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The Purse and the SwordThe Trials of Israel's Legal Revolution$
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Daniel Friedmann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190278502

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190278502.001.0001

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Menachem Begin

Menachem Begin

Temporary Justice Minister

(p.43) 5 Menachem Begin
The Purse and the Sword

Daniel Friedmann

Oxford University Press

This chapter recounts the highlights and shortcomings of Menachem Begin’s term as temporary justice minister, and later, as prime minister. During his short term as minister of justice, Begin was able to accomplish a fair bit—most notably in the area of extradition, in which he had made a handful of controversial decisions. Several months later, Begin was appointed prime minister, and his term was full of surprises and crises. One of the biggest surprises was a peace agreement with Egypt, which granted unpopular concessions to the latter but nevertheless improved Israel’s stance in the international arena. The other dramatic event was the first Lebanon war and the massacre in Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut. This led to the appointment of a commission of inquiry (the Kahan Commission) of which one of its members was Aharon Barak. As a consequence of the Lebanon war and the findings of the Kahan Commission - Begin resigned.

Keywords:   Menachem Begin, political revolution, Shimon Peres, Aharon Barak, extradition, First Lebanon war, Likud, peace with Egypt, Sabra and Shatila, commission of inquiry

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