YITZAK RABIN ON SHIMON PERES

THE MARTYRED LEADER WORRIED ABOUT HIS RIVAL'S TOUGHNESS

What do I fear about Peres?" concerned about answering at all, Yitzhak Rabin mulled the question carefully. This was in the mid-1980s, and Rabin was hardly a disinterested observer. He and Shimon Peres had been bitter Labor Party rivals throughout their careers. Both men were still angling to lead Israel, and Rabin was reluctant to offend needlessly. "O.K.," he finally said, "but this is for later. You'll talk to me first."

I never got the chance. Today, though, with Rabin a martyr and Peres his successor, what was said back then is worth recording. Sitting in his spare Tel Aviv office--his...

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