Voice of Israel by Abba Eban
Voice of Israel by Abba Eban

[SIGNED] Voice of Israel by Abba Eban

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New York : Horizon Press, 1957. Inscribed by Abba Eban. Hardcover. First Edition. 304 pages ; 21 cm. $3.95 dust jacket with a few minor tears around jacket edges. Scattered underline markings within the pages. Binding is firm.


Israel's rebirth is, in Ambassador Abba Eban's words, "a drama conceived in majestic terms, and acted in the sight of eternity." Here, in a chronicle by the man who has been his country's voice at the tribunals of world opinion since the establishment of the State of Israel nine years ago, is an unequaled picture of the young country in the first decade of its modern national freedom.

The chronicle opens with a glance eight years back to the unforgettable first day of Israel's independence, when Arab armies sought to crush its independence by armed force. "Opportunity and danger, supreme ecstasy and icy fear came together in that moment side by side." Mr. Eban surveys all that has befallen his nation since then, and finds that despite many dark clouds "the brave ambitions of that summer morning have not played us false."

The reader is then taken back to a year-by-year examination of Israel's fortunes at moments of historic decision. With hostile armies swarming over Israel we find the eloquent envoy at the United Nations defiantly rejecting an Arab ultimatum calling for the abrogation of Israel's independence: "Whether they want peace or war—they can have it only with the State of Israel." Across the passing years the chronicle reveals Israel's position on security in the Middle East; on the Arab refugee problem; on Jerusalem and the Holy Places; on the Suez Canal; on border clashes and their remedy; on American-Israel relations; above all, on the underlying factors in the conflict between "the vast Arab Empire with its twelve sovereignties in the golden age of its emancipation" and the small people of Israel whose "meagre domain of freedom" was challenged by the Arab world.

The story is told in language of rare dignity and grace, and with a full sense of pageantry. At times Mr. Eban stands above the daily turmoil to reflect on the inner meaning of Israel's rebirth. He discusses Israel's Hebrew culture, it's Biblical research and its atomic investigation. He sees his people marching in a "journey across history for three thousand years bearing the great message of order and progress in the universal design." He is conscious of Israel's recent history as a sharp transition from the "death and havoc" of exile to the pride and opportunity of statehood. He stands in emotion before the continuity of Israel's historic memory since its previous era of independence. "And now the hand of history has restored us to our small but lofty elevation, from which we look down on vast perspectives extending at our feet on every side—backward four thousand years towards antiquity, and forward to the challenge of atomic generations."

Because it presents Mr. Eban's major addresses made throughout Israel's eight years of triumphs and struggles, this chronicle conveys a sense of participation in events of high moment. All who follow the controversial history of this new nation, or take part in it, will find Israel's position authentically expressed.

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