Meir Shamgar

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Meir Shamgar
Meir Shamgar.jpg
Native name מאיר שמגר
Born (1925-08-13) August 13, 1925 (age 90)
The Free City of Danzig
(modern Gdańsk, Poland)
Citizenship Israeli
Alma mater Hebrew University of Jerusalem
University of London
Employer Israeli Supreme Court
Title President (1983–95)
Parent(s) Eliezer and Dina Sterenberg
Awards 1996 Israel Prize for special contribution to society and the State of Israel

Meir Shamgar (Hebrew: מאיר שמגר) (born August 13, 1925) was President of the Israeli Supreme Court from 1983 until 1995.


Shamgar in detention in Eritrea, 1946

Shamgar was born Meir Sterenberg (or Sternberg) in the Free City of Danzig (modern Gdańsk, Poland) to Eliezer and Dina Sterenberg.[1][2] His parents were Revisionist Zionists. He emigrated to Palestine in 1939.[3] He attended high school at the Balfour Gymnasium in Tel Aviv.

He joined the Palmach and served in Company D. He then joined the Irgun. He was arrested in 1944 for anti-British activities, and interned in Africa at a detention camp in Eritrea. While in detention in Eritrea he studied law by a correspondence course with the University of London.[3][4][5][6] Fellow inmates in Eritrea included Yitzhak Shamir and Shmuel Tamir.[7] He participated in an escape attempt.

In 1948, with the establishment of Israel, he was returned to Israel with the other detainees, where he enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and participated in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[6][8]

After the war, he studied history and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and law at the Government Law School of the University of London.[8]

Following his studies, Shamgar rejoined the army as a military prosecutor. He was appointed Deputy Chief Military Prosecutor in 1956, and Chief Military Prosecutor in 1961.[9] Following the Six-Day War, he designed the legal infrastructure of the Israeli military government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He attained the rank of Brigadier General.[8] After retiring from the military, he served as Attorney General from 1968 to 1975.[10] In 1975, he became a judge on the Israeli Supreme Court. In 1982, he was appointed Deputy Permanent President of the Supreme Court, and in 1983, he became President of the Supreme Court.[11] He retired in 1995.

In 1996 Shamgar chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.[8]


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