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After Rabin

Uri Avnery: Remembering the Ultimate Sabra

15 November 2007
... The speaker of the Knesset invited me to take part in a special session to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the assassination of YitzhakRabin. 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 ...
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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... shows in his book, stick passionately by the contention tint they were either physically ejected by the Israelis or impelled to flee by Jewish psychological warfare. In the original draft of his book YitzhakRabin, 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 ...
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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... YitzhakRabin, 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 ...

Short Cuts

Yonatan Mendel: Uri Avnery

13 September 2018
... of the state of Israel in an ongoing war. Arguably, the interview helped to break the taboo on treating Arafat as anything more than a terrorist, and perhaps ultimately it even made it possible for YitzhakRabin, 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 ...
23 February 1995
... not their battle. But they were punished for running away because the Israelis would never allow those who fled to return. So what did Aunty Selma feel when she watched Yassir Arafat shake hands with YitzhakRabin 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 ...
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 convoluted tactics, the Israelis preserve in the interlocutor only those last vestiges of sanity and coherence needed to sign the final document.’ No less revealing is Kissinger’s comment on YitzhakRabin, 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 ...
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 ...

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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... and the condemnation of his conduct at the time of the Phalangist massacre at Sabra and Shatilla, he 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 ...

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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... not to do so, is typical. How did the army ‘convince’ the political leadership to endorse its faits accomplis? Segev writes that when the air force bombed the Golan Heights on 8 June 1967, YitzhakRabin, 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 ...

The Propitious Rise of Israel’s little Napoleon

Avi Shlaim: Why peace with Syria and the Palestinians is getting closer

16 September 1999
... Israel B’aliyah, a Russian immigrants’ party led by Nathan Sharansky, won six. Shinui, an assertively 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 ...

Ehud Barak

Avi Shlaim: Ehud Barak

25 January 2001
... the Oslo Accord is capable of producing a viable settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Ever since it was signed on 13 September 1993 on the White House lawn and sealed with YitzhakRabin 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 ...
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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... Germany and Mussolini’s Italy in the belief that ‘the enemy of our British enemy must be our 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 ...

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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... Life Is a Weapon. Hizbollah in turn would gain a permanent foothold inside Israel when it offered vital support to the 415 leading cadres of Hamas and Islamic Jihad expelled into Southern Lebanon by YitzhakRabin 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 ...

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 the Palestinians. It envisaged an independent but demilitarised Palestinian state, covering Gaza and 94 per cent of the West Bank, with al-Quds (East Jerusalem) as its capital. Four days later, YitzhakRabin 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 ...

The Great Middle East Peace Process Scam

Henry Siegman: There Is No Peace Process

16 August 2007
... staff Moshe Ya’alon, is ‘to sear deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people’. In his reluctant embrace of the Oslo Accords, and his distaste for the settlers, YitzhakRabin 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 ...

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