Avraham "Avrusha" Tamir: A Lifetime of Service to Israel

Avraham (Avrusha) Tamir, born on September 16, 1922, and passing away on December 20, 2010, was a highly regarded Israeli military officer, a prominent public servant, and an influential advisor to politicians on security and policy matters.

Early Life and Military Service

Tamir was born as Avraham Treinin in Neve Tzedek. He grew up alongside his younger brother, Avner Treinin. At the age of 14, Tamir moved to Jerusalem and, as a young teenager, left his studies to work at the Dead Sea Works. At 17, he volunteered for the Jewish Brigade and fought in Italy during World War II.

Afterward, he served in the Haganah and completed a course in MAMAT (Special Reconnaissance Units). During the War of Independence, Tamir served as a commander of Pluga Bet in the Givati Brigade and as a deputy commander of Gush Etzion. He was wounded during combat, sustaining injuries from shrapnel and fractures from an explosion. Tamir was captured by the Jordanian army and held as a prisoner for 11 months before his release in 1949.

Following his recovery, Tamir resumed his education, where he began work on his autobiography. He also embarked on the third cycle of the MAMAT course. Tamir served as an operations officer for the Central Command, commanded the 52nd Battalion from 1951 to 1952, and headed the Combat Intelligence Branch in the Intelligence Corps.

He was one of the founders of the Inter-Arms Command and Staff College in 1954 and served as an instructor for two cycles. Subsequently, he held the position of Chief of the Operations Branch and later Head of the Operations Department at the General Staff. He served as Deputy Commander of the Armored Corps School, participated in the development of battle doctrine, commanded the Binyamin Brigade, and later served as Deputy Commander of a division. Until the Yom Kippur War, he served as Assistant Head of the General Staff for Planning, holding the rank of Brigadier General.

During the Yom Kippur War, Tamir served as the commander of the Southern Command, under the leadership of Ariel Sharon. After the war, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and established the Planning Branch in the IDF, serving as its first head. In the early part of 1979, Tamir was appointed as a special advisor to the Minister of Defense and Head of the National Planning Division in the Ministry of Defense.

In his role as a military officer, Tamir was involved in the peace negotiations with Egypt, being considered the "architect" of the military agreements that accompanied the Camp David Accords, particularly regarding the Sinai Peninsula. He continued to be involved in subsequent peace talks, including those at Taba and the Camp David summit.

In 1978, he established the National Security Unit (YELL) under Defense Minister Ezer Weizman (who was later succeeded by Prime Minister Menachem Begin). YELL dealt with national security planning while the IDF Planning Division remained focused on military planning. In 1981, Ariel Sharon expanded YELL's responsibilities.

The unit operated within the Ministry of Defense until it was disbanded by Moshe Arens in 1983. Between 1984 and 1986, Tamir served as the Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office under Shimon Peres and as a National Security Advisor. In 1986, he was appointed as the Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Shimon Peres.

From 1990 onwards, Tamir served as a special advisor to President Chaim Herzog and, during Benjamin Netanyahu's first term as Prime Minister, as an advisor on national security. He was considered close to former Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres.

Tamir was a graduate of Tel Aviv University.

Family Life

Avraham Tamir was married to Varda Agron, the daughter of Gershon Agron. They had three children. His daughter, Professor Michal Shtern, is a lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of Haifa. His second daughter, Daphna Ephrat, is a professor specializing in Middle Eastern history at the Open University. His son, Gideon, is the head of the Talmud Torah school in Beit She'an. His brother was Professor Avner Treinin.

Avraham Tamir's life was a testament to his dedication to the State of Israel, from his early military service to his influential roles in planning and diplomacy. His contributions to national security and peace negotiations continue to shape Israel's history and policies to this day.

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