Ezer Weizman, 7th President of Israel

March 24, 1993: Ezer Weizman was elected President of Israel. The nephew of Chaim Weizman enjoyed a distinguished military career before entering politics. He flew for the RAF during World War II and was one of the founders of what would become the Israeli Air Force. He played an instrumental role in developing it into one of the finest military units of its kind in the world.

The Knesset elected Weizman, by a majority of 66 to 53 (against Dov Shilansky, the Likud candidate), to serve as the next President of Israel. He assumed office as President on May 13, 1993.

In 1996, in an attempt to promote the peace process, Weizman invited Yasser Arafat for a private visit to his home in Caesarea. In 1999, he met with the DFLP leader Nayef Hawatmeh, declaring “I am even prepared to meet with the devil if it helps [to bring peace].”  He openly supported withdrawal from the Golan Heights in exchange for peace with Syria, drawing criticism from the right wing parties.

At the end of 1999, newspapers published allegations that Weizman had accepted large sums of money from businessmen before becoming president, without reporting this to the proper authorities.  Since the statute of limitations had expired Weizman was not prosecuted, but the controversy compelled him to resign. Weizman’s resignation took effect on July 13, 2000.

In 2006, Israel issued this 7,40 NIS stamp honoring Weizman (Michel No. 1854):

ezer weizman - israel

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