'Father's murder was the catalyst for the sons' success'

Arutz Sheva speaks to a relative of former MK Silvan Shalom, whose mother passed away recently.

Shimon Cohen ,

Silvan Shalom
Silvan Shalom
Yoni Kempinski

Miriam Shalom, the mother of former MK Silvan Shalom (Likud) and businessman Zvika Shalom, passed away recently. Arutz Sheva spoke with Miriam's late nephew, Andre Ozen, about Miriam's special qualities.

"It's a sad day, it's not easy. She was a special woman who endured the murder of her husband, who was a bank manager in the 1960s. It was the first murder committed in a bank robbery in the state of Israel. She was left with two young children, Tzvika, 3, and Shalom, 6. She remained a widow for 55 years. She was a strong woman, a hero, and highly intelligent."

"It was very important to her that her children succeed and do well academically. She succeeded - her two sons were successful accountants and lawyers. Silvan eventually became the deputy prime minister and Tzvika was a businessman and the chairman of the Israel Airports Authority. They were her pride and joy."

Ozen tells us about his personal feelings when Miriam died: "It was especially difficult because she was like a second mother to us. My mother and her were like twin sisters, not by birth but in daily life, due to what she endured. In the past year and a half she suffered greatly. It's impossible not to mention her children's constant presence throughout this period. She parted from us as Shabbat began last Friday."

Ozen describes the tragic event that shook the whole country - the murder of a bank manager in the newly established state of Israel - and how it turned into a vehicle for growth for the family. "It was extremely difficult. It's wasn't that long after they arrived in Israel. It wasn't the norm for an immigrant from Tunis to become a bank manager - it was due to due to his special personality and education. It was the trigger that led her to educate her sons to succeed."

"At the time, a synagogue was built in memory of their father," Ozen added. "The synagogue stood like a skeleton for 25 years, and only when the son grew up did we manage to complete the synagogue with the help of his the sons and others here in Be'er Sheva."