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Barbara Walters boasted of love affairs with Israel’s foreign and defense ministers while covering Camp David — former Carter aide

Media Analysis
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A new book says that Barbara Walters boasted of love affairs with Israel’s foreign and defense ministers, Moshe Dayan and Ezer Weizman, in 1978-1979 while she was covering Camp David negotiations for ABC news.

In “Jimmy Carter: The White House Years”, Carter’s former domestic policy adviser, Stuart Eizenstat, quotes Gerald Rafshoon, Carter’s former communications director, as saying that Walters– who was 49 and divorced at the time –bragged to him of having affairs with the ministers, both of them Israeli generals.

Stuart Eizenstat, on German television in 2013

Eizenstat reports that on day 3 of the heated negotiations at Camp David in September 1978, a busload of reporters were granted access to the retreat for just 45 minutes, and Walters went missing, hiding in the ladies’ room in order to “hang back to interview Dayan and Weizman.”

He continues:

Decades later, when Rafshoon was producing a play on Camp David [in 2014], he saw Barbara Walters and she jokingly asked: “Well who’s playing me?” Rafshoon replied: “Nobody.” She admitted she had been trying to interview the two Israeli heroes and confided: “You know, I had a love affair with both of them.” Was she joking about that? Rafshoon, it seems, took her at face value. It later dawned on him that this might also help explain what was happening when Rafshoon saw Walters with Weizman at the bar of the King David Hotel on the final day of Carter’s trip to Egypt and Israel [in March 1979]. According to Rafshoon, Walters said that Weizman had told her that they would meet in her room, but then he called her and reversed course: “We’re on our way down.” “What do you mean?” she asked. Weizman said he meant himself and his wife: “I want her to meet you.” Whether or not she was again joking, she was certainly burnishing her reputation as an insider among the world’s statesmen. But in any event, she confided to Rafshoon: “I was so mad. I had bought new lingerie.”

Israeli Ministry of Defense Ezer Weizman appearing on ABC’s ‘Issues and Answers’. (Photo by ABC via Getty Images)

The book, which was published in spring 2018, footnotes two interviews Eizenstat had with Rafshoon, in 2014 and 2015. I emailed ABC News PR department and Walters’s PR agency two days ago with the Eizenstat quotes but did not receive a response.

In her 2008 memoir, “Audition,” which billed her as the “most important woman in the history of television journalism,” Walters, who is Jewish, describes flirtations with both Weizman (1924-2005) and Dayan (1915-1981). She says Dayan and she became “great friends” and that they shared an interest in archaeology. She says she was also friends with his wife Raquel.

As for Weizman, Walters echoed a 1979 gossip item about the former air force leader flirting with her at the King David Hotel during Carter’s visit. Weizman passed a group of reporters when Walters called out, “Please give me two minutes.” “’Two minutes I’ll gladly give you,’ replied Weizman, striding over to embrace his old friend, ‘but like this—without words.’”

News outlets have traditionally barred romantic relationships between reporters and sources. In 1977 a New York Times reporter lost her job for sleeping with a Pennsylvania politician, whom she later married, and A.M. Rosenthal, the crusty executive editor of the paper, famously said, “I don’t care if you’re screwing elephants, so long as you’re not covering the circus.” But of course the US and Israel have a “special relationship,” so all bets are off…

H/t Allison Deger, James North, Adam Horowitz.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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22 Responses

  1. amigo on January 30, 2019, 5:59 pm
    • Misterioso on January 31, 2019, 9:24 am

      @amigo, et al

      It seems Barbara was not familiar with the wise old adage my father impressed upon me: “Don’t sh.t on your own doorstep.”

  2. Citizen on January 30, 2019, 6:47 pm


  3. RoHa on January 31, 2019, 12:28 am

    “Barbara Walters boasted of love affairs …”


    • gamal on January 31, 2019, 4:34 am

      I think she’s in Orientalism asking with intense interest “what the hell is going in Islam” ’79 ish, I think that was her, other than that couldn’t say.

  4. Kay24 on January 31, 2019, 7:10 am

    Did Barbara’s love for archeology make her ignore the fact the Dayan was a thief, who with the help of the IDF, illegally excavated in various territories, including some Palestinian, and claimed the artifacts as his?

    “The Israeli Defense Minister Who Stole Antiquities
    In 1971, Israeli archaeologists petitioned Moshe Dayan to give up his legally questionable hobby: Uncovering ancient artifacts and claiming them as his own.”

    Perhaps Babs did not care.

    The zionists love to steal everything they can lay their hands on, especially things that belong to others. Filthy habit.

  5. mondonut on January 31, 2019, 9:54 am

    Mondoweiss plumbing new depths in their “reporting”.

    • amigo on January 31, 2019, 11:22 am

      “Mondoweiss plumbing new depths in their “reporting”.mondonut

      Seems to me, when an Israeli leader of the zionist regime was plumbing new depths , it is worth reporting.

      Dayan always kept one eye open for an easy conquest.

    • amigo on January 31, 2019, 11:49 am

      “Mondoweiss plumbing new depths in their “reporting”.”mondonut

      Why not , with the rogue entity constantly willing to plumb to new depths of depravity .

      It would be antisemitic to ignore their efforts.

    • genesto on January 31, 2019, 1:09 pm

      99.999% of the time I’m on the opposite side of anything you say, Mondonut. But, I have to agree that this comes under the category of tabloid news. I don’t see how it adds to the normally serious discussion of Palestinian justice for which Mondoweiss is highly regarded.

      • echinococcus on January 31, 2019, 2:10 pm

        When collusion of supposedly impartial media (that even now continue to maintain the pretence) with gallow-bait criminals against peace / war criminals reaches sexual intimacy, this is more than news, it’s an item that can cancel the news and indict whoever makes them.
        That’s why the Zionist imp is looking for a pretext to dismiss the story.

      • Citizen on January 31, 2019, 11:32 pm

        Considering that in the relevant time period, most Americans believed the news they got from the mainstream media was objective, and that BW was an icon of such news at the time, the fact that she was sticky complicit with top Israeli officials is not mere tabloid news. She obviously was not interested in her major duty as an American journalist when it came to reporting on Israel , i.e, providing objective news to the American public so they, in turn, could exercise enforced consent, or informed objection to what their own government was doing, or not doing, regarding Israel.

        Imagine if Helen Thomas, while at her career apex, was sleeping with Palestinian officials.

  6. CigarGod on January 31, 2019, 10:11 am

    So Bobowa was a wabbit.
    As if we didn’t know.
    But…it wouldn’t be the first time, sensitive information was passed from pillow to pillow…
    That would be the real story.

  7. marc b. on January 31, 2019, 2:49 pm

    oh, lord . . . *sobbing* . . . “new depths”!!! as if the old depths weren’t deep enough. please. weiss kept to the pertinent facts. he could have reported that walters used dayan’s glass eyes as ben wa balls and laughed at his schmekel (that is the word on the Arab streets) but he showed journalistic restraint, comme toujours. hats off to weiss!

    • DaBakr on February 1, 2019, 12:20 am


      One glass eye. And they aren’t spherical and not conducive to use as so called Ben wah balls. Just a small fyi for your imagination

      • marc b. on February 1, 2019, 11:16 am

        fascinating, dr. dabakr.

        question, without googling it, can you guess who is responsible for this quote:

        [blank] is rich with memories of the Israel of then and gets furious when I ask her to compare it with the Israel of now: “We built this country inch by inch, and we lost so many lives. We built public and social institutions, schools, factories. What’s going on today is awful. They’re ruining this country. I am a proud Israeli. I’ve lived through every war, endured every moment of suffering, but I never stopped believing in peace. I lost friends and family members. I’m a peacemaker, but the current Israeli government does not know how to make peace. We move from war to war, and this will never stop. I think Zionism has run its course.”

        She sighs, and adjusts herself before continuing. “I long for the old Israel, where I traveled alone to Gaza the day after we won the 1956 war. [blank] was already a war hero, known to Israelis and Arabs alike. When I met the Palestinian mayor, I introduced myself as Ruth [blank]. The mayor almost had a heart attack.” She giggles. “His aides fled the scene. He cautiously asked me what my business was, and I replied that I wanted to see their rugs. He was astonished. ‘Rugs?’ he asked me. I was the head of Maskit at the time, a chain of arts-and-crafts stores. We were employing Bulgarian immigrants, and I wanted to include Arabs. I hired Arabs all over the country to make rugs and other merchandise. It was about living together, working together, creating a bridge. Today we use foreign labor to work in Israel because Palestinians are not allowed. And this continuous expansion of the settlements everywhere—I cannot accept it. I cannot tolerate this deterioration in the territories and the roadblocks everywhere. And that horrible wall! It’s not right.”

      • Mooser on February 1, 2019, 1:53 pm

        “One glass eye. And they aren’t spherical…”

        Gee, I like this place. You never know what will come out in the conversation!

      • marc b. on February 1, 2019, 3:43 pm

        there’s a reason dabakr is always the life of the party. when he’s not dribbling booze into the kid’s punch bowl, or doing his henny youngman impression, he’s fact checking jokes. what a hoot.

      • DaBakr on February 24, 2019, 7:03 pm


        If the glass eye-ben wah thing was a joke I must have missed it because it didn’t come from you. But as one experienced with t the whole glass eye thing, barb might have more likely used it as a birth control device. They aren’t like glass ping pong balls. (But maybe, with today’s robotics, they could be like bionic balls. Just think what barb and moishe missed out on with that!)

      • Mooser on February 24, 2019, 8:12 pm

        What on earth is the matter with you, “Dabakr”?

  8. Nevada Ned on February 2, 2019, 3:05 am

    FWIW, the Wikipedia entry for Barbara Walters gives lots of information about her love life.

    Walters has been married four times, to three different men. (How is this possible? She married Merv Adelson, her third husband, then divorced him, then remarried him, then re-divorced him.)

    In her autobiography, Audition, Barbara Walters mentions an affairs that she had with Edward Brooke, then a married US Senator from Massachusetts in the 1970’s.

    Walters has also been romantically linked with U. S. Senator John Warner in the 1990’s.

    In 2007 she dated Pulitzer Prize-winning gerontologist Robert Neil Butler. Walters was only 78 at the time.

    In conclusion, Barbara Walters seems to have enjoyed a rich and rewarding love life. No stability, but hey, girls just wanna have fun.

    And I for once I agree with the famous quote from A. M. Rosenthal about journalist ethics and sleeping with your sources.

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