You Could Spend A Lot
Of Time Looking For
LARRY DERFNER SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
or the leader of a democra-
cy, Yitzhak Rabin could be
fairly described as a benev-
olent dictator - totally ded-
icated to his people, but autocratic
by instinct and ruthless with
anyone who gets in his way.
"The Israeli public," wrote
Ha'aretz columnist Uzi Benzi-
man, "was treated on July 18 to
the essential Rabin: on the one
hand, a leader of historic stature,
on the other, a petty man who
doesn't know how to control his
impulses. The Rabin at the fes-
tive occasions in Washington,
who, even while corseted in a
tuxedo, maintained a certain
sabra charm, is Dr. Jekyll; the
Rabin who settles his wounding
personal accounts with Shimon
Peres, is Mr. Hyde."
with Jordan in an instant. This
led to a deadlock in our relations
going into this year," Mr. Rabin
said, in a clear reference to Mr.
Peres' past, oft-stated remark that
"all Israel and Jordan needed to
sign a peace accord was a pen."
The prime minister only invit-
ed Mr. Peres to Washington at
the last minute, and left Mr.
Peres in the shadows once he got
there. At the luncheon following
Rabin's powerhouse speech to
Congress, Mr. Peres was shown
sitting at the table looking crest-
fallen, utterly depressed. Before
returning to Israel, the foreign
minister was quoted in Yediot
Aharonot as saying, "I won't al-
low him [Rabin] to damage my
honor or my credibility again."
But it wasn't only Mr. Peres
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Yitzhak Rabin looks back at Shimon Peres during the famous handshake.
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It may have escaped the Amer- whom Mr. Rabin insulted in
ican public, but Mr. Rabin hu- Washington.
In interviews with the Israeli
miliated Peres at the summit
with King Hussein in Washing- press corps, the prime minister
said he "couldn't care less" about F\
Not only did he not give Mr. his right-wing opposition. For
Peres any credit at all for the that remark, Likud leader
peace with Jordan, he blamed the Binyamin Netanyahu refused an
foreign minister, in an interview invitation to the welcoming-home
televised here, for nearly wreck- ceremony for Mr. Rabin at Ben- C
ing the deal.
"There were those among us
who said peace could be achieved POLffICAL page 10