Who was Menachem Begin?


MENACHEM BEGIN (1913–1992) led the Irgun during the revolt against British rule in Palestine, founded the Likud Party, and served as the sixth Prime Minister of Israel (not counting Ben Gurion's second term). The Irgun's revolt forced the British out of the country, paving the way for the establishment of the State of Israel. As Prime Minister, Begin and the Likud put Israel on the path of transformation to capitalist-liberal society. Begin's Likud-led government also supported settlement construction and the Jewish right to all the Land of Israel. Despite his hawkish views regarding the borders of Israel, Begin concluded the peace treaty with Egypt, the first formal peace treaty Israel signed with one of its Arab neighbors. The treaty removed Egypt from cycle of war and had the Sinai demilitarized. It is considered a primary factor for Israel's growth and prosperity over the last thirty years. His tenure as a leader was also marked by his attention to Israel's Sephardi population, which had faced discriminated.  Begin's courage and uncompromising dedication to the Jewish people and the Land of Israel made him a beloved leader even today.


TO LEARN MORE:
FURTHER READING:

  • The Revolt by Menachem Begin
  • Begin: His Life, Words and Deeds by Zvi Harry Hurwitz
  • White Nights by Menachem Begin
  • Terror Out of Zion: The Fight for Israeli Independence by J. Bowyer Bell
  • Basic Outlines of Our World View and Our National Outlook, speech by Menachem Begin at Herut's Second National Conference, republished by the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, 2007.