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Last fall (2014) I re-read Lawrence Wright’s book “Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David” I thought this might be a good book to provide more information about Begin.
Begin had run for prime minister eight times when in 1977 he won on his ninth try. Apparently Begin was extreme right wing, he helped formed the Herut party. Begin was despised by the ruling establishment. Begin’s Herut party platform called for Jews to rule in all of Palestine. The Egyptian and Syrian attack in 1973 set up the change to help Begin win in 1977.
Gordis in his biography of Begin starts with his childhood and adolescence in a Polish Shtetl. Begin was an active Zionist. Begin graduated from University as an attorney. Gordis tells about Begin and his wife Aliza flight from Poland in 1939 to escape the Nazis, only to be imprisoned in Siberia by the Russians. They finally arrived in Palestine in 1942.
The author tells of Begin’s life in the Irgun, the underground fighting force in Palestine, following their arrival in 1942. Begin lost his family in the Holocaust and that had a major influence on his belief in a homeland for the Jews.
Gordis covers in depth Begin’s life as prime minister; he covers Begin’s liberalization policies that hastened the end of Israel’s semi-socialist economy. In 1981 Begin bombed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor to prevent them from making a nuclear bomb. Begin welcomed Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The author discusses the peace treaty with Egypt and the 1982 war in Lebanon. Begin won the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for the peace with Egypt.
According to Gordis, Begin’s most important legacy is the restoration to Israeli’s public life of a fundamental sense of Jewish purpose that was missing from it during the long years of Labor hegemony. The author says Begin was a person whose Jewish soul dictated virtually everything he says; every action he took. Gordis states that Begin remains the, most Jewish prime minister that Israel has ever had. Walter Dixon narrated the book.
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What made the experience of listening to Menachem Begin the most enjoyable?
The underlying story ofMenachem Begin's comittment to Israel and the Jewish People
How could the performance have been better?
The orator could have taken the time to better prepare himself to correctly pronounce a variety of mispronounced words in Hebrew and Yiddish, it was distracting listening to him slaughter these words.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful