Shalom Friend

David Horovitch, Editor, The Jerusalem Report, Editor, Leslie Susser, Editor Newmarket Press $24.95 (310p) ISBN 978-1-55704-287-3
At the time of his assassination last November, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, according to aides interviewed for this moving, dramatic biography, saw no urgent need for an Israel-Syria accord, though his long-range goal was reconciliation with all the Arab regimes to create a common front against the spread of Islamic fundamentalist extremism. Written by the staff of the Jerusalem Report, an Israeli biweekly, English-language magazine (of which Horovitz is managing editor), this deeply felt, smoothly edited portrait limns an iconoclastic pragmatist, a chain-smoking soldier turned statesman who never shed his uniform, an intensely secular man who had no understanding of the Jewish religious right's beliefs and therefore underestimated their capacity for violence. The authors, who interviewed Rabin's associates, friends and family members, trace his often contentious relationship with Diaspora Jewry and document the full extent of his masterminding of Israel's victory in the 1967 Six-Day War. They fault Shin Bet, Israel's intelligence agency, which had received--but ignored--warnings that Yigal Amir, Rabin's assassin, was a potential menace, and they dismantle a number of conspiracy theories built on a plethora of security lapses. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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