Yitzhak Navon, 94, Israel’s first Sephardic president, buried in state funeral

by | Nov 20, 2015 | Obituaries

JERUSALEM (JTA)—Yitzhak Navon, Israel’s first Sephardic president and the first president to visit Egypt, was buried in a state funeral on Mount Herzl.

Navon, who served from 1978 to 1983, died Friday, Nov. 6 at 94. His body lay in state on the following Sunday morning before his funeral at noon. Along with his family, the mourners included current and former Israeli leaders.

In his eulogy at the funeral, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Navon “a jewel that adorned our capital, Jerusalem.”

Navon served in four Knessets, becoming one of the Labor Party’s most respected members. He served one term as president; he chose not to vie for the position a second time, preferring to serve again in the Knesset. During his presidential term, he threatened to resign unless an investigation committee was set up to look at the events that took place in 1982 at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, where an Israel-allied Lebanese Christian militia massacred hundreds of people.