The ultimate ‘Hevr’e-man’.
Ezer Weizman has died. The morning newspaper is full of eulogies, I leafed through them as I ate my bowl of matza and agristada, but I didn’t really feel like reading any of them.
Mum knew Ezer Weizman. She met him when she was giving some talks about Israel in England. He was guest speaker or something. I think it was shortly after we had moved to Israel. I was only small but I remember she found him very charming. She told him which school we kids were going to in Haifa and he recounted the tale of how he was expelled from that very same school when he was a lad. He was like that. He knew everyone, and everyone felt comfortable with him.
I think they kept up some sort of contact and, as former chief of the air force, he gave her advice when Our Sis was having a hard time in the army. Then he became a minister in Menahem Begin’s government and Mum didn’t like to keep in contact, she was too modest to feel comfortable. (How do you say ‘lo haya la na’im’ in English? Somehow it doesn’t sound the same).
He was dughri, was Ezer, straight-talking. He always spoke his mind, even when it got him into hot water, and it often did, especially when he was president. The archetype of the Israeli Sabra, he had that quality some people have -- you couldn’t dislike him, even right after he had just made the most outrageous comment. And now he’s gone, but he will continue to be part of Israel’s collective psyche.