Eban, (Solomon), Abba

(b. 1915)
   Israel diplomat and political leader. The man known in the world as the ‘Voice of Israel’ was the least typical of Israel leaders. Eban came into government as a former Cambridge University don, a polished diplomat, orator and linguist. In the rough arena of Israel politics, he held his place by intellectual ability, and by the Zionist commitment under his British reserve.
   He was born in Cape Town, the son of Abraham Meir Solomon, a merchant. Abba (Aubrey) was six months old when they moved to London, from where his mother, Alida, had come. His father died soon after, and some years later his mother remarried, to Dr Isaac Eban. As a boy, Aubrey was studious and serious- minded, rather shy and introspective, but with a sharp wit. His gift for speaking and debating was already developed in his teens when he was active in a Junior Zionist Society. His maternal grandfather Eliahu Sacks, an immigrant from Lithuania, supervised his reading and Hebrew studies.
   At eighteen he was admitted to Queen’s College, Cambridge, on a scholarship, and read classics and Oriental languages. He was elected president of the Cambridge Union (the university debating club), took a triple first degree, and was appointed a research fellow.
   During the war, Eban was commissioned in the Intelligence Corps and at the end of 1941, posted to General Headquarters, Cairo for censorship duties in Arabic and Hebrew. He obtained a transfer to Jerusalem as liaison officer between military headquarters and the Jewish Agency. In 1943 he was back in Cairo as a major, working with military intelligence. There he met the future Mrs Eban, the attractive Suzy Ambache, daughter of an Egyptian Jewish engineer. At the end of the war, Eban was deputy director of a British Middle East Centre for Arab studies in the Old City of Jerusalem.
   When he was demobilized in 1946, Dr WEIZMANN persuaded him to join the political department of the Jewish Agency, headed by SHARETT. His job was to be the movement’s Middle East expert in London, but the focus of the political battle soon shifted to the United Nations in New York. Eban was a staff adviser to the Jewish Agency delegation, and one of two liaison officers to the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP).
   On the establishment of the state in May 1948, he was appointed its first permanent representative to the UN, and also as ambassador in Washington (1950). He held both posts till 1959. During these years Eban had, in effect, a triple task: to fight the public battles at the UN; to gain support in Washington; and to rally the American Jewish community. His major achievement in this period was after the Sinai Campaign of October 1956. In Washington, Eban negotiated an understanding with the Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, recorded in a written memorandum of 11 February. At the same time, Eban used delaying tactics in talks with Dag Hammarskjold, the UN secretary-general. On 1 March, Mrs MEIR, the foreign minister, announced the assumptions on which the Israel withdrawal would be completed.
   In 1959, Eban returned to Israel. He was elected to the Knesset as a Mapai member, and included in BENGURION’S Cabinet, successively as minister without portfolio, minister of education and culture, deputy prime minister, and foreign minister from 1966, in succession to Mrs Meir. On returning from New York he had also accepted the presidency of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and initiated the series of International Rehovot Conferences, on the problems of developing countries.
   In the Middle East crisis that erupted in May 1967, Eban was sent by the government on a crucial mission between 23 and 26 May, to clarify the attitudes of the three Western powers. In Paris, General de Gaulle received him coldly and warned against Israel taking action. In London, Prime Minister Harold Wilson favoured an international attempt to break NASSER’S blockade of the Gulf of Akaba, if the United States and others would join in. In Washington, President Johnson told him that there was not sufficient congressional and public support for concrete steps to secure free passage through the gulf. Nevertheless, he urged that Israel should wait. Eban returned and reported to his government that there was little prospect of outside intervention on Israel’s behalf.
   Eban reached New York from Jerusalem on the second day of the Six-Day War. His statement to the Security Council was a tour de force, heard by millions of television viewers. The council ordered an unconditional cease-fire, and in November adopted Peace Resolution 242. Eban resigned as foreign minister after the Yom Kippur War in 1974. He ceased to be a member of the Knesset in 1988. His publications include an autobiography (1978), The New Diplomacy (1983), Heritage, Civilization and the Jews (1985) and Personal Witness (1990).

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Abba Eban — (1951) Abba Eban (ursprünglich: Aubrey Solomon Eban) (hebr.: אבא אבן) (* 2. Februar 1915 in Kapstadt, Südafrika; † 17. November 2002 in Tel Aviv) war ein israeli …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Eban — Abba Eban Abba Eban (ursprünglich: Aubrey Solomon Eban) (hebr.: אבא אבן) (* 2. Februar 1915 in Kapstadt, Südafrika; † 17. November 2002 in Tel Aviv) war ein israelischer Di …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Abba Eban — en 1951. Abba Eban, (אבא אבן), ou Aubrey Solomon Meir, (Le Cap, 2 février 1915 17 novembre 2002) était un diplomate et homme politique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • EBAN, ABBA (Aubrey) SOLOMON — (1915–2002), Israeli statesman, diplomat, and writer, member of the Fourth to Eleventh Knessets. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Eban was brought up in England. He studied Oriental languages and classics in Queens College at Cambridge University …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Abba Eban — Viceprimer Ministro Ministro de Educación de Israel Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Israel Ministro sin Cartera Knesset(s) 4º, 5º, 6º, 7º, 8º, 9º, 10º, 11º Año de aliyá …   Wikipedia Español

  • Eban — Eban,   Abba (Aubrey) Solomon, israelischer Politiker, * Kapstadt 2. 2. 1915; stand 1939 46 im Dienst der britischen Streitkräfte, u. a. als Verbindungsoffizier zur »Jewish Agency« in Jerusalem. 1947 48 vertrat er diese Organisation bei der UNO.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Abba Eban — MKs Date of birth = birth date|1915|2|2|df=y Place of birth = Cape Town, South Africa Year of Aliyah = 1940 Date of death = death date and age|2002|11|17|1915|2|2|df=y Place of death = Knesset(s) = 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th Party …   Wikipedia

  • Eban, Abba — ▪ 2003 Aubrey Solomon Meir        South African born Israeli politician and diplomat (b. Feb. 2, 1915, Cape Town, S.Af. d. Nov. 17, 2002, Jerusalem, Israel), was a key figure in the founding of the state of Israel and served as that country s… …   Universalium

  • Eban — n. family name; Abba Eban (1915 2002, born as Aubrey Solomon Eban), prominent Israeli diplomat and writer (born in South Africa), former Israeli ambassador to the USA and the United Nations …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Eban — /ee beuhn/, n. Abba /ah beuh/, (Aubrey Solomon Eban), born 1915, Israeli political leader and diplomat, born in South Africa. * * * eban(e, y obs. forms of ebon, ebony …   Useful english dictionary

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