Menachem Begin

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Begin, Menachem

(mĕnä`khĕm bā`gĭn), 1913–92, Zionist leader and Israeli prime minister (1977–83), b. Russia. He became (1938) leader of a Zionist youth movement in Poland, where he also earned a law degree. Begin went to Palestine in 1942; there, he headed the Irgun, a militant organization that fought against the British Mandate authorities. After 1949 he sat in the Knesset, where he led the opposition to the Labor party. In May, 1977, Begin's right-wing Likud party defeated Labor for the first time, and Begin became prime minister. He shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize with Egyptian President Anwar al-SadatSadat, Anwar al-
, 1918–81, Egyptian political leader and president (1970–81). He entered (1936) Abbasia Military Academy, where he became friendly with Gamal Abdal Nasser and other fellow cadets committed to Egyptian nationalism.
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 as a result of the Camp David accordsCamp David accords,
popular name for the peace treaty forged in 1978 between Israel and Egypt at the U.S. presidential retreat at Camp David, Md. The official agreement was signed on Mar. 26, 1979, in Washington, D.C.
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. In 1982, Begin authorized a massive invasion of LebanonLebanon
, officially Lebanese Republic, republic (2005 est. pop. 3,826,000), 4,015 sq mi (10,400 sq km), SW Asia. The country is bordered on the west by the Mediterranean Sea, on the north and east by Syria and on the south by Israel. The capital is Beirut.
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 in order to destroy military bases of the Palestine Liberation OrganizationPalestine Liberation Organization
(PLO), coordinating council for Palestinian organizations, founded (1964) by Egypt and the Arab League and initially controlled by Egypt.
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 (see Arab-Israeli WarsArab-Israeli Wars,
conflicts in 1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1973–74, and 1982 between Israel and the Arab states. Tensions between Israel and the Arabs have been complicated and heightened by the political, strategic, and economic interests in the area of the great powers.
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). The war caused intense domestic and international pressure and failed to achieve Israel's principal aims. Begin resigned from office in 1983.


See A. Perlmutter, The Life and Times of Menachem Begin (1987).

References in periodicals archive ?
Although his highest post in any government was as defence minister under Menachim Begin in 1982, he is perceived to be powerful and evil.
Public transport: While mass transit projects have been put on the back burner in Israel, millions of shekels were poured into completing a freeway called Menachim Begin Boulevard.
Since the question of conversion according to Halakha and, by implication, the definition of Jewish identity, is once again on the political agenda of the Israeli government, I thought that an account of my earlier encounter with it, when the late Menachim Begin was Prime Minister, would be helpful to readers of Judaism.
Thus was established the oreward for good deal-makingo category, and there have been a lot since then: Woodrow Wilson (1919) for his pro-League of Nations diplomacy; Aristide Briand and Gustav Stresemann (1926) for their Franco-German reconciliation at Locarno in the previous year; Willy Brandt (1971) for his Ostpolitik efforts to thaw the Cold War; Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho (1973) for their Vietnam War negotiations; Mikhael Gorbachev (1990) for being so kind as to actually end the Cold War; Anwar al-Sadat and Menachim Begin (1978) for the Egyptian-Israeli peace settlementuplus a number of others.
Likud's supposed peacemaker who became Prime Minister in 1977, Menachim Begin, was a key figure in the Irgun and even had a 2,000 British pound reward for his capture.
Among the terrorists in the Middle East was Menachim Begin, later prime minister of Israel, who had a price on his head for his activities against the British.
He is not an idealist like the two Likud leaders Menachim Begin or Yitzhak Shamir.
The massacre of Arab villagers, at the hands of Jewish terrorists, led by Menachim Begin, is seen to be a turning point in Arab-Jewish history.
The late Prime Minister Menachim Begin was the leader of the terror group Irgun, which murdered captured Arabs and British soldiers in cold blood.