Out of Begin's Shadow

The question from Secretary of State George Shultz was one that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir did not really want to answer. He remained silent, apparently in deep thought. "On that issue," he finally said, "I will have to consult my Foreign Minister." For a moment, the American negotiators said nothing. Then they remembered that Shamir, who had been Menachem Begin's Foreign Minister, had never relinquished that title. In the ensuing laughter, Shamir achieved his aim: the question was forgotten.

That kind of finesse from a man not given to small talk or wordplay was seen by some of his aides as...

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