Israel's prime ministers and the Arabs: Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin

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This article identifies similar patterns of behaviour and attitudes towards Arabs and the Arab states among three of Israel's prime ministers in the first 10 years that followed the 1967 war: Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, and Yitzhak Rabin. All three believed in the right of the Jews to the Land of Israel, in their right to return to their ancient homeland to become a majority, and in the establishment of the state of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people - a state founded on values of democracy and equal of rights for all its citizens. Convinced that the Arabs would never reconcile themselves to Jewish sovereignty in (however small) a part of the Middle East, they believed that Israel must rely on its sword if it were to survive. They differed, nevertheless, over how to achieve these goals. While Eshkol and Rabin believed that Israel should withdraw from most of the territories captured in the 1967 War as a condition for partial (Rabin) or full (Eshkol) peace, Meir did not share this view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-193
Number of pages17
JournalIsrael affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Arabs
  • Golda meir
  • Israel
  • Levi eshkol
  • Yitzhak rabin


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