Archive: 7/1/2012
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  7/1/2012, Tammuz 11, 5772

Shamir Considered Aliyah His Greatest Accomplishment


Herzl Makov, director of the Begin Heritage Center and former chief of staff to Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir, told Arutz Sheva on Sunday that Shamir said he thought the most important thing he had done was bring in many olim (new immigrants) from the former Soviet Union.

Makov noted that this issue is what brought Shamir into Israeli politics, when in 1969 he asked Menachem Begin to head the Russian immigration department in Begin’s “Herut” movement. When Shamir was Prime Minister, said Makov, he fought hard against the American administration and the American Jewish community to prevent them from defining immigrants from the Soviet Union as refugees in the States, a status that would have brought them to the United States and not Israel. Eventually Shamir managed to convince the Americans.