Israel: The War and After

Israel: The War and After

The electoral victory of Menachem Begin in June 1981 (however marginal in voting terms) apparently opened a new era in the history of the state of Israel. In the first Likud government, which came to office in 1977, Begin was balanced by Moshe Dayan, then foreign minister, and by Ezer Weizmann(who became ever more moderate in regard to Arab-Israeli relations), then minister of defense. Its term of office was as much a time of continuity as of change. Even more remarkable, the change meant not only greater intransigeance—as, for instance, Sharon’s intensive efforts to settle Jewish colonies in the heartland of the West Bank—but also, on the southern front, moderation of the highest order. It was a government that made peace with the Egypt of Sadat a major priority despite the terrible doubt and dissension in Israel when it came to paying the inevitable price.

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Duggan | University of California Press Gardels