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Menachem Begin$
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Avi Shilon

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300162356

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300162356.001.0001

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The Downfall

The Downfall

(p.408) Nineteen The Downfall
Menachem Begin

Avi Shilon

Yale University Press

The death of his wife Aliza Arnold in Israel while he was away on an official visit to Washington exacerbated Menachem Begin's mounting depression. Begin disagreed with U.S. President Ronald Reagan over the peace plan proposed for Israel and Lebanon. On February 8, 1983, the Kahan Commission released its report regarding the massacre of more than 800 Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. The commission concluded that members of the Christian phalanges were responsible for the massacre and rejected Begin's claim that the threat of a massacre was completely absent from his mind, but did not call for his resignation. On May 17, after lengthy talks with Lebanese President Amin Gemayel, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz finished a draft agreement that required Israel to withdraw from Lebanon in exchange for a peace treaty between the two warring countries. Begin resigned as prime minister in October.

Keywords:   peace treaty, Aliza Arnold, Israel, Menachem Begin, Ronald Reagan, massacre, Palestinians, Amin Gemayel, George Shultz, Lebanon

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