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Menachem Begin : the battle for Israel's soul

Author: Daniel Gordis
Publisher: New York : Nextbook/Schocken, [2014]
Series: Jewish encounters.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
Reviled as a fascist by his great rival Ben-Gurion, venerated by Israel's underclass, the first Israeli to win the Nobel Peace Prize, a proud Jew but not a conventionally religious one, Menachem Begin was both complex and controversial. Born in Poland in 1913, Begin was a youthful admirer of the Revisionist Zionist movement. A powerful orator, Begin was imprisoned by the Soviets in 1940, joined the Free Polish Army  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Menachem Begin; Menachem Begin
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Daniel Gordis
ISBN: 9780805243123 0805243127
OCLC Number: 847985954
Description: 295 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Contents: Between the Kaiser and the Czar --
A pit of decay and dust --
This year we are slaves --
We fight therefore we are --
A brutal act --
Deadly road to Jerusalem --
A civil war with the enemy at our gates --
Say "no" to forgiveness --
Of whom were we afraid? --
The style of a good Jew --
Give those people a haven --
A time for war and a time for peace --
It belongs to my people --
Crazy like a fox --
Nobody's cowering Jew --
I cannot go on.
Series Title: Jewish encounters.
Responsibility: Daniel Gordis.

Abstract:

Reviled as a fascist by his great rival Ben-Gurion, venerated by Israel's underclass, the first Israeli to win the Nobel Peace Prize, a proud Jew but not a conventionally religious one, Menachem Begin was both complex and controversial. Born in Poland in 1913, Begin was a youthful admirer of the Revisionist Zionist movement. A powerful orator, Begin was imprisoned by the Soviets in 1940, joined the Free Polish Army in 1942, and arrived in Palestine as a Polish soldier shortly thereafter. Joining the underground paramilitary Irgun in 1943, he achieved instant notoriety for the organization's violent acts. Intentionally left out of the new Israeli government, Begin's right-leaning Herut party became a fixture of the opposition, until the surprising parliamentary victory of his political coalition in 1977 made him prime minister. Welcoming Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to Israel and cosigning a peace treaty with him on the White House lawn in 1979, Begin accomplished what his predecessors could not. His outreach to Ethiopian Jews and Vietnamese "boat people" was universally admired, and his decision to bomb Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981 is now regarded as an act of courageous foresight. But the disastrous invasion of Lebanon, combined with his declining health and the death of his wife, led Begin to resign in 1983. He spent the next nine years in virtual seclusion, until his death in 1992. Begin was buried not alongside Israel's prime ministers, but alongside the Irgun comrades who died in the struggle to create the Jewish national home to which he had devoted his life. Daniel Gordis's perceptive biography gives us new insight into a remarkable political figure whose influence continues to be felt throughout the world.--From publisher description.

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