The years of Menachem Begin's leadership were among the most turbulent in Israeli history. Domestically, the preeminence of the Labor Alignment was successfully challenged, the Likud government failed to reduce Israel's high inflation rate, military and security expenditures reached new highs, and the politicization of economic policy increased. Internationally, although Israel's policy toward the occupied territories and its regional strategy were the focus of domestic and international debate, Begin's policies--departures from earlier norms--did successfully define Israel's foreign policy agenda, and his outlook is likely to continue to influence policy considerations. The contributors to this volume explore how Israel changed under Begin, the source of those changes, and how Israel is likely to evolve in a post-Begin era.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Israel and the United States: The Special Relationship Reexamined -- America and the Middle East in the Post-Begin Era -- The Government–Armed Forces Relationship -- Israel After Begin: The View From the Religious Parties -- Political Polarization: Contradictory Interpretations of Israeli Reality -- The West Bank and Gaza in Israeli Politics -- Some Observations on the Economy in Israel -- Israeli Economic Policy Under the Likud, 1977–83: A Guide for the Perplexed* -- Economic Development in Israel: A Comparative Assessment
Steven Heydemann is director of programs at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.