His first name means "comforter."

Menachem Begin (rhymes with Fagin) has been anything but that to his numerous antagonists. To the British in the 1940s, he was Public Enemy No. 1 in Palestine, with a $30,000 price on his head. To the Arabs, he was a ruthless terrorist responsible for the massacre of innocent Palestinian villagers. To Israel's first Premier, David Ben-Gurion, he was a dangerous fascist who threatened to overthrow the newborn nation's fledgling government in 1948.

In recent years Begin's virulence has largely been confined to the opposition benches of the Knesset, where he...

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