Israel’s ambassador to Washington is the guest at a prestigious nationally televised interview series, but is soon set upon by his particularly pugnacious host. The strikingly prosecutorial interviewer homes in on “the charge that Israel threatens world peace with a policy of territorial expansion.”
He quotes “a major Arab spokesman” who asserts that “the area of the territories held by Israel today exceeds by about 40 percent the area of the territories given Israel by the United Nations. Most of this added area… was taken by force, and should therefore be relinquished by Israel.”
Ho hum. So what’s the big deal? Aren’t we habitually painted as insatiable gobblers of Arab land, and aren’t we just as routinely required to cede our “ill-gotten” gains?
True, this could all have been a colossal bore, were it not for the date of the above face-off. It took place on April 12, 1958, shortly before Israel’s 10th birthday. And that makes Abba Eban’s appearance on The Mike Wallace Interview program supremely important. Continue reading