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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Yitzhak Rabin, 1987

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


Yitzhak Rabin was the Israeli Minister of Defense from 1984-1990, and later Prime Minister. In the interview he discusses Israel's nuclear policy. He explains that Israel's policy is that it will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons to the region, but that it must defend itself from the surrounding Arab countries, and will take action to prevent those countries from gaining a nuclear capability. He declares Israel's desire to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone. He also explains that Israel will not sign the non-proliferation treaty because the Arab states refuse to enter into a commitment that includes Israel. Instead, he indicates a preference for an agreement among the Middle Eastern nations.

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Carter's New World
Program Number



Interview with Yitzhak Rabin, 1987

Series Description

The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.

In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989

Program Description

President Carter comes to office determined to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and to improve relations with the Soviet Union. His frustrations are as grand as his intentions.

Carter had hoped the United States and the Soviet Union would reduce their reliance on nuclear weapons. He stopped production of the B-1 bomber. He believed the SALT II negotiations would be a step toward eliminating nuclear weapons. But his intentions were frustrated by Soviet actions and by a lack of consensus among his own advisors, including Chief SALT II negotiator Paul Warnke and national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (who was dubious about arms control). Carter balanced Soviet aggression in Africa by improving American relations with China. He withdrew SALT II treaty from Senate consideration but its terms continued to serve as general limits on strategic nuclear force levels for both the United States and the Soviet Union.



Asset Type

Raw video

Media Type


Nuclear weapons
Nuclear-weapon-free zones
Nuclear nonproliferation
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
War and Conflict
Global Affairs
Rabin, Yitzhak, 1922-1995 (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Yitzhak Rabin, 1987,” 01/25/1987, GBH Archives, accessed December 6, 2023,
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Yitzhak Rabin, 1987.” 01/25/1987. GBH Archives. Web. December 6, 2023. <>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Yitzhak Rabin, 1987. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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