Historical Biography: Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin was born in modern-day Belarus in 1913. In his early life, he was a fervent Zionist and was active in Ze'ev Jabotinsky's Betar youth movement. After being imprisoned in a Siberian war camp, Begin eventually joined the Polish Army and made his way to what was then known as Palestine.
He began his work in Israel by bringing back and directing the dormant underground Irgun through several operations, including the bombing of the King David Hotel. Begin officially disbanded the Irgun after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
Upon the foundation of Israel's government, Menachem Begin led the Herut party and was the leader of the opposition, a position which he held until 1977, though his party merged with another to form "Gahal". This party would ultimately transform into the modern-day Likud Party in the 1973 election, which Begin also led. In 1967, Begin joined a unity government to deal with the crisis of the Six Day War and aftermath.
After that government's term ended as a result of post-Yom Kippur War infighting, Begin was elected to be the Next Prime Minister of Israel. As PM, Begin helped to start peace talks with Egypt, which eventually led to the Camp David Accords and the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty, for which Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat were jointly awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Most notable in the Camp David Accords was Israel's returning the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt after capturing it in 1967.
The rest of Begin's term was hawkish but strong, and his command even succeeded in impairing Iraq's nuclear weapons abilities. After his resignation in 1982, Begin lived largely in solitude, only appearing for a few family events. Menachem Begin was buried on Mt. Herzl after his passing in 1992.