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Shamir, at 75, Says Israel Must Stand Firm on Principles

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, just turned 75, says the lesson of history for a small state like Israel is to stand firm for its principles.

In a special birthday interview with the daily Yediot Achronot, the premier said it was for this reason that he would not waver or compromise in the current battle with the United United States over a U.N. investigation into the Oct. 8 Temple Mount bloodshed.

“I have learned from history that in times of crisis, what counts in the end is the firm and unwavering stand of a nation sticking to its interests,” Shamir said.

He recalled “South Vietnam, for instance,” which “began its long path to disaster when its leaders became puppets of the United States and ceased defending their own national interest.”

In Iran, too, he said, “the Shah lost the will to resist the revolutionary forces in his land, lost his power to fight. It was not the U.S. that was to blame for his downfall. He himself lost his faith in his own capacity to stand.

“I learn from this that we, for our part, must stand firm for our principles, consistently and determinedly,” the premier said.

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