Hundreds of people – including former and current ministers, senior defense establishment officials, army officials and family members – participated on Friday in a memorial service for former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who died
of cancer a month ago.
Former Mossad Director Meir Dagan, who underwent a liver transplant
recently, said upon his arrival: "I loved Amnon very much."
The memorial was attended by Defense Minister Ehud Barak,
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz,
Knesset Member and former Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz,
former MK Yitzhak Mordechai, Minister Dan Meridor and former Deputy Minister Dalia Rabin, the daughter of slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Lipkin-Shahak's sons read the Kaddish prayer over their father's grave, and his brother, Yaakov, said that Amnon had a second name – Yosef – after an uncle who died at a young age.
Widow Tali Lipkin-Shahak with her children (Photo: Benny Deutch)
MK Shaul Mofaz (Photo: Benny Deutch)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Photo: Benny Deutch)
Mati Barak, a friend of the family, spoke of Lipkin-Shahak's youth. "We are among the last who remember that you can live a life of meaning and substance within the 1967 borders," he said. "We were a recruited generation with Zionism, ideals and values, modesty and quality.
"Amnon expressed these qualities. He was confident in his way, was charismatic and had a lot of personal charm."
Major-General Aviv Kochavi, head of the Military Intelligence Corps, said over the grave: "We have come to tell you that we are your soldiers. Experience and a special personality generated a full portion of wisdom. Your departure has touched all layers of society."
MK Mofaz said of his comrade, "Good people can be identified by their eyes. They have something that other people don't have. And you, Amnon, had the best eyes of all, who always saw what was right and what was wrong. We didn't reveal our feelings, but the eyes always said everything.
"Many saw you as a lighthouse, a leader, a guide, a person of complete truth, who always put the State before his own good."
As singer Achinoam Nini sang over the grave, the chief of staff and defense minister lay wreaths of flowers and Lipkin-Shahak's relatives faced his grave and shed a tear.