Former Knesset Speaker Dov Shilansky Passes Away at 86

Netanyahu eulogized the fellow Likud member, saying 'Israel lost one of its most devoted leaders.'

The former Knesset Speaker Dov Shilansky passed away in Tel Aviv on Thursday at age 86.

Shilansky, who was a member of the Likud party, also served in the past in the office of the prime minister both while Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir held the position.

Shilansky - Motti Kimche
Motti Kimche

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eulogized Shilansky, saying that Israel "lost one of its most devoted and wonderful leaders."

As a Holocaust survivor, Netanyahu said, Shilansky "devoted his life to protecting Israel's sovereignty."

He set an example with his devotion to "a Jewish State, the memory of the Holocaust, the Zionist movement, and the State of Israel," said Netanyahu.

Shilansky was born in 1924 in Lithuania and survived the Holocaust. In 1948, he came to Israel on the Altalena ship and helped fight in the War of Independence the same year.

In 1952, he was sentenced to 21 months in prison after being caught with a bomb in the Foreign Ministry's office in Tel Aviv. He was charged with belonging to an illegal organization, in what was his act of protest against the Holocaust reparations agreement between Israel and Germany at the time.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Shilansky "gave a lot to democracy in Israel" and "always had a smile on his face."

"Shilansky was a man who was tough with his opinions, but nice with his manner with people," Rivlin said.