February 22, 2007

Today in Jewish History - Adar 4

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Yahrtzeit of Menachem Begin (1913-1992), prime minister of Israel. Prior to the creation of the state, Begin became leader of the Irgun and used militant means to force the British government to withdraw from Palestine. In the Knesset, Begin led the opposition party for decades, before being elected prime minister in 1977. Begin negotiated the Camp David Accords with Anwar Sadat of Egypt, for which he was awarded the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize. Begin is also remembered for his conviction to Jewish tradition (he was known to consult with great rabbis and to walk to meetings on Shabbat), and his resolve to defend the Jewish people from another Holocaust (Begin had lost his parents and a brother to the Nazis), which factored greatly in his decision to bomb the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981.