Israel: Angling for the Postwar Edge

Fearing pressure to compromise with the Palestinians, Yitzhak Shamir carefully plots his strategy

What a difference a war can make. Before the allied bombing of Iraq began, Yitzhak Shamir seemed destined never to win any popularity contests. Devoid of charisma, stubborn and introverted, the Prime Minister often provoked yawns in Israel and angst in Washington.

Ever since air-raid sirens first wailed throughout Israel, however, Shamir has been praised for his unprecedented restraint and calm leadership in the face of at least 31 Scud missile attacks that have left at least four dead and more than 300 wounded. George Bush has telephoned more often in the past month than in the past two years, and...

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