As foreign minister for Israel's Likud Party from 1988 to 1990, the author worked closely with the newly elected prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, to return the country's policies to a more conservative focus. Part of the work of that administration involved stemming what they saw as a "tide of appeasement" to liberals pushing for peace with the Arabs and accommodation with the Palestinians. Although Arens has much to say about his doubts relating to the peace accord between the Palestinians and Israel, he saves most of his venom for the United States and George Bush. Charges of consistent meddling in Israel's domestic politics, along with allegations of mendacious activity on an international level, pepper the book's pages. Recommended for large libraries with large subject area collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/94.]-David P. Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz.
Over a dozen years, Arens, now retired from Likud Party politics, served as Israel's U.S. ambassador, defense minister, and foreign minister; his second term at the defense ministry--from June_ 1990 to the election of today's Labor government in June_ 1992--encompassed the Gulf War and saw tensions rising between the U.S. and Israel, most notably the very public battle over U.S. guarantees for $10 billion in Israeli loans. Foreign Minister Arens first articulated his party's peace initiative in 1989; later, wearing his defense hat, he strongly opposed the "changes" in that proposal, changes that had rejected land-for-peace, negotiations with the PLO, and any discussion of the status of Jerusalem, changes the Bush administration and Israel's Labor Party ultimately supported. Arens' description of Secretary of State Jim Baker's manipulative diplomacy may give pause to those tempted to see Baker as a lesser-evil alternative to Republican presidential candidates like Phil Gramm and Dan Quayle; on the other hand, Arens' astonishment that the U.S. would arrogantly intervene in Israeli politics and back Labor against Likud will strike readers familiar with U.S. diplomatic history in "other" parts of the world as either naive or disingenuous. Still, "Broken Covenant" tells a fascinating insider's version of recent Mideast diplomatic history.