One of nature's noblmen has passed from the scene. I first knew him when he was head of IDF general staff intelligence. His quiet intelligence and personal grace was always notable in a service not always memorable for the kind of restraint and moderation that he he typified.
In retirement from the army he tried to found a centrist political party that would have a real hope of finding peace with the Palestinians and the Israeli government often asked him to act as a communication channel to the PLO and in particular to Yasser Arafat.
I remember walking on the Via Dolorosa in the Old City of Jerusalem with him. It was a pleasant afternoon. Stores were open. I stopped to chat with several shopkeepers. One of them asked me what I was doing with HIM, meaning Amnon. I told the man that this one was different and then began to include General Shahak in the conversation. I acted as his interpreter. A group gathered around us as we talked of business from tourism, conditions of life and hopes for the future. One man said that he could not get the city government to deal with his electricity supply for the store. Amnon made a note and said that he would call Teddy Kolleck, the mayor.
When we walked away the first shopkeeper sad to me, "yes, he is different." pl