Wednesday, 7 November 2012

President Herzog of Israel

On June 11, 1989 a letter arrives from President Herzog of Israel, who especially conveys his best wishes to Shri Nathji and writes to HH Priya Nath:
“We shall be remembering him as multitudes gather together to pray together on the 23rd of June for peace.”
President Herzog continued sending his best wishes over all the World Prayer Days, till 1992, and was deeply grieved when Shri Nathji passed away in September 1992, when he sent a deeply moving condolence letter. Infact Shri Nathji’s Message of Peace had elicited responses from two adversaries, both of whom lauded Shri Nathji’s World Prayer Movement– Jordan and Israel, the two greatest foes of the time. It is no surprise that soon Israel and Jordan seized all enmity with each other and stated to live as friendly neighbours.
President Herzog of Israel who had through the years enthusiastically responded to the World Prayer day announcements sent to him was most vocal in expressing his shock at the going away of Shri Nathji:
“We in Israel who had been deeply inspired by the message of peace of Shri Bhola Nath shall deeply feel the going away of this great soul…”
Chaim Herzog (17 September 1918 – 17 April 1997) served as the sixth President of Israel (1983–93), following a distinguished career in both the British Army and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Herzog was born at Cliftonpark Avenue in Belfast, the son of notable Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, who was Chief Rabbi of Ireland. He immigrated to Palestine in 1935, and served in the Jewish paramilitary group Haganah during the Arab revolt of 1936–39. He went on to earn a degree in law at University College London, and then qualified as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn. He joined the British army during World War II, operating primarily in Germany as a tank commander in the Armoured Division.
Immediately following the war, he returned to Palestine. After the establishment of the State of Israel, he fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, serving as an officer in the battles for Latrun. His intelligence experience during World War II was seen as a valuable asset, and he subsequently became head of the IDF Military Intelligence Branch, a position in which he served from 1948 to 1950 and again from 1959 to 1962. From 1950 to 1954, he served as defense attaché at the Israeli Embassy in the United States. He retired from the IDF in 1962 with the rank of Major-General.
After leaving the army, Herzog opened a private law practice. He returned to public life in 1967, when the Six-Day War broke out, as a military commentator for Kol Israel radio news. Following the capture of the West Bank, he was appointed Military Governor of East Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria.
In 1975 Herzog was appointed Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, in which capacity he served until 1978. In the 1981 elections Herzog entered politics for the first time, winning a seat in the Knesset as a member of the Alignment, the predecessor to the Labour Party.
On 22 March 1983, Herzog was elected by the Knesset to serve as the sixth President of Israel, by a vote of 61 to 57, against Menachem Elon, the candidate of the right and the government coalition. He assumed office on 5 May 1983 and served two five-year terms (then the maximum permitted by Israeli basic law), retiring from political life in 1993. Herzog died on 17 April 1997, and is buried on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem.

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