Research Question



Who was Menachem Begin, and what where the major contributions he made to the State of Israel?

Rationale


I chose to write about Menachem Begin the Prime Minister of Israel for a number of reasons:
A. I remember learning about Menachem Begin in elementary school and visiting his heritage center which really fascinated me.
B. As a Jew living in the Jewish state I believe it is my responsibility to learn about my nation's history and I wanted to choose a personality that is remembered as a good influence on our country.
C. My personal reason for choosing Menachem Begin is because I have an older brother named Menachem. My brother has always been a leading role model for me like Menachem Begin had been for many people.

Menachem Begin's Early Life.

Menacem Begin, son of Chassia and Ze’ev Dov Begin was born in Brest- Litsvok on August 16, 1913.Menachem acquired his education at an early age while attending the Cheder, then the Tachkemoni School and then a Government Gymnasium.
As a child Begin was a member of the Hashomer Hatzair, which is a social communist movement.However after hearing one of Ze’eV Jabotinsky’s speeches Begin took a turn and decided to transfer to Jabotinsky’s Betar organization which wasan anti-communist movement.
At age eighteen,in the year year 1931, Begin attended the Jurisprudence Faculty of Warsaw University and received his diploma four years later in 1935.Upon graduation Begin achieved his childhood dream of becoming a lawyer and helping the unfortunate.

Years of Betar Activity

While under the influence of Jabotinsky, Begin managed to make a clear path to a top position in the Betar movement. Begin spent his time giving speeches in different conferences in front of Jewish Zionists. At the second World Betar Conference, Begin stood up and said that it was time for the Movement to change its ways from political activities to military activities. Although Jabotinsky disagreed with Begin he still appreciated the passion and commitment with which he spoke.
In the short time before World War Two, Begin prepared for Aliyah (*) to Israel for some members of the Betar group, himself and his wife. Shortly after they left Poland they were held up in Vilna because while staying there Begin was convicted by the Soviet police of working with the British. Begin was sentenced for eight years in a work camp but was released after serving approximately three years. After Begin's release he joined the Polish army, the battles that they fought in a variety of places led him straight to Israel.
In Israel Begin became the head of the Israeli Betar and at the same time he balanced a relationship with the Etzel ().Begin was against harming Israeli citizens while fighting against the British Mandate. In 1948 the British finally left Israel and many of the Jewish citizens saw the Etzel as having a large role in forcing the British to leave.
(*) Moving to Israel.
() Zionist militant group.

Prime Minister of Israel


On June first, 1948 Begin signed on to an agreement whose purpose was to disband the individual fighting groups and join them to the forces of Tzahal (*).With the disbanding of the Etzel, Begin decided to take part in politics. He started a new movement by the name of Cherut () which for those days was considered to be a Right Wing movement.
Begin was elected Prime Minister on May 17, 1977.Two years later Begin brought about one of the most memorable events in the history of Israeli politics by signing a peace treaty with Egypt.
The agreement included Israel’s surrendering of Sinai.
The treaty aroused both great opposition and great enthusiasm within the population.
Begin was also known for trying to change the social and economic situation in Israel. His goals were to achieve and improve social justice and economic liberalization.The plans didn’t turn out as expected. His attempts to create greater economic equality met with limited success, but his economic policies were a disaster.
Another famous act that Begin took, as Prime Minister was the demolishing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq which took place on June 7th, 1981. The operation was planned three months in advance, though the left wing opposed it. They clamed that the operation would only arouse our enemies. After the attack Begin responded to the left and brought information against them proving why his idea was the right step. Today people see the operation as an act that contributed to the safety of the country.
On June 3rd, 1982, an Israeli ambassador was killed by a group of terrorists from Lebanon. Begin reacted in a very spontaneous way. He decided that Tzahal should start an operation; its purpose was to create improved the security situation along the Lebanese boarder. He planed on executed this plan by clearing the place from the terrorist control, and arranging a more strategic plan for the unified Christian troops on the border.Even though the
intentions were good, the mission degenerated into a war and had very ugly results for the Jewish side. The army clashed with the Surrians, and suffered from many losses.
People say that Begin was the most honest and modest Israeli politician up to this day, and that is why they never lost their trust in him as their leader.
Menachem Begin passed away on March 9th1992, at age 79 .He is buried on Har Hazeitim (*) next to his wife. Begin lived a satisfying and fulfilling life. He went through a lot of ups and downs in his position, but never gave up.
(*) The Israeli military force.
() Political party which opposed socialism.
(*) An ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

Conclusion

This project enabled me to learn not just about what a great leader Menachem Begin was but also about his amazing personality. Learned that there is more to politics that meets the eye. Begin the Prime Minister of Israel can be a very hard job, citizens tend to label our leaders and that prevents us from seeing their whole personality. While I was doing my research on Menachem Begin I found out allot about his personality and the different actions he did for the Israeli society, like trying to create equality. Most of us have forgotten his presence in our history because it is in our human nature to remember the negative about our leaders and not the positive.
I am an Israeli citizen, and I am aware of the significance of my countries political history. With this project I got to learn more about Israeli politics, and how it is handled. I think it is a great benefit to be able to do the research on my own, and not to have to hear it from someone else. It is very easy to mix you're emotional state and opinions when you are talking about you're countries politics, and by studying the background on my own, I got to see the whole picture without any prejudices.
In conclusion, I think Menachem Begin was a great leader. He had many of the traits that a leader should have, like being loyal and devoted and he also managed to look at matters from an emotional perspective and not just a political one because a leader should know how to balance his feelings.Menachem Begin was connected to his people and knew when and how to act and think that is why the Israeli people considered him to be one of their greatest leaders.

Bibliography



The Menacem Begin Heritage Foundation,19\11\06,< www.begincenter.org.il>
Wikipedia,31\12\06,19\13\06,<www.wikipedia.com>
Wikipedia,31\13\06,19\13\06<http//:he.wikipedia.org.il>
The Knesset, 19\17\06, 19\17\06,< http://www.knesset.gov.il
Jewish Virtual Library,19\03\06, 19\17\06, <http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org>