The definitive biography of the iron-willed leader, chain-smoking political operative, and tea-and-cake-serving grandmother who became the fourth prime minister of Israel Golda Meir was a world figure unlike any other. Born in tsarist Russia in 1898, she immigrated to America in 1906 and grew up in Milwaukee, where from her earliest years she displayed the political consciousness and organizational skills that would eventually catapult her into the inner circles of Israel's founding generation. Moving to mandatory Palestine in 1921 with her husband, the passionate socialist joined a kibbutz but soon left and was hired at a public works office by the man who would become the great love of her life. A series of public service jobs brought her to the attention of David Ben-Gurion, and her political career took off. Fund-raising in America in 1948, secretly meeting in Amman with King Abdullah right before Israel's declaration of independence, mobbed by thousands of Jews in a Moscow synagogue in 1948 as Israel's first representative to the USSR, serving as minister of labor and foreign minister in the 1950s and 1960s, Golda brought fiery oratory, plainspoken appeals, and shrewd deal-making to the cause to which she had dedicated her life—the welfare and security of the State of Israel and its inhabitants. As prime minister, Golda negotiated arms agreements with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and had dozens of clandestine meetings with Jordan's King Hussein in the unsuccessful pursuit of a land-for-peace agreement with Israel's neighbors. But her time in office ended in tragedy, when Israel was caught off guard by Egypt and Syria's surprise attack on Yom Kippur in 1973. Analyzing newly available documents from Israeli government archives, Francine Klagsbrun looks into whether Golda could have prevented that war and whether in its darkest days she contemplated using nuclear force. Resigning in the war's aftermath, she spent her final years keeping a hand in national affairs and bemusedly enjoying international acclaim. Klagsbrun's superbly researched and masterly recounted story of Israel's founding mother gives us a Golda for the ages.
"The definitive biography of Golda Meir: the iron-willed leader, chain-smoking political operative, and tea-and-cake-serving grandmother who became the fourth prime minister of Israel and one of the most notable women of our time"--
Golda Meir was the first female head of state in the Western world and one of the most influential women in modern history. A blend of Emma Goldman and Martin Luther King Jr. in the guise of a cookie-serving grandmother, her uncompromising devotion to shaping and defending a Jewish homeland against dogged enemies and skittish allies stunned political contemporaries and transformed Middle Eastern politics for decades to follow. She outmaneuvered Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger at their own game of Realpolitik, and led Israel through a bloody war even as she eloquently pleaded for peace, carrying her nation through its most perilous hours while she herself battled cancer. In this masterful biography, critically acclaimed author Elinor Burkett paints a vivid portrait of a legendary woman defined by contradictions: an iron resolve coupled with magnetic charm, a kindly demeanor that disguised a stunning hard-heartedness, and a complete dedication to her country that often overwhelmed her personal relationships.
For five decades Golda Meir was at the center of the political arena in Israel and left her mark on the development of the Yishuv and the state. She was a unique woman, great leader, with a magnetic personality, a highly complex individual. She held some of the most important positions that her party and the State could bestow. She fulfilled most of them with talent and dignity. She failed in the top job – that of Prime Minister. This biography traces her origins, her American roots, her immediate family, her failed marriage, her rise in the party, the trade union movement, her massive and enduring achievements as Secretary of Labor and Housing, her ten year stint as foreign minister and finally the reasons that led to her failure as prime minister. She was a very good tactician, far less a strategist. She was a major builder of modern Israel whose influence on that country, on Israel-American relations and on Jewish history was evident primarily from 1969 to 1974. The author who served as spokesman for Golda Meir in 1973-1974 weaves a gripping story of one of the builders and leaders of the State of Israel.
An insightful study of the inner life of the Zionist leader responsible for the creation of the state of Israel
The author presents a personal glimpse of the life of Israel's late prime minister and recounts how she overcame both personal and political challenges
This work reflects upon the historical relationship between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East, from the origins to the present day, exploring the impact of Zionism, clashing nationalisms, and the Six-Day War. The relationship between Jews and Muslims has been a flashpoint that affects stability in the Middle East and has consequences around the globe. In this book the author challenges the standard media portrayal and presents a fascinating account of hope, opportunity, fear, and terror that have characterized these two peoples through the 1,400 years of their intertwined history. Harking back to the Biblical story of Ishmael and Isaac, he takes the reader from the origins of the fraught relationship, the refusal of Medina's Jews to accept Mohammed as a prophet, through the ages of the Crusader reconquest of the Holy Land and the great Muslim sultanates to the present day. He explores the impact of Zionism in the first half of the twentieth century, the clash of nationalisms during the Second World War, the mass expulsions and exodus of 800,000 Jews from Muslim lands following the birth of Israel, the Six-Day War and its aftermath, and the political sensitivities of the current Middle East. This book sheds light on a time of prosperity and opportunity for Jews in Muslim lands stretching from Morocco to Afghanistan, with many instances of Muslim openness, support, and courage. Drawing on Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sources, the author uses archived material, poems, letters, memoirs, and personal testimony to uncover the human voice of this centuries-old conflict. Ultimately this account of mutual tolerance between Muslims and Jews provides a perspective on current events and a template for the future.
Traces the life and political accomplishments of the Polish-born, former Israeli prime minister who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his negotiation of the 1993 Palestinian-Israeli peace accord.
A revelatory portrait of Israel's first prime minister, written by its current president, includes coverage of his support of the United Nations 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine, his granting of first exemptions to Orthodox military servicepeople and his peaceful overtures toward post-Holocaust Germany.
The definitive memoir of one of Israel's most influential soldier-statesmen and one-time Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, with insights into forging peace in the Middle East. In the summer of 2000, the most decorated soldier in Israel's history—Ehud Barak—set himself a challenge as daunting as any he had faced on the battlefield: to secure a final peace with the Palestinians. He would propose two states for two peoples, with a shared capital in Jerusalem. He knew the risks of failure. But he also knew the risks of not trying: letting slip perhaps the last chance for a generation to secure genuine peace. It was a moment of truth. It was one of many in a life intertwined, from the start, with that of Israel. Born on a kibbutz, Barak became commander of Israel's elite special forces, then army Chief of Staff, and ultimately, Prime Minister. My Country, My Life tells the unvarnished story of his—and his country's—first seven decades; of its major successes, but also its setbacks and misjudgments. He offers candid assessments of his fellow Israeli politicians, of the American administrations with which he worked, and of himself. Drawing on his experiences as a military and political leader, he sounds a powerful warning: Israel is at a crossroads, threatened by events beyond its borders and by divisions within. The two-state solution is more urgent than ever, not just for the Palestinians, but for the existential interests of Israel itself. Only by rediscovering the twin pillars on which it was built—military strength and moral purpose—can Israel thrive.
A biography of the Israeli prime minister and world leader, emphasizing her early childhood and youth in Russia and America.
Drawn from extensive personal archives and filled withstartling revelations, the definitive biography of Ariel Sharon illuminates hislife and work from the penetrating perspective of his youngest son, Gilad Sharon—one of his father’s closest confidants.Readers of George W. Bush’s Decision Points, Tony Blair’s A Journey,Yitzhak Rabin’s The Rabin Memoirs, and Moshe Dayan’s Story of My Life,as well as Benjamin Netanyahu’s A Durable Peace, will be fascinated by Gilad Sharon’s piercing, authoritative, and intimateportrait of Ariel Sharon the Prime Minister, the father, and the military hero,in a narrative that traces his evolution into a powerful and influential forceat the center of Middle Eastern and world politics.
From the former editor in chief of Haaretz, the first in-depth comprehensive biography of Ariel Sharon, the most important Israeli political and military leader of the last forty years. The life of Ariel Sharon spans much of modern Israel's history: A commander in the Israeli Army from its inception in 1948, Sharon participated in the 1948 War of Independence, and played decisive roles in the 1956 Suez War and the six day War of 1967, and most dramatically is largely credited with the shift in the outcome of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. After returning from the army in 1982, Sharon became a political leader and served in numerous governments, most prominently as the defense minister during the 1983 Lebanon War in which he bore "personal responsibility" according to the Kahan Commission for massacres of Palestinian civilians by Lebanese militia, and he championed the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. But as prime minister he performed a dramatic reversal: orchestrating Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Landau brilliantly chronicles and analyzes his surprising about-face. Sharon suffered a stroke in January 2006 and remains in a persistent vegetative state. Considered by many to be Israel's greatest military leader and political statesman, this biography recounts his life and shows how this leadership transformed Israel, and how Sharon's views were shaped by the changing nature of Israeli society.
A reinterpretation of the meanings and traditions of the Sabbath in terms of modern life draws on sacred texts from the Bible, Talmud, and Kabbalah, as well as on the origins, history, rituals, and practice of the Sabbath. 20,000 first printing.
Alexandre Benillouche, a boy of Italian Jewish and Berber descent, struggles for identity and survival in the ghettos of war-torn Tunisia
Winner of the Jewish Book of the Year Award The first comprehensive yet accessible history of the state of Israel from its inception to present day, from Daniel Gordis, "one of the most respected Israel analysts" (The Forward) living and writing in Jerusalem. Israel is a tiny state, and yet it has captured the world’s attention, aroused its imagination, and lately, been the object of its opprobrium. Why does such a small country speak to so many global concerns? More pressingly: Why does Israel make the decisions it does? And what lies in its future? We cannot answer these questions until we understand Israel’s people and the questions and conflicts, the hopes and desires, that have animated their conversations and actions. Though Israel’s history is rife with conflict, these conflicts do not fully communicate the spirit of Israel and its people: they give short shrift to the dream that gave birth to the state, and to the vision for the Jewish people that was at its core. Guiding us through the milestones of Israeli history, Gordis relays the drama of the Jewish people’s story and the creation of the state. Clear-eyed and erudite, he illustrates how Israel became a cultural, economic and military powerhouse—but also explains where Israel made grave mistakes and traces the long history of Israel’s deepening isolation. With Israel, public intellectual Daniel Gordis offers us a brief but thorough account of the cultural, economic, and political history of this complex nation, from its beginnings to the present. Accessible, levelheaded, and rigorous, Israel sheds light on the Israel’s past so we can understand its future. The result is a vivid portrait of a people, and a nation, reborn.
The gripping story of how an all-volunteer air force helped defeat five Arab nations and protect the fledgling Jewish state. In 1948, only three years after the Holocaust, the newly founded nation of Israel came under siege from a coalition of Arab states. The invaders vowed to annihilate the tiny country and its 600,000 settlers. A second Holocaust was in the making. Outnumbered sixty to one, the Israelis had no allies, no regular army, no air force, no superpower to intercede on their behalf. The United States, Great Britain, and most of Europe enforced a strict embargo on the shipment of arms to the embattled country. In the first few days, the Arab armies overran Israel. The Egyptian air force owned the sky, making continuous air attacks on Israeli cities and army positions. Israel’s extinction seemed certain. And then came help. From the United States, Canada, Britain, France, South Africa arrived a band of volunteer airmen. Most were World War II veterans—young, idealistic, swaggering, noble, eccentric, courageous beyond measure. Many were Jews, a third were not. Most of them knowingly violated their nations’ embargoes on the shipment of arms and aircraft to Israel. They smuggled in Messerschmitt fighters from Czechoslovakia, painting over swastikas with Israeli stars. Defying their own countries’ strict laws, the airmen risked everything—their lives, careers, citizenship—to fight for Israel. They were a small group, fewer than 150. In the crucible of war they became brothers in a righteous cause. They flew, fought, died, and, against all odds, helped save a new nation. The saga of the volunteer airmen in Israel’s war of independence stands as one of the most stirring—and untold—war stories of the past century.
Louis Tikas was a union organizer killed in the battle between striking coal miners and stateømilitia in Ludlow, Colorado, in 1914. In Buried Unsung he stands for a whole generation of immigrant workers who, in the years before World War I, found themselves caught between the realities of industrial America and their aspirations for a better life.