Personal Witness: Israel Through My Eyes

Abba Eban, Author
Abba Eban, Author Putnam Publishing Group $29.95 (671p) ISBN 978-0-399-13589-7
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This gripping political memoir by the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and U.N. affords a privileged view of history being made. It begins as Eban, a British army captain during WW II, undertakes a mission to Jerusalem where he helps create an independent Jewish fighting force in the face of the horrific prospect of a Nazi-German conquest of Palestine. Eban, who also served as Israeli foreign minister, writes movingly of the birth of Israel in a war fought with Czech weapons because of Truman's arms embargo against the fledgling Jewish state. Eban suggests that U.S. military support could have prevented the Suez-Sinai War of 1956. He discloses Israel's strenuous behind-the-scenes efforts to prevent the 1967 Six Day War. Viewing both Arabs and Israelis as paralyzed by the weight of their historic experience, he urges the creation of a Palestinian self-governing entity, perhaps confederated with Jordan. Tied to a PBS-TV series, these stirring reminiscences are peppered with candid firsthand impressions of Ben-Gurion, Churchill, Sadat, Einstein, Gorbachev, Kissinger and dozens of others. Photos. (Oct.)
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