Assad Is Not a Fool'

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, 67, was visibly tired and strained from the tensions of the confrontation with Syria last week. In the midst of feverish diplomatic efforts to head off a further escalation, he discussed the crisis with TIME Jerusalem Bureau Chief David Aikman in his wood-paneled office and conveyed the impression that he was seeking a face-saving way for both countries to step back from the brink.

Excerpts:

On the risk of war with Syria: We don't want war with Syria, and I believe that the Syrians don't want war with Is rael. We hate war and hate bloodshed, and we...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!