The note taker

For two decades, Yehuda Avner served four prime ministers and was privy to the deepest state secrets.

By ROBERT SLATER
August 27, 2013 16:12
Yehuda Avner, Menachem Begin en route to Washington, 1977

Yehuda Avner, Menachem Begin en route to Washington, 1977 52. (photo credit: Courtesy Yehuda Avner)

 
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FOR YEHUDA AVNER the start of researching and writing his highly acclaimed 2010 memoirs, “The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership,” dates back to the 1960s, when he squirreled away notes written in shorthand into a desk drawer.

The notes were made during secret government meetings involving four prime ministers: Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, and Menachem Begin. The contemporaneous notes gave Avner an advantage that most historians would envy, an insider’s peek at day-to-day history in the making.

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