I have known Ze'ev Schiff ever since he first appeared as a journalist in Israel in the 1950s.

His image is engraved in my mind as a sentry who stood guard on national security, as someone who gave expression to the important matter of security by means of the pen, and as someone who knew how to give clear, well-founded and profound expression to his opinions. Ze'ev excelled in military thinking that was well founded and had broad horizons. He was a true strategist.

Military and civilian leaders in the defense establishment and elsewhere always read what he had to say with a great deal of care. People expected to see what Ze'ev would say, what he would write about one issue or another, and were greatly influenced by him.

We, his readers, always quoted him a lot. I remember very well his alertness and his active participation in the debate on the line of outposts along the Suez Canal, for example. Ze'ev spared neither his rod nor his pen, and always took care not only to come up with a report, but also to put a stamp on it.

As a person, Ze'ev was a humanist and a liberal. These characteristics came to the fore in his writing about our relations with our neighbors and about our relations among ourselves. He was always a voice for democracy, liberalism and humanism.

Today we have no other journalist like Ze'ev Schiff, but I am full of hope that in the future there will be others who will remind us of him.

The author is a former deputy chief of staff, and a winner of the Israel Prize for his special contribution to the state.