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History Israel

My Struggle for Peace, Vol. 2 (1955)

The Diary of Moshe Sharett, 1953–1956

edited by Neil Caplan & Moshe Sharett

Indiana University Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2019
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2019
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My Struggle for Peace is a remarkable political document offering insights into the complex workings of the young Israeli political system, set against the backdrop of the disintegration of the country's fragile armistice with the Arab states. Replete with the diarist's candid comments on Israel's first generation leaders and world statesmen of the day, the diary also tells the dramatic human story of a political career cut short—the removal of an unusually sensitive, dedicated, and talented public servant. My Struggle for Peace is, above all, an intimate record of the decline of Moshe Sharett's moderate approach and the rise of more "activist-militant" trends in Israeli society, culminating in the Suez/Sinai war of 1956. The diary challenges the popular narrative that Israel's confrontation with its neighbors was unavoidable by offering daily evidence of Sharett's statesmanship, moderation, diplomacy, and concern for Israel's place in international affairs.

This is the second volume in the long-awaited 3-volume English abridgement of Sharett's Yoman Ishi [Personal diary] (Ma'ariv, 1978) maintains the integrity, flavor, and impact of the 8-volume Hebrew original and includes additional documentary material that was not accessible at the time. The volumes are also available to purchase as a set or individually.

3-volume set (1953-1956):

Volume 1 (1953-1954):

Volume 2 (1955):


Volume 3 (1956):

About the authors

Neil Caplan is author of The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories and of Futile Diplomacy, a 4-volume documentary history of Arab-Israeli negotiations. He is author (with Laura Zittrain Eisenberg) of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: Patterns, Problems, Possibilities.

Neil Caplan's profile page

Moshe Sharett (1894-1965) was Israel's first Foreign Minister (1948-1956) and its second Prime Minister (1954-1955).

Moshe Sharett's profile page

Editorial Reviews

The editors did not merely edit and translate the text; they vastly improved on the Hebrew version by adding Sharett's speeches, reports, cabinet minutes, and other sources to the text . . . These additions makes this work so important and welcome by all who aspire to understand the foreign and defense policies of Israel in its first decade.

Israel Studies Review

The wealth of material enhanced by Sharett's eloquence and per-ceptive eye turn the diary into an indispensable source of Israel's history in its first decade and for several aspects of Israeli politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Israel's relationship with the international system. In sum, the large community of researchers and lay readers interested in Israeli politics, Arab-Israeli relations, and Middle Eastern politics should be grateful to Neil Caplan and Yaakov Sharett for this herculean effort.

Bustan: The Middle East Book Review

[T]he most important thing Sharett contributed to the state is the personal diary he wrote during his tenure as prime minister. It is difficult to overstate the importance of those eight volumes to the study of the 1950s and to the understanding of Israeli history as a whole.


Moshe Sharett was a compulsive writer. He enjoyed the very act of writing, the flavour of the words and the quest for precision of expression . . . [T]his is by no means a diary kept at leisure. Most of it was written under the extremely heavy pressure of work and great mental strain, very often in the middle of the night when he was on the verge of physical exhaustion. Standing out above all [the Diary's revelations] is the moral force which dominated Sharett's personality. This extraordinary diary, besides being a unique human document, is a treasure trove for the student of Israel's contemporary history and invaluable for the understanding of one of its crucial periods.

The Jerusalem Post

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