Summing Up, by Yitzhak Shamir
Toward the close of the 1991 Madrid peace conference, the Syrian Foreign Minister, Farouk al-Sharaa, startled his fellow delegates by supplementing his denunciation of Israel’s Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, with an illustration. “Let me show you,” he said, “an old picture of Shamir when he was thirty-two.” He then held up a British police poster from 1940′s Palestine, calling for Shamir’s arrest.
It was certainly odd of the senior Syrian diplomat, a prominent member of a regime that regards itself as a leader in the anticolonial struggle, to include in his indictment of Shamir a document demonstrating, as it were, the Israeli’s anticolonialist bona fides. Odd or not, however, it is unquestionably true that in his youth Yitzhak Shamir was a bitter and extreme foe of British imperialism. Summing Up, Shamir’s autobiography, is the engrossing and ironic story of his long odyssey from the fringe of Jewish political life to its core.
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