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Begin, Menachem Wolfovich

Prime Minister of Israel from 1978 to 1983
Mentioned in the lyrics of Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert from The Final Cut.
Menachim Begin was of Polish Jewish ancestry. He was the founder of the Likud party. Although he was a Nobel prize nominee, his engagement in politics remains largely controversial.
Before he was sworn in as Prime Minister, Begin engaged in military actions against the British in Lebanon, which was then a part of the British Mandate for Palestine.
One of the first things Begin did as Prime Minister was the termination of an agreement between Israel and Egypt on the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Sinai Peninsula. In 1978, Israeli army entered the peninsula again.
Begin also established Jewish settlements on the West Bank and in Gaza Strip in order to disrupt these areas from the inside.

After numerous attacks on the northern part of Israel, Begin led a limited military operation, the goal of which was to get the parts of Lebanon close to the Israeli border rid of muslim extremists and their launchers. Israel then laid siege to Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.
The conflict soon escalated into an open war with Lebanon. The conflict was officially ended with a ceasefire three years later, but in fact not all of the Israeli troops were withdrawn and Israel continued to occupy south Lebanon (Golan Heights) until 2000. From 1976 to 2005 the presence of Israeli forces allowed Syria to occupy most of the rest of Lebanon.
Begin resigned after he had brought Israel into economic crisis and after he had begun to suffer from psychical problems.


English version by:
Vít Benešovský, Jan "Johnny" Petrus

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