Menachem Begin: A Life ?
by Avi Shilon?
translated by Danielle Zilberberg
and Yoram Sharett?
Yale, 584 pages, $40

The early decades of Israeli politics were dominated by Labor Zionists, mainly secular Ashkenazis (Jews from central and eastern Europe) whose goal was to create a New Jew based upon a pioneering socialist ethos and rooted in the Bible and the love of the homeland. Menachem Begin (1913“92), a military and political leader who became prime minister of Israel, was in many ways the Labor Zionists’ polar opposite.

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