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Yitzhak Rabin, soldier, diplomat, and former Prime Minister of Israel, comments--with some pique--on his rise and fall. Although he really wanted to become an engineer, he bowed to duty, foregoing a U.S. scholarship to join the Haganah in the 1940s, and remained in the military until he reached the top as Chief of Staff. His standing as architect of the Israeli victory in 1967 is now clouded, however, by the political scandals which wracked Israel after the October War, causing Rabin's resignation and Begin's ascension to power. More than half of this volume is a defense of Rabin the diplomat and the politician. At odds with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, headed by Abba Eban, for most of his turbulent tenure in Washington (1968-1974), Rabin touts his success in acquiring U.S. arms for Israel, defends his good relationship with Nixon (which, he says, led to the arms airlift in 1973 and the first U.S. presidential visit to Israel), and advocates the expression of personal views on American politics by a foreign ambassador as a means of pressing his country's case. Chosen to be Golda MeWs successor in 1974, Rabin enumerates his achievements during his short term: the Interim Agreement with Egypt, Entebbe, and the beginnings of the negotiation feelers which culminated in Sadat's Jerusalem visit. He admits the technical error in his Washington bank account but has harsh words for the villains: the press and political adversaries. Like many politicians, Rabin blames the press for pouncing on and embellishing sensational stories (like his own financial dealings) and for the leaks which plagued his administration, threatening the success of Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy. Accused of complicity, double-dealing, or other malefactions are Simon Peres, the current Labor Party standard-bearer; military leader Ezer Weizmann; and perennial loner Moshe Dayan. An aggrieved but nonetheless informative account of the inner workings of Israeli politics and diplomacy.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1979
Publisher: Little, Brown