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Menachem Begin’s Zionist Legacy

Featuring essays by Michael Doran, Douglas Feith, Daniel Gordis, Hillel Halkin, Meir Soloveichik and Ruth Wisse.

Produced by Mosaic Books, this collection of never-before-published essays by six of the most perceptive observers of Jewish and American life gives fresh insight into the personal, political, and religious character of one of Israel’s most remarkable and controversial figures.

Menachem Begin’s Zionist Legacy explains Begin’s “unabashed and unapologetic commitment to his people before any others”; the misunderstood relationship between Begin and his mentor Ze’ev Jabotinsky; why Begin was detested by his rival David Ben-Gurion; and the true role of Jimmy Carter in the process leading up to the Camp David Accords.

Available now from Mosaic Books in all major ebook formats. Forthcoming in hard-cover from Koren Publishers in 2015.

An excerpt from Michael Doran’s essay, “What Carter Owes Begin”
“When Carter arrived in Israel on March 8, 1983, he claimed he was paying tribute to Menachem Begin, but, instead, he denigrated the Israeli leader at his moment of greatest personal weakness. If, however, anyone was truly deserving of tribute from Carter, it was Begin— for his indispensable role in moving Egypt out of the Soviet sphere and into the American security system, for stabilizing the eastern Mediterranean, and for carrying out the greatest diplomatic coup in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. For all of that, Begin deserved deep and undying gratitude from the United States, and he also deserved the unqualified personal gratitude of Carter for helping to deliver the president’s only foreign-policy triumph.”

An excerpt from Douglas Feith’s essay, “Menachem Begin and David Ben-Gurion”
“Begin and Ben-Gurion shared many Zionist convictions, and both were indifferent to personal wealth. Both lived in remarkably modest quarters all their lives. But the men had altogether different personalities. Begin was a model of personal courtesy and old-fashioned propriety. He kissed women’s hands and famously wore suits and ties at a time when many Israelis prided themselves on informal dress. He was humane, personable, and loved to joke and laugh. And he prayed and kept the Sabbath. Ben-Gurion, in contrast, was known for wearing open shirts, shorts, and sandals. He was tough, cold, and, as Peres says, humorless. Though a Bible lover, he was stridently secular. Begin was a kinder and more sentimental man— which, as I’ll explain later, may help explain why he proved a less effective national leader in wartime.”

Menachem Begin’s Zionist Legacy is available from Mosaic Books.

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