Month: June 2011
Interview With General Israel Shafir
Brigadier General (in Reserve) Israel“Relik” Shafir was one of the eight pilots selected to fly the mission to bomb the Osirak nuclear reactor on June 7, 1981. He and his wingman, Ilan Ramon — the first Israeli astronaut, who died tragically in the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster on February 1, 2003 — were the last two of the eight pilots to drop their bombs and the only ones to actually see the reactor blow up.
Shafir spent 31 years as a pilot and commander in the Israeli Air Force, including stints as commander of the Hatzor Air Base Pilot’s School as well as the Tel Nof Air Base. After retiring in 2002 he entered the business world and is currently the CEO of Israel Energy Initiatives, a company developing technology to extract oil from oil shale. In addition to this, he also serves as a spokesman for the Israel Air Force (IAF).
After much effort, Zman was able to arrange a meeting with General Shafir, who is today putting his military and business experience to work in search of solutions to freeIsrael of its energy dependencies.
We met General Shafir in his office, in a large and elegant building in Yerushalayim’s business district, where his company, Israel Energy Initiatives, occupies an entire floor. We were very privileged that he granted us some valuable time from his full schedule for this exclusive interview.