BREAKTHROUGH: A Personal Account of the Egypt-Israeli Peace Negotiations by Moshe Dayan
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BREAKTHROUGH: A Personal Account of the Egypt-Israeli Peace Negotiations

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Moshe Dayan's sober, detailed account of the Egyptian-Israeli peace odyssey from Morocco to Camp David and the White House bears none of the sensational disclosures of Ezer Weizman's The Battle for Peace (p. 423). While Sadat and Weizman eschewed legalistic minutiae for the big picture, Dayan's role as Foreign Minister was to safeguard Israel's rights and to devise practical formulas for the first peace treaty between his country and an Arab state. From this vantage point, there is more emphasis on procedural circumambulation and less an personal matters. Dayan had only brief encounters with Sadat (who was friendly with Weizman), and so he focuses especially on the Americans involved--on Cyrus Vance, who tried to narrow the gaps, and Brzezinski, who tried to widen them (""as though he was trying to break us""); and on Jimmy Carter--indefatigable, but so impressed with Sadat's grand gesture at Jerusalem and his ensuing difficulties in the Arab world that he applied a ""double standard"" in the negotiations. Dayan explains his defection from Labor ranks to join Begin's Likud government as a case of not ""running away from the most important campaign in our national life""; and he attributes his subsequent resignation to lack of freedom in the negotiations and to anticipated constraints during the Palestine autonomy talks. If given the opportunity, he believes, he could contribute significantly to Arab-Israeli coexistence in the region. Written before Dayan's recent political comeback, the book ends with his bout with cancer and retirement from public life. As regards the first, tentative Egyptian-Israeli contacts it presently stands alone; and its careful treatment of the limelight negotiations valuably complements Weizman's cut-and-thrust recollections.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1981
Publisher: Knopf