The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Prime Ministers is the first and only insider account of Israeli politics from the founding of the Jewish State to the near-present day. It reveals stunning details of life-and-death decision-making, top-secret military operations and high level peace negotiations. The Prime Ministers brings readers into the orbits of world figures, including Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Written in a ...
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The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership

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Overview

The Prime Ministers is the first and only insider account of Israeli politics from the founding of the Jewish State to the near-present day. It reveals stunning details of life-and-death decision-making, top-secret military operations and high level peace negotiations. The Prime Ministers brings readers into the orbits of world figures, including Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Written in a captivating literary style by a political adviser, speechwriter and diplomat, The Prime Ministers is an enthralling political memoir, and a precisely crafted prism through which to view current Middle East affairs. The Prime Ministers is the basis of a major documentary produced by Moriah Films, the Academy Award-winning film division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
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Editorial Reviews

Bret Stephens
... a gripping, intimate, intricately detailed and fast-paced account of Israeli politics at the highest levels...a front-row seat to the drama of Israeli statecraft in moments of crisis and triumph, tragedy and joy. I couldn't put it down.
The Wall Street Journal
David Horovitz
...one of the most remarkable accounts we are ever likely to get of how Israel has been governed over the decades...All of it is here...the intellectual arguments made and those that were not marshaled; the decisions taken and those that were ducked...the ultimate insider's account.
The Jerusalem Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592643356
  • Publisher: Toby Press LLC, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 83,236
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Yehuda Avner served as adviser and English speechwriter to Israeli Prime Ministers Rabin, Begin, Meir and Eshkol. He is a former Israeli Ambassador to Britain, Ireland and Australia, and served in diplomatic positions at the Israeli Consulate in New York and the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC. Ambassador Avner was born in Manchester, England. He has lived in Israel since 1947. More at www.yehudaavner.com.

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Table of Contents

Author's Note

Acknowledgements

Principal Characters

Foreword Rt. Hon. Sir Martin Gilbert Gilbert, Rt. Hon. Sir Martin

PART I BEGINITES AND ANTI-BEGINITES

Chapter 1 In the Beginning 5

Chapter 2 Desperate Hopes and Savage Defiance 31

Chapter 3 Esther 49

Chapter 4 Independence Day 61

Chapter 5 The Rock Harvesters of Galilee 75

Chapter 6 The Oxford Union 87

Interregnum 97

PART II COALITIONS AND OPPOSITIONS

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol

Chapter 7 A Novice in the Foreign Ministry 103

Chapter 8 A Greenhorn in the Prime Minister's Bureau 109

Chapter 9 A Walk with Harry Truman 115

Chapter 10 A Perfidious Syrian Design 125

Chapter 11 The Gathering Storm 135

Chapter 12 An Uncommon Proposal and a Disastrous Broadcast 145

Chapter 13 A Prayer at the Wall 153

Chapter 14 Deep in the Heart of Texas 165

Chapter 15 An Unlikely Ambassador and a Premier's Passing 179

Chapter 16 Envoy of the Year 187

Prime Minister Golda Meir

Chapter 17 Changing of the Guard 201

Chapter 18 Golda and Oriana: A Romance 207

Chapter 19 The Shame of Schoenau 219

Chapter 20 The Sams of Suez 225

Chapter 21 Once Upon a Sukka Time 233

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

Chapter 22 The Instant Premier 261

Chapter 23 Yeduha 273

Chapter 24 Collusion at Salzburg 285

Chapter 25 A Presidentail Letter 295

Chapter 26 Entebbe - Flight 139 303

Chapter 27 Enter Jimmy Carter 319

Chapter 28 Swansong 331

PART III THE LAST PATRIARCH

Prime Minsiter Menachem Begin

Chapter 29 Upheaval 345

Chapter 30 A Jew of Many Parts 363

Chapter 31 Yechiel and Begin 381

Chapter 32 The Open House 389

Chapter 33 The Bible Circle 395

Chapter 34 Washington 401

Chapter 35 The Presidential Encounter 409

Chapter 36 The Dinner 429

Chapter 37 To Ignite the Soul 443

Chapter 38 A Duel in the Knesset 451

Chapter 39 The Night Sadat Came 457

Chapter 40 Deadlock 473

Chapter 41 Abie Finegold Saves the Peace Treaty 487

Chapter 42 The Child in El Arish 499

Chapter 43 Begin's Bag and Baggage 503

Chapter 44 Purity of Arms 523

Chapter 45 O Jerusalem 531

Chapter 46 Germany - the Eternal and Infernal Reverie 541

Chapter 47 When Yet Another Holocaust Loomed 551

Chapter 48 Asset or Ally? 565

Chapter 49 Death of a President 573

Chapter 50 Pacta Sunt Servanda 589

Chapter 51 The Sabbath Queen 595

Chapter 52 Waging War, Preaching Peace 603

Chapter 53 "I Did Not Mislead you" 613

Chapter 54 An Inept Attempt at a Flawed Peace 627

Chapter 55 The Rosh Hashanah of Sabra and Shatila 641

Chapter 56 "To Everything There is a Season" 651

Chapter 57 "I Cannot Go On" 669

Chapter 58 Journey's End 693

Afterword 697

Endnotes 705

Bibliography 711

Index 715

About the Author 731

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2010

    Excellent Book

    The Prime Ministers introduces readers to nearly every political figure in the history of Israel: Begin, Rabin, Sharon, Peres and others, through personal recollection and astute characterization. We see these remarkable leaders in tense moments of decision-making and diplomacy, in political debate, in conversation with advisors, friends and wives. All of it is here, and it is an unforgettable, dramatic journey. One cannot understand the story of Israel's establishment and ongoing struggle for survival without reading this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    A History and a Prophecy

    The Prime Ministers stands in a genre of its own. It's not a history, although it sends you back to the earliest years of Israeli statehood and walks you down a battle-strewn but hope-filled memory lane. It's not an autobiography, although the author's personal encounters with the greatest of Israeli and Jewish leaders lend a note of authenticity and personality. It's not a prophecy, although the stories of the Israeli founders chillingly resonate in today's reality. Instead, it's an intertwinement of all these genres, a book that is at once a textbook to read aloud to children, a thriller that grips your attention throughout, a current account of today's events reflected through the prism of history, and as readable as any summer beach read (albeit quite a bit heavier).
    Somehow, Mr. Avner succeeded in telling a story about people, while also telling a story about a people. The result is this riveting, inspirational, thought-provoking book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

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  • Posted March 30, 2014

    Fascinating anecdotes about the first two decades of the history

    Fascinating anecdotes about the first two decades of the history of Israel written by an immigrant from England who became secretary of the Israeli cabinet.  I found it hard to put this book down and emerged with a greatly enhanced understanding of the leaders of Israel's early year.  Hiighly recommended.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Wow!!!! I am in awe of this book! A true must read! I met Mr. Av

    Wow!!!! I am in awe of this book! A true must read! I met Mr. Avner LIVE and he is phenomenal! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Such a fantastic book! Great insider perspective on four of the

    Such a fantastic book! Great insider perspective on four of the most influential Prime Ministers of Israel, and both a realistic and inspiring description of Israeli history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2013

    Brilliant

    Definitely slanted and shaded but still a brilliant book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Avner has a gift for writing and provides an interesting and informative historical account.

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  • Posted March 26, 2012

    Excellent book; the author manages to combine his ability to tel

    Excellent book; the author manages to combine his ability to tell a personal and moving story, while catching and documenting virtually every nuance and detail of the interactions between some of the most influential political leaders of the 20th century, in Israel, the USA, UK, and elsewhere. In many ways, Amb. Avner's observations bring to mind the fictional character of Forrest Gump, but unlike that imaginary figure, the Ambassador was a real flesh-and-blood witness to some of the past century's pivotal events.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2011

    Extraordinary! This is one of the Finest Books I have ever read on Israel!

    This magnificently well-written book, by an author who can write, is spellbinding, gripping, fascinating, well-documented and researched, authentic. It is a book that one is unable to put down. Filled with anecdotal stories, one gains a deep and profound appreciation of what goes on behind the seats of power - told through a Forest Gump type character who was on the daily scene of the Prime Minister's Desk. Avner worked for each of the Prime Ministers of Israel. One gains an understanding of the politics, the personalities, the negotiations, the dynamics, the power plays that unfold between Israel and the Leaders upon the World stage. It is an unforgetable experience reading this book. I felt sad when it was over. I have given it as gifts to many people and each have had the same reaction. This is truly a must read and one of our great books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2010

    Unbelievably up close and personal

    Its possible to imagine yourself behind the scenes while major political decisions are being made. The personal photos and journal entries add to the depth of the prose.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2010

    A Thoroughly Unique, Insider's View of Israeli History

    The Prime Ministers is a riveting, illluminating, and entertaining political memoir. Yehuda Avner, a former prime ministerial advisor, provides unique, first-hand accounts of major events in Israel's history, and a perspective that is critical for understanding Israel's current struggle to make peace, maintain strong diplomatic relations with the US and more. The Prime Ministers is a must-read for anyone intersted in Israel.

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    Posted August 11, 2011

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