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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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Rejected and Outcast

Rejected and Outcast

(p.146) Seven Rejected and Outcast
Menachem Begin

Avi Shilon

Yale University Press

After four years of solitude in Etzel, Menachem Begin enjoyed public exposure. Although Herut was only the fourth largest party in the Knesset, Begin attained a special position in the assembly based on his uncompromising stand on two main issues: Etzel's role in the establishment of Israel and the need to expand the state's borders. In the first Knesset, Begin was engaged in a struggle against David Ben Gurion, but he was also mocked the independent newspapers. Amid this hostile public environment, Begin chose to radicalize his position. In the first years after the Declaration of Independence, the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union influence Israel's foreign policy. Begin opted for a neutral approach, even though the Revisionist movement was clearly oriented toward the West. When Herut failed miserably in the 1951 elections, Begin was dejected. He resigned from the party and retired from politics.

Keywords:   politics, Etzel, Menachem Begin, Herut, Knesset, Israel, David Ben Gurion, United States, foreign policy, elections

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