhibitions.

Over the years, Weizmann`s presidency more than once proved that does not throw words to the wind.

It should be clarified that according to Israeli law, the president does not have much authority. President - it is primarily a symbol, and his duties are more ceremonial.

- This is life in a golden cage, - said one of his predecessor, Yitzhak Navon.

`Ezer - unusual bird at the table pravitelstva` - Weizmann spoke of when he was a minister. He - an unusual bird, and as head of state.

This he tried to take a direct part in the affairs of the country, directly and openly commented on the most pressing political issues that previously seemed incompatible with the position of president. It was he who advised the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to stop the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and later made the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Weizmann in his characteristic style democratic talked about women serving in combat units of the army, which aroused the wrath of Israeli feminists, and homosexuals than incurred the wrath of the so-called sexual minorities. In short, he gave as president of solidity and importance ...

- Well, I have a handkerchief, - he said at the time the first president Chaim Weizmann. - This is the only place where I can stick my nose.

His nephew pry, which could only ...

But people liked so eccentric president. With its popularity has only increased over time. It seems that all were relieved when Weizmann was elected for a second term. Even those who actively opposed it.

The head of state said after learning the results of the vote:

- Of course, I feel joy. However, I will not say that I`m in seventh heaven ...

It is unlikely that after leaving in ostavku Ezer Weizman change its nature. Most likely, it will be the same as ever. Man - never adapt to political realities, and create them.