US statesman George Shultz, who helped Soviet Jews move to Israel, dies at 100

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US statesman George Shultz, who helped Soviet Jews move to Israel, dies at 100

Ronald Reagan's long-time secretary of state praised as a 'great man but also a mensch', and remembered for influencing the end of the Cold War

George P. Shultz (Wikipedia/ Author	US Government / public domain)
George P. Shultz (Wikipedia/ Author US Government / public domain)

Tributes were paid this week to US statesman George P. Shultz after he died at the age of 100.

Shultz played a leading role in US-led efforts to open the gates of the USSR to large-scale Jewish immigration to Israel, and later helped Israel weather a period of hyper-inflation that threatened its entire economy.

He served as US Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan and US Secretary to the Treasury under Richard Nixon, two of four Cabinet positions he held.

As Reagan’s top envoy he helped negotiate an end to hostilities between Israel and Lebanon in 1985 and established dialogue with the PLO in 1988. In later life he lobbied for the release of Jonathan Pollard, who passed US secrets to Israel.

“Secretary Shultz was not only a great statesman, economist, businessman and academic, but also a stalwart friend of Israel,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, which Shultz co-founded.

“He was a great man but also a mensch. Every hour spent in his presence was simultaneously a seminar in world history and a practical course in leadership.”

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