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Today in History: Begin in power

Today In 1977, Menachem Begin began serving as Prime Minister of Israel.

After 29 years in the opposition, Menachem Begin succeeded in creating the political “revolution” in May 1977, and in turning his Likud party into the largest in the Knesset. This was a union of right-wing parties – Begin’s Herut (Freedom) Party, which promoted a national right, the liberal party that promoted an economic right, the movement for the whole Land of Israel, and the state list – the last party of the late Ben-Gurion. A month later, Begin established the 18th Government of Israel, which included right-wing, central and religious parties. Begin did indeed completely reverse Israel’s conduct; on foreign affairs, the government led to a first peace agreement with an Arab state, Egypt, in exchange for a withdrawal from Sinai – and at the same time acted aggressively toward the Palestinians, and later invaded Lebanon and occupied half of it in the struggle against the terrorist organizations. In domestic affairs, Begin led to major changes in the Israeli economy, opening it to greater competitiveness and increasing international trade; at the same time, he gave wide concessions to the ultra-Orthodox public in the form of grants and recruitment exemptions. Many of Begin’s actions failed in the short term, and in 1983 he resigned from the premiership and became depressed, while the country was in an unprecedented military (Lebanese mud) and economic crisis (inflation and stock market collapse). But in the long run, Israel has overcome these crises, and much of Begin’s actions are seen as having a positive effect to this day.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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