Former Knesset Speaker Dov Shilansky passed away on Thursday at the age of 86. His funeral is set to take place on Friday at the Kiryat Shaul Cemetery.
"Dad died a painless death," his son Shafir Shilansky told Ynet. "He would have wanted to be remembered as a holocaust survivor, who came to Israel aboard the Altalena, as the father of Yossi, may he rest in peace, my elder brother who was killed in 1974."
Shilansky was elected as a Knesset member for Likud in 1977, and stayed in this post until 1996. He served as Knesset speaker in the 12th Knesset, from 1988 to 1992. During the 13th Knesset he served as the deputy speaker. During the second Menachem Begin administration and the first Yitzhak Shamir administration he served as a deputy minister at the Prime Minister's Office.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed grief over Shilansky's death. "The Israeli people has lost one of its most dedicated, excellent and pure leaders," he said. "In all of the roles he held, Shilansky expressed the purity of his soul, and his absolute commitment to the Jewish people, to the memory of the holocaust, to Zionism, to the land of Israel and to human moral values."
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin noted that Shilansky "was a determined but kind man, who contributed considerably to the democracy and the culture of debate in Israel. Shilansky will be remembered as a stable rock and a symbol of faith in the right way."
Shilansky voting at the Likud Center (Archive Photo: Tomeriko)
'He asked to be buried in bereaved parents' plot'
Shilansky was born in Lithuania in 1924, and immigrated to Israel 1948, aboard the SS Altalena. Before making aliyah, he served as a commander in the Etzel, a Jewish underground movement, in Germany and Italy.
In the '50s Shilansky was among the most prominent figures to oppose the reparations agreement between Israel and Germany. He was arrested in 1952 at the entrance to the Foreign Ministry building in Tel Aviv, while in possession of a small amount of explosives, electric wires and a clock. He arrived on the site in protest of the reparations agreement.
Shilansky ran against Ezer Weizman in the presidential elections of 1993. Weizman won with 66 votes, while Shilansky received 56 votes in the secret ballot. Following his last term at the Knesset he returned to practice law at his firm in Tel Aviv.
His wife, Rochel, whom he met at the Jewish kindergarten in Lithuania, passed away two years ago at the age of 84. The couple lost their son Yossi to the Yom Kippur War. Shafir Shilansky said his father has asked not to be buried in Jerusalem but in the burial site for bereaved parents in Kiryat Shaul, next to his wife and son.
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