‘The Nation Wants Peace’

The Fellowship  |  June 5, 2020

Israeli Ambassador
Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov (1929 - 2003), 1979. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A Servant of Israel

Born to a seventh-generation family of Jerusalem Jews, Shlomo Argov naturally joined the Palmach, pre-state Israel’s elite fighting force. Then he joined the IDF and fought for his nation’s independence.

After his military service and studies, Argov worked for Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. This job led to ambassadorships in such far-flung locales as Ghana, Nigeria, Mexico, and Washington, D.C. But Argov’s job as Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom nearly cost him his life.

A Shot in the Dark

On the evening of June 3, 1982, Palestinian terrorists approached Ambassador Argov on the London streets. The assassins shot Argov in the head, an attach which the ambassador miraculously survived. After brain surgery and three month in a coma, Israeli authorities flew the severely disabled Argov back to the Holy Land.

The attempted assassination directly led to Israel’s involvement in the 1982 Lebanon War. Argov, who never gained full consciousness and went blind due to his injury, expressed horror that the attempt on his life led to more loss of Israeli life. “We are tired of wars,” Argov dictated from his hospital bed. “The nation wants peace.”

Ambassador Shlomo Argov died in 2003 at Hadassah Hospital, after 21 years of paralysis and disability, having served his nation as best as he could.

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