In This Review

Israel, Likud and the Zionist Dream: Power, Politics and Ideology from Begin to Netanyahu
Israel, Likud and the Zionist Dream: Power, Politics and Ideology from Begin to Netanyahu
By Colin Shindler
I. B. Tauris, 1995, 324 pp.

Just as the Israeli right wing seems to be losing support in the wake of the Rabin assassination--perhaps only temporarily--a solid historical account of the Likud movement has appeared. The author locates the factionalism in Likud in the enduring debates among members of the Israeli right, going back to Vladimir Jabotinsky and Avraham Stern in the preindependence era. Much of the value of this historical survey is its thorough presentation of the careers of Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, leaders who combined elements of ideology and pragmatism while differing significantly from one another. Begin is presented as a shrewd negotiator, willing to make concessions on the Egyptian front to preserve Israel's claim to the West Bank. Shamir is seen as less of a leader but equally firm in his convictions and always capable of saying no to those with whom he disagreed. Shindler competently covers events through Labor's return to power in 1992, but the discussion of recent Israeli politics contains few surprises. A few errors mar an otherwise useful overview.