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After Rabin

Uri Avnery: Remembering the Ultimate Sabra, 15 November 2007

... me to take part in a special session to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. I debated with myself whether to accept the invitation. On the one hand, I would have liked to honour the man and the achievements of his last years. I liked him. On the other hand, I had no wish to listen to a eulogy delivered by Shimon ...

Middle Eastern Passions

Keith Kyle, 21 February 1980

The Palestinians 
by Jonathan Dimbleby.
Quartet, 256 pp., £12.50, September 1980, 0 7043 2205 6
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The Rabin Memoirs 
by Yitzhak Rabin.
Weidenfeld, 272 pp., £10, November 1980, 0 297 77546 4
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... Israelis or impelled to flee by Jewish psychological warfare. In the original draft of his book Yitzhak Rabin, who in 1948 was a 26-year-old brigade commander in the Palmach (‘assault companies’), claimed that he was ordered to expel 50,000 Arab civilians from Lydda and Ranila, two towns that were inconviently close to Tel Aviv. Some of his men, he ...

Overtaken by Events

Avi Shlaim, 30 November 1995

Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land 
by Meron Benvenisti.
California, 260 pp., £20, September 1995, 0 520 08567 1
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... Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated earlier this month by a right-wing extremist claiming to act in the name of God, inflicted more punishment and pain on the Palestinians than any other Israeli leader. As Chief of Staff in 1967, he presided over Israel’s spectacular military victory and the capture of the West Bank ...

Orchestrated Panic

Yitzhak Laor: The Never-Ending War, 1 November 2007

1967: Israel, the War and the Year That Transformed the Middle East 
by Tom Segev, translated by Jessica Cohen.
Little, Brown, 673 pp., £25, May 2007, 978 0 316 72478 4
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... accomplis? Segev writes that when the air force bombed the Golan Heights on 8 June 1967, Yitzhak Rabin, who was then the army chief of staff, ‘claimed it was an “error”. The Syrians bombed several Israeli communities in response, and Eshkol authorised the evacuation of children from the region. Elazar’ – the general in charge of the ...

Short Cuts

Yonatan Mendel: Uri Avnery, 13 September 2018

... Arafat as anything more than a terrorist, and perhaps ultimately it even made it possible for Yitzhak Rabin, 11 years later, to shake his hand on the White House lawn. Avnery and Arafat met several times, including while Arafat was under siege in his headquarters in Ramallah. When Ariel Sharon, the then prime minister, announced in May 2003 that ...

Remaining Issues

Robert Fisk, 23 February 1995

... who fled to return. So what did Aunty Selma feel when she watched Yassir Arafat shake hands with Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn over a year ago? Her eyebrows arched suddenly. ‘I thought: “Oh God, what a world.” I thought: “Halas, it’s finished, it’s over. Now I will never be able to go back.” What it needs is for the British to make ...

Sleepless Afternoons

Avi Shlaim, 25 February 1993

The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel 
by George Ball and Douglas Ball.
Norton, 382 pp., £17.95, January 1993, 0 393 02933 6
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... and coherence needed to sign the final document.’ No less revealing is Kissinger’s comment on Yitzhak Rabin, the present prime minister who had served as Ambassador to Washington in the early Seventies: ‘Yitzhak had many extraordinary qualities, but the gift of human relations was not one of them. If he had been ...

Israel and the Gulf

Avi Shlaim, 24 January 1991

... Two major security challenges confronted the Israeli government headed by Yitzhak Shamir in the second half of 1990: the Palestinian uprising, now in its third year, against Israeli rule in the occupied territories, and the crisis triggered by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on 2 August last year. To begin with, the Gulf crisis overshadowed the intifada, but within a short time it also contributed to a serious escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, pushing it to the brink of an inter-communal war ...

Israel’s Caesar

Naomi Shepherd, 26 November 1987

Sharon: An Israeli Caesar 
by Uzi Benziman.
Robson, 276 pp., £12.95, September 1987, 9780860514343
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Sands of Sorrow: Israel’s Journey from Independence 
by Milton Viorst.
Tauris, 328 pp., £16.50, September 1987, 1 85043 064 0
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... remains a member of the coalition cabinet, and a potential candidate for the premiership, should Yitzhak Shamir stand down in 1988. According to some analysts, Labour has remained in the coalition with the right-wing Likud – an arrangement which paralyses any political initiative on the Palestinian question – solely in order to block Sharon’s ...

Ehud Barak

Avi Shlaim: Ehud Barak, 25 January 2001

... Ever since it was signed on 13 September 1993 on the White House lawn and sealed with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat’s hesitant handshake, the Accord has been a subject of controversy. The following month the London Review of Books ran two articles about the Accord, one against and one in favour. Putting the case against, Edward Said ...

The Propitious Rise of Israel’s little Napoleon

Avi Shlaim: Why peace with Syria and the Palestinians is getting closer, 16 September 1999

... secular liberal party, won six seats on an anti-Orthodox ticket. A new Centre Party, led by Yitzhak Mordechai, a defector from the Likud, also won six. The splintered Knesset complicated the task of forming a governing coalition, although Barak himself was in a relatively strong position to mould a coalition to suit his agenda. The scale of Barak’s ...

The Fighting Family

Avi Shlaim, 9 May 1996

Israel, Likud and the Zionist Dream: Power, Politics and Ideology from Begin to Netanyahu 
by Colin Shindler.
Tauris, 324 pp., £25, August 1995, 1 85043 969 9
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Summing Up: An Autobiography 
by Yitzhak Shamir.
Weidenfeld, 276 pp., £19.99, April 1994, 0 297 81337 4
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Broken Covenant: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis between the US and Israel 
by Moshe Arens.
Simon and Schuster, 320 pp., $25, February 1995, 0 671 86964 7
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A Zionist Stand 
by Ze’ev Begin.
Cass, 173 pp., £15, January 1993, 0 7146 4089 1
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Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism 
by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Farrar, Straus, 152 pp., $17, October 1995, 0 374 15492 9
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... friend.’ Stern’s successors, a triumvirate consisting of Israel Eldad, Natan Yellin-Mor and Yitzhak Shamir, kept up the terrorist attacks and political assassinations in their campaign to drive the British out of Palestine. But after the end of the Second World War they turned to the Soviet Union in their search for allies against Britain. Both ...

Deadly Embrace

Jacqueline Rose: Suicide bombers, 4 November 2004

My Life Is a Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing 
by Christoph Reuter, translated by Helena Ragg-Kirkby.
Princeton, 246 pp., £15.95, May 2004, 0 691 11759 4
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Army of Roses: Inside the World of Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers 
by Barbara Victor.
Robinson, 321 pp., £8.99, April 2004, 1 84119 937 0
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... support to the 415 leading cadres of Hamas and Islamic Jihad expelled into Southern Lebanon by Yitzhak Rabin following the abduction and murder of an Israeli soldier in December 1992. It has always been a paradox for Western observers that Hizbollah, which promotes an Iranian-style Islamic revolution for the whole of the Middle East (the organisation ...

Capital Folly

Avi Shlaim: The Jerusalem Syndrome, 21 March 2002

Divided Jerusalem: The Struggle for the Holy City 
by Bernard Wasserstein.
Profile, 420 pp., £9.99, March 2002, 1 86197 333 0
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... and 94 per cent of the West Bank, with al-Quds (East Jerusalem) as its capital. Four days later, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated and his successor, Shimon Peres, lacked the courage to adopt the plan, not least because it would have exposed him to the charge of dividing Jerusalem. In the elections of May 1996 Peres was narrowly defeated by Binyamin ...

The Great Middle East Peace Process Scam

Henry Siegman: There Is No Peace Process, 16 August 2007

... people’. In his reluctant embrace of the Oslo Accords, and his distaste for the settlers, Yitzhak Rabin may have been the exception to this, but even he did not entertain a return of Palestinian territory beyond the so-called Allon Plan, which allowed Israel to retain the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank. Anyone familiar with ...

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