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June 20, 2003 - Image 81

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-06-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

This experience is a kind of brief
RETURN TO PARIS
preamble to the book, as he sets out to By Colette Rossant
return to his memories and under-
(Atria Books; 227 pp.; $22)
stand the truth of his life.
Many people see his success and
e warned:
assume he has led a charmed existence,
Reading Return
"that I had the world all figured out, that
to Paris invites a
I'm this stable, secure person. This is a
diet. The author,
way of saying I'm not who you may have Colette Rossant, a
been thinking I've been all these years."
noted food writer,
The author writes candidly about
enriches her recently
his own lack of compassion toward his published second mem-
father, telling of moments of cruelty.
oir (Memoirs of a Lost Egypt was her
Yet for all his rejection, he managed to
first) with recipes rich in butter and
meet the subway every day and was at
cream. Merely reviewing the ingredients
his father's side during the hospitaliza-
adds pounds. Mais quel plaisir!
tions that grew in frequency.
Rossant, daughter of an Egyptian
There are moments of connection,
father and a French mother, began her
almost tenderness, as Nuland got older lifelong fascination with food while
and his father grew feebler. His father
living with her affluent Sephardic
was alive to see his Yale-trained son
Jewish paternal grandparents in Cairo.
named chief resident
Despite her father's Jewish heritage,
"My triumph was his reward for all
Rossant was enrolled in the Convent
the bitterness he had suffered over the
of the Sacred Heart.
years, for the hours of despair, and for
Her mother, a convert to
enduring in the face of sickness, pes-
Catholicism, is oblivious to her daugh-
simism, and even death. This news of
ter's loneliness. Colette finds solace with
mine was testimony that he had not
the nuns and the family cook, Ahmet.
failed in America," Nuland writes.
After World War II, her mother, now
His father died soon after that.
— Sandee Brawarsky SUMMER READING on page 70

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senator from New York and a poten-
tial presidential candidate in 2008,
is far less complimentary about
Arafat, at one point blasting the
Palestinian leader for the failed 2000
peace talks with then-Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Barak.
"Unfortunately, while Barak came
to Camp David to make peace,
Arafat did not," she says bluntly
"The tragic events of the last few
years show what a terrible mistake
Arafat made."
Clinton also calls a now-infamous
1999 encounter with Arafat's wife,
Suha, the "worst instance" of mis-
takes she made during her campaign
for the Senate, which she launched
even before she left the White House.
During an official trip to Israel
and the West Bank, Clinton attend-
ed an event where Suha spoke before
her in Arabic and made an "outra-
geous remark suggesting that Israel
had used poison gas to control
Palestinians," Clinton writes.
Arafat's remark was not translated
into English, Clinton says, and
when the first lady stepped to the
podium to speak, the two women
embraced --- and the New York
tabloids played the story big.
"Had I been aware of her hateful
words, I would have denounced

them on the spot," she says, repeat-
mg assertions she made at the time.
In her book, Clinton recalls sever-
al trips to Poland in the late 1990s
that took her to Nazi death camps
and the Warsaw Jewish community.
The visit, she writes, prompted
memories of meeting a survivor
with numbers tattooed on his arm
when she was a child in Illinois, and
to think of her maternal grand-
mother's second husband, Max
Rosenberg.
"I was horrified that someone like
him could have been murdered just
because of his religion," she says.
Clinton, who spends a of of time
explaining -- in the book and in
interviews --- why she stayed mar-
ried to her husband, writes that it
was a longtime Jewish friend and
mentor, Sara Ehrman, to whom she
long ago turned for advice about Bill.
Ehrman, a Washington roommate
of Clinton in the early 1970s during
the Watergate era --- and later the
Clinton White House liaison to the
Jewish community --- tried to per-
suade Hillary not to move to
Arkansas to be with Bill.
"Are you out of your mind?"
Clinton recalls Ehrman asking.
"Why on earth would you throw
away your future?"

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6/20

2003

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