A critical appraisal of the right-wing Likud government's rule in Israel from 1977-1992. The different ideological origins of both Begin and Shamir are examined, as well as how far they were influenced by pre-war nationalist models in Pilsudski's Poland and Mussolini's Italy. Exploring Begin's involvement with revisionist Zionism since 1931 and his lifelong struggle to extend Israel's sovereignty, the book focuses on such key issues as Begin's election victory, his rationale for invading Lebanon in 1982 and his invocation of the Holocaust in political debate. Looking at Shamir's political background from his days in the Stern Group through to his sudden return to party politics, Shindler explains why he was able to hold on to power for so long, and looks at his confrontation with the Bush Administration.
Colin Shindler is Fellow in Israeli Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He was formerly the editor of Jewish Quarterly and Judaism Today.
Prologue - half forgotten memories. The long and winding road; the advocates of revolt; a Jewish state in the land of Israel; looking for partners - revisionism in transition; the end of the socialist zionist dream; the first Begin government; the cost of Camp David; Lebanon - the escape of the Golem; defeat from the jaws of victory; Begin's Holocaust trauma; the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla and its consequences; Shamir - the man from Lehi; above and below ground; outlawing the Palestinians; between information and propaganda; the year of reckoning; the Shamir plan; forward to the edge. Postscript - down but not out.