Readers of Weizman's On Eagle's Wings (1976) know the nephew of Israel's first president as a born raconteur and chief...



Readers of Weizman's On Eagle's Wings (1976) know the nephew of Israel's first president as a born raconteur and chief architect of the Israeli air force; TV-watchers will recognize him as the Israeli defense minister who got on famously with Anwar Sadat. Here, peppered with flashbacks and anecdotes, are his impressions of the often-tortuous, often-rancorous process that culminated in the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. As Weizman tells it, he and Sadat, compatible Middle Easterners, negotiated the ""big picture"" while Begin-and-cabinet--who hardly recognized disputed Sinai sites but were thoroughly familiar with the distance from ""Minsk to Pinsk""--clung to limited, anachronistic political views (what would Herut mentor Jabotinsky do now?) and could not get past the periods and semicolons. Weizman, who ""kept the embers glowing"" when the peace talks bogged down and his TV-chasing critics accused him of seeking the limelight, became the link between Sadat and Begin because, we're also informed, the Egyptian president could not abide the Israeli P.M. Then, convinced that his party would not--indeed, could not--deliver the peace, Weizman resigned. He has harsh words here for bombastic Sharon, for Yadin (""one of the greatest disappointments in Israeli public life""), and even for Begin--whom he admires but who is faulted for running the government autocratically and for not keeping cabinet members informed. The result: Weizman was left to negotiate in the dark and incur the wrath of the Egyptians. His ex-brother-in-law, Dayan, receives little praise and nothing is said of Opposition Labor personalities. He has admiring words, however, for the Americans involved, and especially for Jimmy Carter--who receives credit for forcing the peace treaty on Israel. Candid, astute, and guaranteed to be controversial.(Stay tuned for the next Israeli election.)

Pub Date: May 14, 1981


Page Count: -

Publisher: Bantam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1981