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Diplomat and raconteur Zalman Shoval leads readers behind the closed doors of Jerusalem and Washington in this memoir, into the rooms where prime ministers and presidents made decisions about the first Gulf War, the fate of Jonathan Pollard, the role of the PLO, and Israel's responses to international criticism and hostilities.
As a member of Israel's Likud party, an early ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and a two-time ambassador to the United States, Shoval has navigated the complicated relationships among Israel's various ministers and political parties. But none was more fraught than Jerusalem and Washington's in the 1990s, when Israel's financial dependence on the U.S. ignited tensions that threatened Shoval's diplomatic expulsion.
Since Israel's founding seventy years ago, Shoval has championed its independence, survival, and global reputation. His public life began as a child relocated from 1930s Europe, throwing rocks at Palestine's British occupiers and living alongside Arabs and Jews whose backgrounds differed greatly from his own. As a college student in the U.S. and Switzerland, an intelligence officer in the Israeli Defense Force, a member of Israel's governing majority in Jerusalem, and Israel's ambassador in Washington, DC, Shoval's cosmopolitan background has influenced his hopes for Israel, and his ability to negotiate with others.
Zalman Shoval is an Israeli politician and diplomat who served as Israel's ambassador to the United States during the George H. W. Bush presidency and, later, during the Clinton administration. He resides in Tel Aviv and regularly visits the United States.