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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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Be Killed But Do Not Transgress

Be Killed But Do Not Transgress

(p.166) Eight Be Killed But Do Not Transgress
Menachem Begin

Avi Shilon

Yale University Press

After Menachem Begin withdrew from politics, Israel and West Germany initiated talks over a compensation agreement for Holocaust survivors. The negotiations began on March 12, 1951, when the Israeli government filed a claim seeking reparations from West Germany and culminated in the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1965. David Ben Gurion's purpose in filing the claim was to make Germany extend economic aid to Israel without evoking a public dialogue about a possible agreement. Begin, whose views of the Holocaust differed from those of Ben Gurion, made his first public appearance since his retirement on January 5, 1952, two days before the Knesset was scheduled to convene for a vote on the approval of the negotiations. In front of 10,000 demonstrators at Mugrabi Square in Tel Aviv, Begin warned Ben Gurion that accepting the treaty would have serious repercussions. He would go on to secure his first political success in the third legislative elections held on July 26, when Herut won fifteen Knesset seats compared to the Mapai's forty seats.

Keywords:   elections, Menachem Begin, politics, reparations, Israel, West Germany, Holocaust, diplomatic relations, David Ben Gurion, Knesset

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