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Israel Buries Two Lawyers Killed in Wednesday’s Attack

May 5, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

"We shall carry on our struggle for this land — because we have no other land… We have no choice."

With these grim words, Justice Minister Dan Meridor on Thursday eulogized two fellow lawyers who fell victim Wednesday to the terror attack on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road.

Nissim Levy, 90, and Kalman Vardi, 60, were both well-known attorneys in the capital.

At both funerals Thursday, a strong representation of bench and bar joined in paying last respects to the two men.

Levy was born in the Old City, the scion of a family that originally hailed from the Balkans and had lived in Jerusalem for generations.

He studied law in Beirut and practiced in Jerusalem, specializing chiefly in land law, until the age of 85.

Even after that, he kept up contacts with a few veteran clients and was on his way home from visiting a client when he was struck down at the bus stop on Jaffa Road opposite the central post office.

It was Levy’s only son, Yossi, who has often been cited as the person who left such a deep and lasting impression on George Shultz, when the former secretary of state was a professor of economics at the University of Chicago in 1967.

During the waiting period before the Six-Day War, Yossi, who was close to getting his doctorate, told Shultz that he must rush back to Israel to take part in the impending battle for national survival. Yossi was subsequently killed in battle.

Shultz has often recounted that incident to explain the depth of his own empathy with the Israeli experience.

Kalman Vardi was born in Poland, where he was a Zionist youth activist until he immigrated to Palestine in 1934.

One of the founders of Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak, Vardi served in the British army in World War II and worked for the Jewish Agency in Turkey after the war, in aliyah and rescue operations.

He received his law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in family law.

The three persons wounded in the attack were pronounced out of danger Thursday. They are Eliahu Waknin, a 62-year-old Jerusalemite; Ya’acov Schiff, 25, a yeshiva student; and 81-year-old Rivka Babkhanov, who was initially identified incorrectly as Levy’s wife. The first two were stabbed in the chest, the third in the stomach.

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