"The Arabs are the same Arabs and the sea is the same sea," former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 96, once said.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the controversial statement, which was made before the 1991 Madrid Summit, after holding a moment of silence in Shamir's memory at the weekly cabinet meeting.
"These statements may have sparked widespread criticism, even contempt, at the time. Today, there are certainly far more people who understand that the man saw and understood fundamental truths and did not sway with the changing trends."
Cabinet members observe moment of silence (Photo: AFP)
Netanyahu also shared a story which spoke of Shamir the man. "One day as he sat here at the prime minister's chambers, a delegation of Likud members arrived at around noon. They were seeking to advance the nomination of one of their friends for a certain post. Having seen a large group of people in the middle of the day, Shamir said. 'What are you doing? Go back to work!' That says everything about the man. Humble, honest, simple and possessing great inner strength."
Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser briefed the ministers on Monday's funeral arrangements: At 10 am Shamir's casket will be placed at the Knesset compound and the public will be able to pay its respects until 4 pm. At 6 pm the state funeral ceremony will commence at Mount Herzl and will be open for the general public.
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