EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The diplomatic history of Israel as related by Dr. Walter Eytan, the first director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the founding father of the Israeli diplomatic service, provides an intimate insight into Israel’s political and international struggle for survival. Sixty years after publication of Eytan’s book, his vision and legacy remain valid and warrant renewed attention.
A forgotten book by one of the most prominent of all Israeli diplomats deserves a renewed look, notwithstanding the passage of time.
The First Ten Years: A Diplomatic History of Israel is the personal testimony of Dr. Walter Eytan, the first director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry (from 1948 to 1959). Eytan, who headed the ministry during the tough days of the War of Independence, is considered the founding father of the Israeli diplomatic service.
The book was published in 1958 by Simon and Schuster in New York, and was never translated into Hebrew. It is a historical treasure in that it gives the reader a unique, behind-the-scenes look at diplomatic decision-making from the inside.