Israel: Surviving Another Cliffhanger

Domestic intrigue and economic trouble haunt Begin

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin had rarely seemed so cocky, though prudence might have suggested a different attitude. He was, after all, facing his 27th no-confidence motion since he came to office in 1977, and the seventh since he won re-election last June. But this time his chances of survival were far from certain: two members of his own Likud coalition had just defected to the Labor alignment. Still, as he wound up his 20-minute speech in the Knesset, Begin confidently asserted: "The government will...

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