George Shultz, former Republican official, dies at age 100

George Shultz, the US secretary of state who survived bitter infighting in President Ronald Reagan’s administration to help forge a new era in American-Soviet relations and bring on the end of the Cold War, died on Saturday at age 100, according to the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.A man of broad experience and talents, Shultz achieved success in statesmanship, business and academia. “People say to me, ‘What’s the most satisfying thing you did as secretary of state?’ It always comes down to a human face. There is one human being that is better off, and maybe I had something to do with it,” Shultz told The Jerusalem Post in 2016, recounting his steadfast and tenacious efforts to free Soviet Jewry in his role a secretary of state in the 80s.

“The critical events that ultimately burst open the gates of the former Soviet Union were done with the leadership of president Reagan and secretary of state George Shultz, and the results were astounding,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time. “The addition of a million of our Jewish brethren here made all the difference.””My wife and I are deeply mourning the loss of a tremendous friend of Israel, and a close personal friend, former US secretary of state George Shultz,” tweeted the official Prime Minister’s account. “As secretary of state, Shutz stood by Israel in our fight against terror and countless other challenges. “I have never met a man more honest, straight, or calculated. The US has lost a great patriot, and we have lost a wonderful friend.” “Few men have played a role in so many of history’s critical junctures as former Secretary of State, George Shultz,” tweeted New Hope head Gideon Sa’ar. “He was a true friend of Israel, and one of the great statesman of his generation.”Shultz was a native New-Yorker, having been born and raised in New York City, according to his official State Department biography. He went on to serve with the United States Marine Corps Reserves during World War II.

“George Shultz dedicated his life to promoting a more peaceful and secure future, and his work to advance democracy worldwide leaves a powerful legacy for generations to come,” stated US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “George was known and esteemed as a person of honor.”Shultz, a top diplomat, and a Republican, fought the long fight that eventually led to Jonathan Pollard’s release, his involvement significantly ushering the process along. “I am writing to join with many others in urging you to consider that Jonathan Pollard has now paid a huge price for his espionage on behalf of Israel and should be released from prison,” Shultz wrote in a letter obtained by The Jerusalem Post back in 2011. Thanks to efforts like Shultz’s, Pollard was finally released, and moved to Israel 35 years after his initial arrest. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met him right as he got off the plane. Lawmakers praised him for opposing as sheer folly the sale of arms to Iran that were the cornerstone of the Iran-Contra scandal that marred Reagan’s second term in office.His efforts as America’s top diplomat from 1982 to 1989 under the Republican Reagan helped lead to the conclusion of the four-decade-long Cold War that began after World War Two, pitting the United States and its allies against the Soviet Union and the communist bloc and generating fears of a global nuclear conflict.He began his journey in government as President Richard Nixon’s Secretary of Labor in 1969, taking up other various positions before setting as Secretary of the Treasury from 1972 to 1964. He then returned as secretary of state for Reagan in 1982. Shultz, a steady, patient and low-key man who became one of the longest-serving secretaries of state, steered to completion a historic treaty scrapping superpower medium-range nuclear missiles and set a pattern for dealings between Moscow and Washington that made human rights a routine agenda item.”Under the new approach, Iran permanently gives up none of its equipment, facilities or fissile product to achieve the proposed constraints. It only places them under temporary restriction and safeguard – amounting in many cases to a seal at the door of a depot or periodic visits by inspectors to declared sites,” Shultz wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed penned with former US secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 2015. His record as secretary of state was tempered by his failure to bring peace to the Middle East and Central America, areas in which he personally invested considerable effort.Shultz remained active into his 90s through a position at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution think tank and various boards. He will be remembered in history as a man who made the world a better place,” said Shultz’s director at the Hoover Institution, Condoleezza Rice, in a statement, according to CNN. Rice is also a former secretary of state. He also wrote books and took stands against the Cuban embargo, climate change and Britain’s departure from the European Union.”George Shultz was a legend,” tweeted current US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “An ardent champion of diplomacy, Secretary Shultz strengthened America’s relationships and advanced our interests with strategic brilliance and great patience. Our thoughts today are with Secretary Shultz’s family and all those who loved him.”

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