Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Yuri Shtern: May His Memory Be a Blessing

MK Yuri Shtern dies after protracted battle with cancer

Jan. 16, 2007

After a long battle with cancer, Israel Beitenu MK Yuri Shtern, 58, passed away on Tuesday morning. Shtern, who held a doctorate in economics, was born in Moscow and made aliya in 1981. He began began his political career in former Likud MK Natan Sharansky's Israel B'Aliya party.

In 1999, when Avigdor Lieberman founded Israel Beitenu, Shtern joined the party.

Shtern, a staunch advocate of aliya, was the founder of the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus, a group dedicated to coalescing support for Israel among Christian groups, particularly evangelicals.

Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik issued a statement saying that the announcement of Shtern's "untimely death" had "stunned everyone."

"Yuri Shtern symbolized, for me, the Zionist oleh who settles into life in Israel and becomes part of the legislative activity. Yuri was an example of a dedicated and productive Knesset member," Itzik continued. "He was modest, direct, and respectful of others. He will be missed in the Knesset."

Shtern is survived by his wife and two children. His funeral procession is scheduled to begin at four p.m. Tuesday from the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem.